While built-up roofs are extremely common in commercial applications due to their durability, having one installed can pose a headache for businesses. The hot asphalt that's used to glue multiple layers of roofing felt together emits toxic fumes and creates a fire hazard.
One way that businesses can avoid these problems is to install a cold-applied roof instead, which replaces the hot asphalt mix with a roofing adhesive that doesn't need to be heated. Read on to learn more about how installing a cold-applied roof eliminates three common difficulties associated with using hot asphalt to install a built-up roof.
1. Cold-Applied Roofs Don't Emit Hazardous Asphalt Fumes
The biggest problem with a hot-applied roof is that the heated asphalt emits a considerable amount of toxic fumes. While this problem can be mitigated by using a low-fume asphalt mix, it can't be eliminated completely. Fumes from the asphalt can enter the building through the HVAC system's supply air duct, which means that you can only install a hot-applied roof when the building is empty in order to avoid exposing the occupants to asphalt fumes.
You can avoid this problem entirely by installing a cold-applied roofing system. The solvents used in the roofing adhesives emit a very low amount of fumes, and some manufacturers make adhesives that emit no fumes at all. Occupants can remain inside the building while the roof is being installed, which means that installing a cold-applied roof won't affect your business's productivity.
2. Cold-Applied Roofs Reduce Fire Risk During Installation
When a hot-applied roof is being installed, the asphalt mix is heated in a kettle located on the ground. The heated mix is piped onto the roof surface, enabling the workers to spread the asphalt around. Unfortunately, this creates a fire risk during the installation process. Flammable material located near the building's roof can be ignited by the asphalt mix, causing a fire.
Installing a cold-applied roof is much safer, since the waterproof roof adhesive doesn't need to be heated at all. Choosing to use a cold-applied adhesive will eliminate the fire risk posed by hot asphalt, helping to keep your building safe during the installation process.
3. Cold-Applied Roofs Can Be Installed Even When Outside Temperatures Are Low
Finally, cold-applied roofs can be installed at much lower temperatures than hot-applied roofs. When you're installing a hot-applied roof, the asphalt mix will cool as it's being piped onto the roof. If outside temperatures are very low, the mix may become too cold to properly bond to the roofing felt. This reduces the durability of the built-up roof and makes it more likely to leak.
Commercial roofing contractors won't install a hot-applied roof when outside temperatures are low due to the increased risk of roof failure. This can be a major inconvenience if you're trying to install a new roof during the colder months of the year. Choosing a cold-applied roof will eliminate this problem, since the adhesives used will still work even in very low temperatures.
If you need to replace an aging built-up roof, choosing a cold-applied roof is often best. You'll avoid some of the problems inherent with hot-applied roofs, such as the hazardous asphalt fumes and the increased fire risk. As an added bonus, cold-applied roofs are sometimes less expensive than hot-applied roofs due to the fact that they're easier for commercial roofing contractors to install—hot asphalt is more difficult to work with than roofing adhesive. If your business needs a new roof, contact commercial roofing contractors in your area and see which ones have experience with cold-applied roofs.