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Discover the Best Roofing Materials for Homes in St. Louis
Built-Up Roofing

Discover the Superior Protection of Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Systems for Your Property

Built-up roofs, also known as BUR, are multi-layered roofing systems that provide excellent protection against the elements, including wind, rain, and sun. They are durable and long-lasting, making them a popular choice for commercial and industrial buildings.

General Description

A built-up roof (BUR) is a type of roofing system commonly used on commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. It is also known as a tar and gravel roof, as it is constructed by layering alternating sheets of bitumen (a type of black, sticky material) and roofing felt, and then topping it with a layer of gravel or other surfacing material.
The basic construction of a built-up roof typically involves multiple layers of roofing felt or other reinforcing material, which are alternated with layers of hot-applied bitumen. The number of layers used can vary depending on the design and specific requirements of the roof, but typically range from two to four or more.
Once the layers of felt and bitumen are in place, the top layer is typically coated with a layer of gravel or other surfacing material, which serves as a protective layer and helps to reflect sunlight and reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the roof. Other types of surfacing materials, such as reflective coatings or single-ply membranes, may also be used in place of gravel.


  • Durability: BURs are highly resistant to damage from weather, fire, and other external factors, making them a long-lasting roofing solution.

  • Waterproofing: The multiple layers of roofing felt and bitumen provide excellent waterproofing properties, preventing water from penetrating into the building.

  • Energy efficiency: The layer of gravel or other surfacing material on top of the BUR helps to reflect sunlight and reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the roof, leading to lower cooling costs in the building.

  • Low maintenance: BURs require very little maintenance, and any necessary repairs can usually be easily and quickly made.

  • Aesthetics: BURs can be finished with a wide range of surfacing materials, including gravel, crushed stone, or even green roofs, providing an attractive and customizable appearance.

  • Fire resistance: The layers of bitumen used in BURs are highly fire-resistant, making them a safe and reliable choice for buildings in areas with a high risk of fires.

  • Sound insulation: BURs can help to reduce noise from outside the building, making them a good choice for buildings in noisy urban areas or near highways.

Why Choose this Material

If you're in the market for a new commercial or industrial roof, you may want to consider the built-up roof option. Built-up roofs, or BURs, have been around for over a century and are known for their durability and longevity. This type of roof is made up of layers of asphalt and felt or other reinforcing materials that are built up to create a watertight seal. The layers are typically hot-mopped or torch-applied, creating a seamless, continuous surface that can withstand the elements and provide excellent insulation. Built-up roofs are also relatively low-maintenance and can be easily repaired if damaged.

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