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Pros and Cons of Built-up Roof (BUR) Membranes

For many years, built-up roofing was the only sort of flat roof available. While this is no longer the case and other flat roof materials have come ono the market, classic BUR is still a great option to consider. Built-up roofing uses a combination of gravel and tar, something like a refined version of road asphalt, to create a waterproof layer that protects your roof and home from inclement weather.

To help you determine if BUR might be the right roofing material for you, we put together a quick summary of the pros and cons of each.

Pros of Built-Up Roof (BUR) Membranes

Long Lifespan:

Built-up roofing is an impressively long lasting roofing material, regularly making it ten to fifteen years without any trouble.

Damage Resistant:

Made from a variety of resilient materials, BUR roofs are highly durable. They easily resist damage from both weather and impact.

Beautiful Appearance:

While a flat roof may not seem like much, this particular material is offered in a variety of appearances, including smooth asphalt build-up, cold build-up, and ballasted asphalt build up. Whatever your aesthetic needs, BUR can meet them.

UV Protection:

BUR are able to protect your home from harmful UV rays, preventing structural damage. This is often an advantage when selling your home later one, as structural soundness is key to resale value.

Low Maintenance:

BUR’s low level maintenance means you won’t have to think about your roof for many years.

Easy Repair:

When the time does come to repair or replace your built-up roofing, it’s no trouble at all to remove layers and patch different areas.

Cons of Built-Up Roofing Membranes

Difficult Installation:

Homeowners who consider BUR and then wind up choosing another roofing option often cite the installation process of built-up roofing as their main reason for pursuing other materials. As a number of different “ingredients” are involved with the installation, BUR has a fairly lengthy and somewhat involved installation process. Additionally, there is some risk of hazardous fumes being released during the installation.

Home Requirements:

BUR membranes are very heavy roofs. Because of this, roof beams often have to be strengthened beneath the build-up. This can create extra difficulties and add to the total cost of roof installation.

In summary, BUR memberanes are long lasting and highly durable, but also rather heavy and difficult to install. If you are looking for a sturdy roof and are willing to put up with a bit of a messy installation, BUR might just be the fooring material you need!

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Our testimonials

"Quick installation for historic home at sound investment"

We have an old, historic home that was built before the turn of the century. It is a good house with solid bones but has needed a lot of work over the years. I knew that we needed a new roof and that I wanted to make a sound investment that also preserved the historic appearance of the home.

I called up Calgary Siding and talked with them about the different options. They sent a contractor out to my house and took a look at the different colors and the building style before making a recommendation. I did some of my own research and found that the product they had recommended had an excellent reputation and would match well with the appearance of our home.

We set up a day for the very next week when they could come out and start the process. Our old roof was gone and our new roof installed within just a few days. It all looks beautiful and we haven’t had a bit of trouble with it at all.

Glenn R.

"Excellent job! Impressed with the customer service"

My family and I decided to build our new home from scratch. It has always been a dream of ours to create something unique and beautiful and perfect for our family of six. Throughout the process, I got a pretty good handle on the construction business and worked with a lot of different experts and contractors. We had good experiences and bad experiences, and Calgary Roofing was one of our best.

I was so impressed with the customer service that I received from everyone that I talked to. They were always happy to answer my questions—and I sure had a lot of them! The roof was really important to me because it felt like the thing that would best protect our investment in this new home, standing between us and the weather.

We went over all of our options and decided on a tile roof to match the style of the house. They were at our house and working away in no time, and they did an excellent job!

Jenna M.

"Happy with the match of roofing material and color for the roof repair"

My house has a metal roof and I love it. One of the only issues with a metal roof is the fact that it can be rather difficult to repair. When one of our panels got a sizeable dent, I was pretty worried that we wouldn’t be able to repair it without it being quite obvious.

I called up Calgary Roofing and expressed my concerns about the roof and asked whether or not they would be able to match the color of our existing roofing panels. They sent one of their contractors out to my house to take a look. He brought some samples with him and we compared them to the material that was already on the roof of my home.

The fourth or fifth metal that he brought was a near-perfect match and I was so relieved. The very next day he was back with a couple of guys and they replaced the dented panel. It was a bit shinier than the rest at first, but now you can’t even tell!

Lamar G.

"Pleased with customer service and fair pricing"

I was so impressed with the Calgary Roofing team. Everyone that I met from the company was kind and courteous, and our team of roofers got the job done quickly. My new roof looks beautiful! My wife and I bought a fixer-upper that hadn’t gotten a new roof in far too long, and I was worried that parts of the wood beneath the shingles would be too far gone. The team ripped off the old roofing in no time and then consulted with the two of us.

There were some boards that had to be replaced, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. We agreed on a new method and went right on ahead. They were very fair in their pricing for the additional trouble of replacing the wood, and I was quite pleased with their customer service throughout. They are a great team of locals and I really recommend them.

Taylor D.

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