Torch Down Roofing
Similar to tar and gravel roofing, the torch down roof consists of layers of fiberglass and polyester with bitumen that are added to the regular tar and gravel layering system. These extra sheets are torched down in the overlap areas during the installation process, using large flame throwing torches that melt the asphalt at the seams to join them together, which is the origin of the name “torch down roofing”. The final result is the vulcanization of a large rubber sheet onto a fiberglass base. Also called modified bitumen, due to the mixing of asphalt with rubber compounds, torch down roofing provides additional strength and resistance to a flat or low sloped roof. It is not, however, suited to areas prone to high rainfall or snowfall, and has an average life expectancy of about 15 years. A torch down roof is also significantly more attractive than a standard tar and gravel roof.
Torch down roofing is applied with a torch rather than a hot mop, and this system eliminates the unpleasant odor of hot mop procedures. It also allows the torch down roof to be repaired more efficiently. Today, self-adhering modified bitumen sheets are also available, which allows roofers to patch up any gaps or leaks without the dangerous and costly use of torches.
The blend of synthetic rubberized polymers with asphalt makes torch down roofing extremely flexible. During climate change or extreme weather conditions, torch down roofing can shift as required and resist brittleness. Torch down roofing also provides excellent waterproofing and insulation qualities, and is a fire, wind, and hail rated roofing system.