The torch-on roof, also known as the torch-down roof, is one of the common roofing types used on flat roofs. When installed correctly, it can last from 15 to 20 years. This makes it a cost effective roof for commercial businesses and the homeowner.
What is Torch-On Roofing?
You may also see this called rubberized asphalt. A torch is used to melt asphalt material directly onto the roof. This creates a waterproof barrier. It is often used on flat roofs where snow or rain water can collect and sit or long periods. It covers the entire roof surface at an even thickness. Traditional tar and gravel roofs can have thick and thin spots.
The material used is a combination of modified bitumen layers coated with various waterproof resins. The multiple layers create a waterproof surface that is also resistant to the sun’s ultra-violet rays.
How is a Torch-On Roof Installed?
If the old roof is in good shape, it can be left on and covered over. If not, then all of the old material, nails and sheeting need to be removed first.
The roof then needs to be covered by a layer of fiberglass felt. This is nailed to the roof to secure it. This becomes the base sheet for the roofing material to be joined. This base sheet needs to cover the roof smoothly.
The bitumen layer is rolled out onto this base layer. While it is rolled out, a torch is used to melt the material so it adheres to the base. The roll is moved forward, and the bitumen layer pressed down to get a good seal.
To get a good seal on metal flashings, such as around vents and chimneys, a material is applied to the metal surfaces before covering it with the roofing layer.
After the roof has settled into place for a few months, you can have an additional coating applied. This makes your torch-on roof more fire resistant, waterproof and resistant to tears and punctures.
Benefits of Torch-On Roofing
You can expect a long life from a properly applied torch-on roof. Because of its durability, you can get up to 20 years from the roof if installed by a professional roofing company.
Because it is tear and puncture resistant, your torch-on roof will need less repairs over its lifetime. Modifications are easy if changes to the roof need to be made such as adding a skylight. Sheets of the material can be purchased, cut to shape, and applied around the roofing modifications.
The roofing material won’t melt in the sun or become brittle. It is fire resistant and with the additional coatings, it can be even more fireproof.
Unlike the tar and gravel roofs, there is little odor from the torch-on roof as it’s being applied. Tar roofs often require people to be out of the building because of the fumes. That’s not the case with a torch-on roof.
If the old roof is in good shape and it is still flat with no rough places, it can remain and be covered by the new roofing material. This can save you money on the old roof tear-off and removal of the material from your property.
Low maintenance and long life make the torch-on roof a good choice for protecting flat roofs. Professional installation will make sure you don’t have leaks around openings in the roof. Get the most out of your torch-on roof by having experienced roofers do the job right from the start.
Brad Gordon and his team of professionals have been installing roofing, waterproofing and architectural sheet metal systems in the Greater Vancouver area for over 20 years.