Low-Slope Roofing Installation Methods: Here’s What You Need To Know

Low-Slope Roofing Installation Methods

You’ve made the decision that your roof needs a repair or a replacement, but what happens now? With so many options for roofing membranes, it’s important to find a long-term solution that best suits your roofing needs. If you aren’t well versed in the kinds of membranes offered for low-slope roofing systems, it can be difficult to discern which is right for your roof.

Asphalt roofing systems are some of the most versatile roofing materials, offering tough weatherproofing protection combined with versatile performance characteristics and installation options. Although it is possible to combine different methods for asphalt roofing systems, there are generally four ways to install low-slope roofing membranes depending on your budget and the needs of your structure.

 1. Hot Asphalt Installation

Depending on the location of your building and the repairs that are needed, hot asphalt installation could be right for your structure. Hot asphalt is a tried and true, durable method of installation whether you’re installing a 2-ply modified bitumen system, multi-ply BUR system, or a hybrid system. Installing roofing materials with hot asphalt requires an experienced team of roofers, mainly because of the method used to get these materials on the roof.

Hot asphalt for roofing membranes is pumped to the rooftop and transported to the point of application by our experienced and trained team. The asphalt is then spread and unrolled, reinforcing the membrane, depending on the type of roofing system being installed (click here for our full list of roofing membranes).

2. Cold Adhesive Installation

Cold adhesives are most commonly used in conjunction with modified bitumen or BUR roofing membranes and are typically installed using rollers, sprayers or squeegees. Because of this application process, less equipment is required to complete the roofing installation. Cold adhesive membrane systems fall into two categories:

Solvent-based: Also known as Cutback adhesives, these adhesives provide a low-odour solution for buildings where the odour is a main concern.

Asphalt Extended Polymeric Adhesives: Are also low-odour, but have the advantage of being used directly over occupied spaces with no need for extra ventilation.

As with any roofing installation, the ability to install cold-adhesive asphalt depends on the weather conditions at the time of repair or replacement. If you’re thinking about using a cold-adhesive membrane option for your roof, the time of year must be considered. Winter applications for cold-adhesive membranes are unfortunately very difficult, so if your repair is an emergency in the middle of the winter, cold-adhesive may not be an option.

3. Heat Welded System 

Heat-welded installation for low-asphalt roofing is one of the tried and true installation methods for modified bitumen systems, using open flame with a specialized propane torch or a hot air welding machine. When installed correctly, the application of heat from either of these methods melts the asphalt surface compound that bonds to the layers underneath it, creating a tightly sealed and strong roofing membrane for your structure.

4. Self-Adhesive Membranes

Self-adhesive membranes use special formulas during the manufacturing process that transforms it into a true adhesive. During installation, a liner is removed in order to adhere the layers to one another. For application to be successful, this kind of adhesive generally requires a minimum temperature of  7-10 degrees Celsius. This kind of system is extremely versatile and can be used on a wide range of structures.

Whether you think your roof is in need of repair, or you’re looking for a full roof replacement, the type of membrane you choose is critical for the long-term health of your building. That’s why we take the utmost care when helping you choose the right membrane and installation process for your building. With over60 years of experience, we’ve seen it all. Contact us today for more information on how to get your roof into tip-top shape.