Modified Bitumen Vs Roll Roofing

Modified Bitumen Vs Roll Roofing

Modified Bitumen Vs Roll Roofing

Choosing the right material for roofing can sometimes be a daunting task, especially when we come down to options like modified bitumen and roll roofing. While both have their unique features and advantages, understanding their differences is key in making an informed decision.

This blog post will guide you through these two very different but popular roofing materials, helping you weigh the pros and cons of each type based on factors such as durability, cost effectiveness and installment process.

Read on to discover which of these might be your ideal roofing solution!

Understanding Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is a type of asphalt-based roof membrane that is reinforced with fiberglass or polyester for added strength and durability.

Definition and characteristics

Modified bitumen roofing hails from the tough, asphalt-based roofing systems family. Like its cousin, built-up roofing (BUR), it’s known for durability and high performance. Sold in rolls, this special type of roofing is applied specifically to low-slope or flat roofs.

Its unique design offers enhanced protection against leaks and damage – a prime selling point for those seeking longevity in their roof’s lifespan. While many choose modified bitumen for its longevity, some may find the increased cost compared to other options like rolled roofing as a deterrent due to its premium materials and exceptional characteristics.

Advantages of modified bitumen roofing

Modified bitumen roofing boasts several significant advantages that make it a preferred choice for commercial applications.


  • Modified bitumen roofs deliver a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, outperforming conventional asphalt roll roofing.
  • It provides a durable and robust solution for low – slope or flat roof designs.
  • The installation process is quick and straightforward, with self – adhered systems cutting down labor time significantly.
  • Repairs are simple to perform without the need for solvents or adhesives.
  • Modified bitumen systems effectively keep moisture at bay, offering much – needed protection against leaks.
  • In instances of insufficient slope, it’s possible to incorporate additional drainage mechanisms without major disruptions to the roofing structure.
  • Tailor-made for commercial usage, modified bitumen roofing meets the specific needs of businesses with its combination of durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of maintenance.


Applications and suitability for low-slope or flat roofs

Modified bitumen gains popularity in commercial roofing for its impeccable performance on low-slope or flat roofs. Its layered and sealed approach offers superb waterproofing benefits, making it an excellent choice for these types of buildings.

Structures like warehouses and office complexes commonly employ this roofing material to combat water pooling issues common with flat roofs. The minimum slope requirement also enhances its versatility, allowing utilization even on steep-slope roofs when necessary.

Overall, modified bitumen stands out as a solution that effectively addresses the unique challenges posed by low-slope or flat rooftops.

Minimum slope requirement

Modified bitumen roofing has a minimum slope requirement that contractors need to be aware of. In general, this type of roofing should be installed on roof slopes of 0.25:12 or greater.

This means that the roof needs to have a slight incline for the modified bitumen material to perform effectively and prevent water pooling. It’s important to adhere to this minimum slope requirement to ensure proper installation and longevity of the roofing system.

Exploring Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is a cost-effective and easy-to-install option for low-slope or gently sloped roofs. But there’s more to learn about its features and limitations – keep reading!

Definition and features

Modified bitumen roofing is a type of roofing material that consists of asphalt mixed with rubber or plastic polymers. These added polymers make the modified bitumen roofing more flexible and resistant to harsh weather conditions like UV rays and extreme temperatures.

This type of roofing is typically sold in rolls and is commonly used on low-slope or flat roofs. Its composition and construction make it durable, long-lasting, and able to withstand various weathering elements.

With its superior performance, modified bitumen roofing is an excellent choice for commercial buildings looking for reliable protection against the elements.

Roll roofing, on the other hand, is another type of roofing material that comes in large rolls. It is suitable for very low-slope or gently sloped roofs. Roll roofing has its advantages too – it’s cost-effective and relatively easy to install compared to other types of roof materials.

Advantages of rolled roofing

Rolled roofing offers several advantages for commercial roofing contractors:


  1. Easy Installation: Rolled roofing is simple and quick to install, making it a convenient choice. This can save contractors time and labor costs.
  2. Cost-Effective Option: Rolled roofing is often less expensive than other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles. Commercial contractors can achieve cost savings on projects without sacrificing quality.
  3. Versatile Application: Rolled roofing can be used on roofs with a low slope or gentle pitch, making it suitable for a variety of commercial buildings. This versatility allows contractors to use rolled roofing in different settings.
  4. Durability: Despite its affordability, rolled roofing offers good durability against weather elements and UV radiation. It provides reliable protection for commercial roofs and can withstand regular wear and tear.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Some types of rolled roofing are available with reflective coatings that help reduce heat absorption, improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings.


Suitable for very low-slope or gently sloped roofs

Modified bitumen and rolled roofing are both suitable options for roofs with very low slopes or gentle slopes. If you have a roof that doesn’t have a steep pitch, these materials can be great choices.

Modified bitumen is especially designed for low-slope or flat roofs, making it an ideal option for this type of application. Rolled roofing, on the other hand, is specifically suited for very low-slope or gently sloped roofs.

So whether you’re working with a commercial building or a residential property, consider these roofing materials if your roof has minimal slope to ensure proper installation and long-lasting performance.

Limitations and pitch requirements

Roll roofing does have some limitations in terms of its pitch requirements. It is important to note that roll roofing is not suitable for roofs with a pitch below 2/12. This means that if the slope of your roof is lower than this, you will need to consider other roofing options.

However, if your roof has a very low slope or is gently sloped, rolled roofing can be a viable choice. Just keep in mind the minimum pitch requirement when determining whether roll roofing is right for your project.

Key Differences Between Modified Bitumen vs Rolled Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing is composed of multiple layers of asphalt and reinforcing materials, providing enhanced durability and longevity. Rolled roofing, on the other hand, consists of a single layer of material like asphalt or mineral granules.

Composition and construction

Modified bitumen roofing is composed of a blend of asphalt and various modifiers, such as rubber or plastic. This combination gives it the ability to withstand temperature changes and resist cracks and leaks.

The construction of modified bitumen roofing involves multiple layers that are applied using heat or adhesives, creating a seamless and durable barrier against the elements. On the other hand, rolled roofing typically consists of a single layer of asphalt-saturated material reinforced with fiberglass or organic felt.

Its construction is simple yet effective for low-slope roofs, making it an economical choice for certain projects.

Durability and lifespan

Modified bitumen roofing offers a significant advantage over rolled roofing when it comes to durability and lifespan. With a longer lifespan of 20 to 30 years, modified bitumen roofing far surpasses the 6 to 10 years that rolled roofing typically lasts.

In fact, modified bitumen roofing is considered four times more durable than rolled roofing, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a long-lasting and reliable option for their commercial roofs.

Installation process and complexity

Modified bitumen roofing requires a more involved installation process compared to rolled roofing. With modified bitumen, you have options for installation methods such as welding/torching or cold application.

The specific method used can affect the level of complexity. On the other hand, rolled roofing consists of a single layer and is generally simpler to install than modified bitumen.

This difference in complexity should be taken into consideration when choosing between these two types of roofing materials for your commercial projects.

Modified Bitumen vs Roll Roofing: Cost Implications

Modified bitumen roofing may be a more costly option compared to rolled roofing. The materials and labor required for installing modified bitumen roofs generally come at a higher price.

In fact, modified bitumen roofing can cost more than twice as much as rolled roofing. However, it’s essential to consider the longevity and durability that modified bitumen roofs offer.

While the initial investment may be higher, the long-term benefits of having a robust and resilient roof can outweigh the costs in the future.

On the other hand, rolled roofing is known for its affordability. It is often less than half the cost of installing an asphalt shingle roof. This makes it an attractive choice for those working with a tight budget or looking for a temporary roofing solution.

Rolled roofing is not only inexpensive but also straightforward to install, which further reduces labor costs.

Application Scenarios in Modified Bitumen vs Roll Roofing

Consider important factors such as slope, budget, durability, and climate before making a decision; consulting with a professional will help ensure the best choice for your specific needs.

Factors to consider (slope, budget, durability, climate)

When choosing between modified bitumen and rolled roofing, commercial roofing contractors should consider several factors. These include:


  1. Slope: The slope of the roof is an important factor to consider when choosing roofing material. Modified bitumen roofing is suitable for low-slope or flat roofs, while rolled roofing works best on very low-slope or gently sloped roofs.
  2. Budget: Cost considerations play a significant role in decision-making. Rolled roofing is typically less expensive than modified bitumen, making it a more cost-effective option for those with tight budgets.
  3. Durability: If durability is a priority, modified bitumen roofing offers better performance and lifespan compared to rolled roofing. It is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide long-lasting protection.
  4. Climate: The climate of the location should also be taken into account. Modified bitumen roofing can help reduce energy costs by reflecting sunlight and reducing heat buildup, making it suitable for hot climates. Rolled roofing may be more suited to cooler climates.


Consulting with a professional

Consulting with a professional roofing expert is crucial when choosing the right roofing material. A professional can provide guidance on the performance, durability, cost, and installation process of both modified bitumen and roll roofing.

By seeking their expertise, commercial roofing contractors can ensure that they select a suitable material that meets the specific requirements of their projects. This ensures that homeowners receive adequate protection and longevity for their property.

Final Thoughts on Modified Bitumen vs Roll Roofing

In summary, when comparing modified bitumen roofing and roll roofing, it is important to consider the specific needs of the project. Modified bitumen roofing is ideal for low slope or flat roofs and offers durability and reliability.

It may be a slightly more expensive option in terms of labor and materials, but it provides long-term benefits. On the other hand, rolled roofing is suitable for very low slope or gently sloped roofs and tends to have a lower cost upfront.

However, it may not be as durable as modified bitumen roofing. Ultimately, the decision between these two options should be based on factors such as slope, budget, durability requirements, and climate conditions.

Modified Bitumen Vs Roll Roofing: The Conclusion

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between modified bitumen and rolled roofing, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your project. Modified bitumen offers better durability and performance for low-slope or flat roofs, while rolled roofing is more suitable for very low-slope or gently sloped roofs.

Factors such as budget, climate conditions, and professional consultation should also be taken into account before making a decision.

Modified Bitumen Vs Roll Roofing FAQs

1. What is the difference between modified bitumen vs roll roofing?

Modified bitumen and roll roofing are both types of roofing materials, but they differ in their composition and installation method.

2. Is modified bitumen or roll roofing more durable?

Modified bitumen is generally considered to be more durable than traditional roll roofing because it is reinforced with added layers for increased strength and longevity.

3. Which type of roofing is easier to install, modified bitumen or roll roofing?

Roll roofing is typically easier to install compared to modified bitumen as it can be applied in larger sections using adhesive or nails, while modified bitumen requires heating during installation.

4. Which type of roofing material offers better protection against leaks?

Both modified bitumen and roll roofing provide good protection against leaks when installed correctly, but due to its multi-layered composition, modified bitumen has a slight edge in terms of leak resistance.

5. Can I choose between modified bitumen vs roll roofing based on my budget?

Yes, you can choose between the two based on your budget. Roll roofing tends to be more cost-effective, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners, while modified bitumen may require a higher initial investment but offers greater durability in the long run.