Two men working on a residential roofing installation with a hose.

As a property owner, it’s likely that you’ll come across all kinds of roofing issues that could lead to costly repairs. This, of course, can easily be prevented in time. Having a tendency to sidestep problems with your roof isn’t a good decision at all. If you ask us, we recommend you stop avoiding roof problems before it’s too late and give it the attention it deserves!

Residential and commercial roofs differ in many ways, one of which is the complexity of their installation. If we compare them only on the basis of their complexity, we can conclude that a roof on a home is far less complicated to install than a roof on a commercial building. You see, commercial properties are known for having a roof with little or no pitch – this means that you can’t install, for instance, a material such as asphalt shingles. Instead, you have to opt for a different type of roof, specifically made for their type of pitch.

Fortunately, manufacturers have come up with new, specially designed materials that will prolong your roof’s lifespan, all while protecting it in the best possible way. This is where torch down roofing comes into the frame. Haven’t heard about torch down roofing before? Keep reading to find out more!

Torch Down Roofing – What Is It and Its Different Types

Torch down roofing is a method for flat roofs that involves laying out sheets of modified bitumen. For those not familiar with this material, it’s an asphalt combined with polymerized rubber/plastic and then reinforced with fiberglass. Once it’s rolled out on the roof’s surface, roofing contractors use an open-flame propane roofing torch to bond the material permanently to the roof’s surface (thus giving it its name).

Once the modified bitumen sheets reach the ideal temperature, contractors then fuse the seams together, forming a watertight seal. The great thing about this material is that it can withstand extreme climates without cracking or melting, thanks to its high tolerance to both hot and cold temperatures. In the industry, we differentiate between two main types of torch down roofing: two-layer and three-layer systems.

Torch Down Roofing Material – Components

Apart from modified bitumen, other components of the torch down roofing system include:

Insulation – the first layer, attached with glue or screwed into the roof decking.

Vapor barrier – removes condensation and moisture from the underlayment.

Overlay board – placed on top of the vapor barrier- supports the torch down roofing membrane.

Base sheet – the first layer of the modified bitumen membrane.

Cap sheet – provides a watertight surface for additional protection.

Flashings – metal parts used to prevent water penetration at weak points of the roof (chimneys, ventilation openings, etc.)

If you opt for a three-layer torch down roofing system, your contractor will apply another cap sheet with a granulated surface.

Torch Down Roofing Material

Unlike other residential roofing materials, modified bitumen is mixed with a particular polymer. Speaking of polymers, two of them are suitable for mixing with modified bitumen – atactic polypropylene (APP) and styrene butadiene styrene (SBS). The difference between the two is that APP is a form of plastic, while SBS is a form of rubber. For both applications, contractors use a roofing torch to secure them to the surface of the roof.

What is Composition Roll Roofing?

Available in 100 sq ft rolls with a weight of about 75 pounds per roll, composition roll roofing is a mineral-surfaced oil-based asphalt product similar to asphalt shingles. Although rolled roofing materials can be considerably cheaper and thinner, they can also be less durable. They’re a great choice for low-sloped roofs, but when it comes to their design, there’s a lot left to be desired: they come in only black, white, and brown.

Torch down roofing is a part of rolled roofing materials that uses a roofing torch. Apart from this type, other types of roll roofing exist, including:

  • Peel and stick,
  • Nail down rolled roof, and
  • Glue down roll roofing.

Should You Start Thinking About Rolled Roofing Materials for Your Roof?

There are many other roofing options suitable for low-sloped roofs that don’t use rolled roofing materials. You may decide to go with options such as single-ply roofs, built-up roofing, or even metal roofing (a great option, if you ask us). When choosing your solution, it’s important to weigh everything before you go to your roofing contractor and tell them your desired choice. That’s why we recommend that you explore all of your options, so that you can be 100% certain and happy with your pick.

Bear in mind that torch down rolled roofing materials are not suitable for all types of roofs. They’re mostly suitable for some low-sloped roof designs. Make sure you find a professional contractor that will guide you throughout the process, and who can answer all of your questions. They can significantly help you in the process and suggest options that may be better for your property.

Pro Restoration is a roofing company in Machesney Park, ready to handle all your problems. Contact us if you have any questions or requests.