Also called modified bitumen roofing, torch down roofing is one of the most common roof types used today. It gets its name from the method of burning the bitumen sheets on a sheet of fiberglass which is done during installation. Burning the bitumen melts it, thereby, creating a highly durable and resistant roofing material. As a result, these types of roofs last for a very long time20 years on an average.
The main advantage is that it's highly resistant to rainwater, which means it is beneficial for people who have flat roofs. Rainwater usually gets collected on flat roofs and starts damaging them over time. But, with this kind of roofing, there would be no damage at all. The only downside is its cost, which is slightly on the higher side. However, compared to the other roofs, the torch down type doesn't require a lot of maintenance for a long time. Moreover, high quality resins are mixed with modified bitumen which protects the house from harmful UV rays.
Precautions and Requirements
You need to make sure that each member of the team working on the roofing is well-informed of his/her duties. Moreover, the fire should be handled with care, and no person should get injured during the process. Everyone's eyes should be protected, and fire resistant clothes should be worn. Make a list of all the tools you will require before starting. A hot flame torch is the most important thing you will need for the project. It isn't a good idea to buy a torch if you are just installing one torch down roof. The best way is to rent one from a general equipment rental store or a roofing supply store. In addition to that, you will also need a sharp knife to cut the material.
It isn't always necessary to remove the current roof if you are installing a torch down roof. However, that would depend on the condition of your existing roof. Before you start, make sure that you examine the current roof, and see if it's possible to install the new one without removing the current one. This step is important, as removing the current roof would require additional time and money.
You can start the process by binding a sheet of fiberglass on the roof surface. Try using felt of about 40 pounds for the fiberglass base sheet and make sure that you secure the sheet with nails placed at intervals of 4 to 6 inches. Straighten the rolls of the torch down material to remove wrinkles and rumples. You can do this by rolling the roof halfway back. Now, position the torch at around a foot in front of the straightened roof. The bitumen will melt with the heat, and at this point you should push the straightened roof forward so that it binds with the fiberglass sheet.
You should take the cost into consideration before installing a torch down roof. Take your time to estimate the cost of the whole project before starting. There are numerous factors that need consideration like whether you want to hire a contractor to do the work or you want to do it yourself, the quality of roofing material you want to buy, and the cost of other materials required.
Even though it may cost slightly more than other types of roofing materials, if you look at the long term benefits, a torch down roof is a better option as you don't need to spend much on it later on.