Depending on the pitch of the roof and the desires of the homeowner, there are a number of choices for the material that will cover the roof. One less-common variety, though practical for flat roofs, is torch down roofing, also called rubberized asphalt. Highly debated and potentially dangerous, this process has pros, cons, and a big surrounding debate.
Consider Safety and Price Before Deciding
The name is fairly self-explanatory; “torch down roofing.” Using a blowtorch, workers applying “modified bitumen combined with high quality resins” that melds as a result of the intense heat application. There are obvious dangers associated with using live fire in general, but particularly on a roof, where the materials could overheat and fire could spread to attic or other areas and get out of hand.
This is where the big debate exists. Many contractors don’t believe that the dangers and perils associated with the torch down process to be worth the result (and there is a slightly higher price tag on the process, too). Others argue that safety is crucial and there has to be a careful application, but that the benefits outweigh any risk.
It’s true that this type of roofing has a long life span, with three layers lasting up to 20 years and two surviving well for 15. It is known for its successful protection from rain and leakage, though any flat roof might struggle with water or snow due to the lack of sloping. The application also (perhaps ironically) increases the fire resistance to the roof and keeps excess heat from seeping through and into the home, helping with energy costs.
Though the process does cost a bit more per square foot than “traditional tar and gravel,” it has better longevity and gives off none of the fumes associated with other roofing options. It is also boasted for its versatility, “used to great effect on basements, verandas, foundations and garages” as well as on top of houses.
Clearly, there should be extensive research done before choosing whether or not torch down roofing works for a particular home. One easy question to answer is if the homeowners even want a flat roof; if not, the process can’t be considered and is therefore a non-issue. Since there is potentially great risk involved in using this material, people should make sure to hire contractors who have a lot of experience with the torch down process and who take precautions.
Rely only on the experts if you are considering torch down roofing; ask if you have any questions or hesitations before making a decision. For advice, services, or for a free estimate for your roof, get in touch with Cox Roofing today.
Cox Roofing is a full-service, certified roofing contractor providing residential and commercial roofing services to the state of Maryland, with particular focus on Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County and Howard County. We pride ourselves on our personalized service which transforms your property into the residence or business of your dreams. Get in touch for your free estimate today.