When you install a BUR roof, you will save money on the install, but you can also save yourself money by taking the maintenance of your roof on yourself. Asphalt roofs are one of the least expensive roofs on the market. They are also one of the easiest to repair. As long as you have basic skills with basic tools, you can do your own repairs to a BUR roof.
What Is a BUR Roof?
To create a built-up roof, or BUR, installers use alternating layers of tarpaper and asphalt tar. By alternating the seams in each layer of tarpaper, you improve the water resistance of the finished product. Leaks will typically develop at the seams, so if a leak does develop, it will not be able to leak through the middle of the next layer. Installers will typically use between three and five layers of tarpaper, but either way leaks can develop.
What Leaks Look Like
Leaks can form in a BUR roof in two ways. Either a seam can start to leak, or the tarpaper itself can crack. If your seams are leaking, the water that leaks through the seam will typically pool up on the layer of tarpaper under the seam. Thus, leaking seams will manifest as blisters. Cracks form when the sun bakes the volatiles out of the tar, leaving it brittle. At this point, nothing more than the constant cycle of heating and cooling can create cracks, which allow water to leak right through your roof.
How to Make Repairs
Although the beginning of repairing a blister is different, from then on the process of making a repair is the same. To start the repair for a blister, you have to cut out the layer of roofing on top of the blister. From there on follow these steps whether you are repairing a blister or a crack:
1. Cut two strips of tarpaper. One should be an inch wider on all sides than the damage to the roof, and the second should be an inch wider on all sides than the first.
2. Paint down a thick layer of tar to cover all the damage on the roof.
3. Lay the smaller of the two patches into the tar and make sure it extends beyond the damage on all sides.
4. Paint tar into the patch until it soaks up all the tar.
5. Place the second patch on top of the first so that it covers the first on all sides.
6. Paint down another layer of tar.
7. Cover the patch with a layer of gravel.
The steps above should illustrate how easy it is to make a repair to a BUR roof. However, if you don't feel like you can handle the repair on your own, you should be able to hire someone to make the repair for you.
Talk to a roofer about using spray foam roofing by cozifoam.