What Is Built Up Roofing?

Built-Up Roofing (BUR), or tar and gravel roofing, is a time-tested and reliable roofing system used for over 100 years. This type of roofing has multiple reinforcing fabric layers, typically fiberglass, coated with asphalt, and embedded in bitumen. Built-up roofing is famous for its durability, weather resistance, and long life span, making it a popular choice for roofing commercial and industrial buildings.

The Layers of Built-Up Roofing

The construction of a built-up roof typically involves three or more layers. 

  1. The first layer is a base sheet, typically made of fiberglass or organic felt. This layer is applied to the roof deck using hot asphalt or cold adhesive. 
  2. The second layer is a reinforcing layer of one or more layers of fiberglass or polyester mat saturated with hot asphalt or cold adhesive. This layer provides additional strength and durability to the roof. 
  3. The third and final layer is the surfacing layer, which is usually a layer of gravel or a reflective coating that protects from the elements.

The Advantages of Built-Up Roofing

One of the primary advantages of built-up roofing is its durability. Because it is made up of multiple layers of reinforcing fabric, it can withstand a great deal of wear and tear. Additionally, the thick layers of asphalt and bitumen provide excellent protection from the elements, including wind, rain, and hail. This makes built-up roofing an excellent choice for buildings in areas with harsh weather conditions. Another advantage of built-up roofing is its long-life span. With proper maintenance, a built-up roof can last 20 years or more. This makes it a cost-effective choice for building owners wanting a roofing system that will last many years.

Built-up roofing is also relatively easy to install. The layers of reinforcing fabric can be quickly and easily applied to the roof deck using hot asphalt or cold adhesive. This makes built-up roofing an excellent choice for buildings that need a new roof installed quickly. This roofing type is an environmentally friendly choice. The reinforcing fabric and asphalt layers can be recycled, reducing waste and helping protect the environment.

The Disadvantages of Built-Up Roofing

While built-up roofing has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages. One of the primary disadvantages is the weight of the roofing system. Because it consists of multiple layers of reinforcing fabric, asphalt, and bitumen, built-up roofing can be quite heavy. This means that it may only be suitable for some buildings, particularly those with weak roof decks or those that need to support heavy equipment or machinery.

Another disadvantage of built-up roofing is the installation process. Because it involves multiple layers of reinforcing fabric and asphalt, the installation process can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Additionally, the installation process requires skilled workers with experience working with this roofing system.

Finally, built-up roofing can be difficult to repair. Because it consists of multiple layers, finding and repairing leaks can be challenging. This can result in higher maintenance costs over the roof’s life span.

Built-Up Roofing Price

The price of built-up roofing (BUR) can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the roof, the number of layers, and the type of materials used. The cost of labor, permits, and other factors can also affect the total cost of a built-up roofing system.

Generally, built-up roofing is a more expensive option compared to some other roofing systems. However, it is essential to remember that the initial cost of a roofing system should not be the only factor considered when deciding. Built-up roofing has a longer life span than other roofing systems, which means that the total cost of the roof’s life span may be lower.

HomeAdvisor says the average cost of a built-up roofing system is between $350 and $700 per square (100 square feet). This cost can vary depending on the location and the type and quality of materials used.

Working with a professional roofing contractor is crucial to get an accurate estimate for a built-up roofing system. They can provide a detailed breakdown of the costs involved, as well as provide recommendations for materials and installation methods that will work best for your specific building and budget.

In addition, building owners should consider the long-term cost savings of a built-up roofing system. While the initial cost may be higher, the roofing system’s longer life span and durability can result in lower maintenance and repair costs over time. Additionally, a built-up roofing system’s energy efficiency can help reduce heating and cooling costs, which can further offset the initial cost.

Professional Installation

Professional installation is critical when it comes to built-up roofing manfacturers (BUR). BUR is a complex roofing system that requires a skilled and experienced roofing contractor to install it properly. Attempting to install a built-up roof without the proper training and experience can result in costly mistakes and even safety hazards.

A professional roofing contractor will have the necessary tools, equipment, and knowledge to correctly install a built-up roofing system. They will also have experience working with different types of roofing materials and knowledge of local building codes and regulations.

During the installation process, the roofing contractor will start by preparing the roof deck, which involves cleaning the surface and ensuring it is level and free from debris. They will then install the base layer, the reinforcing layer, and the surfacing layer.

Throughout the installation process, the roofing contractor will ensure that the roofing system is properly sealed and that there are no gaps or weak spots that could lead to leaks or other problems down the line.

A professional roofing contractor can also provide valuable advice and guidance when it comes to selecting suitable materials for a built-up roofing system. They will consider climate, building design, and budget to help their clients make informed decisions.

Built-up roofing is a time-tested and reliable roofing system that has many advantages. It is durable, weather-resistant, and has a long life span. Additionally, it is relatively easy to install and environmentally friendly. However, it is important to consider the disadvantages, such as the weight of the roofing system, the installation process, and the difficulty of repairs. Building owners should consult with a professional roofing contractor to determine whether built-up roofing is the right choice for their building and roof.


Water Damage and Roofing of Round Rock is located at 30 Woodland Ln, Round Rock, TX. From Austin-Bergstrom International Airport(AUS) head east toward E McNeil Rd, and then turn left toward S Brown St. Continue straight onto S Brown St and then turn right onto E McNeil Rd. Turn left at the 2nd cross street onto S I-35 Frontage Rd/Morrow St and then take the ramp on the left onto I-35 S. Merge onto I-35 S. Afterwards, take the exit toward US-183 Hwy S and then take the ramp to U.S. 183 S. Merge onto US-183 Hwy S and then keep left to continue on 183 Toll. Continue onto S Hwy 183 (signs for Texas 71 W/Ben White Blvd/Riverside Dr) and then use the left 2 lanes to turn left to merge onto State Hwy 71 E. Exit onto Spirit of Texas Dr and after 0.4 miles you have arrived at Water Damage and Roofing of Round Rock.

We are open 24/7.

For additional questions, call us at (512) 566-5511.

Always entrust your roofing services needs to professionals and certified contractors who value customer satisfaction and excellence.

Water Damage & Roofing of Round Rock is located in Round Rock, Texas. We can be reached on Yellow Pages and Go My Local. If you would like a more personalized experience you can call us at (512) 566-5511 any hour of any day.

We value the needs of our clients and we always make sure that we meet them with utmost care and excellent results.

No matter how simple the roofing service may be, our highly skilled and trained staff members always give their best.