The Pros And Cons Of Built Up Roofing (BUR)

The Pros And Cons Of Built Up Roofing (BUR)

When it comes time to replace your commercial roof, you’ll quickly learn that there are a lot of different options for materials and finishes. In this article, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of one of the most popular types of commercial roofing materials, Built Up Roofing (BUR)  to help you decide if it is right for your building. Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of BUR.


What Is BUR?


BUR has been around for decades and is an extremely popular roofing material. Also known as tar and gravel roofing, BUR is made of multiple layers of materials “built up” for protection. It starts with alternative layers of bitumen, also known as asphalt, and reinforced organic or fiberglass fabrics. These layers create a protective membrane surface that creates the base of the roofing system. Then a final layer is applied for the finish surface. This final layer can be made of aggregates, mineral cap sheets, and elastomeric coatings among other options.


Pros Of BUR Roofing


BUR roofing is extremely popular, so it definitely has a lot of pros including:


  • Low Installation Cost: BUR roofing is easy to install and can be installed quickly, reducing the cost of labor. The materials themselves are also very affordable compared to other roofing materials, also helping lower the costs.
  • Easy To Maintain: BUR roofs are one of the easiest roofs to repair if there is an incident. They are also very sturdy, so they require very little routine maintenance and service. As a result, they also save you money on maintenance needs.
  • Very Durable: BUR roofing is very durable as a result of the multiple layers. BUR is very waterproof and can also protect against the damaging UV rays of the sun. There are no joints or seams, so you don’t have to worry about these causing leaks.
  • Long Life Expectancy: If they are properly installed and maintained, BUR roofing can last over 30 years.


Overall, BUR is an affordable, functional material that is easy to install and maintain.


Cons Of BUR Roofing Material


BUR roofing is a great option, but there are some downsides including:


  • Functional Not Attractive: BUR was designed for performance, so it’s not the most attractive roofing material. If your roofing is seen and your business brand is based on aesthetics, you may want to consider a different material.
  • Poor Cold Weather Performance: BUR is inflexible, so it does not have good performance in cold temperatures. However, in the Southern states, where the weather doesn’t get that cold, you don’t have to worry about this issue.
  • BUR Is Heavy: BUR is a durable roofing and that means it weighs more than some of the other options. Sometimes a building’s joists will have to be reinforced to withstand the weight. A professional roofer will be able to tell you if your building will need this added support.
  • Installation Is Stinky: During the installation of a BUR roof, there are some pretty unpleasant and toxic smells from the tar. This smell can linger for a while, but will go away in a short time.


BUR is more functional than anything else, so it’s not the best option for every building.

If you’d like to learn more about the different roofing materials, contact the roofing experts at Gulf Tex Roofing and Services. We’ll happily review all the pros and cons of all roofing materials to help you make the best choice for your commercial building. Give a call today to get started!