Professional Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Installations

Built-Up Roof Systems are common for businesses and homes in the Greater St. Louis area because they provide excellent weatherproofing and fire resistance, thanks to the aggregate top layer.

The multiple layers characteristic of built-up roofing systems (BUR roofing) allow for heightened waterproofing capabilities and can even increase the R-value – or thermal resistance – of the roofing system. For building owners looking to achieve Energy Star or LEED v4 certification, this is good news. And it can mean lower utility bills throughout the life of your BUR roofing.

Built-up roofing systems—sometimes referred to as tar and gravel roofing—are different from other low-slope and flat roofing membranes, as it usually applied in three- and four-ply thicknesses, rather than the single-ply membranes common to other types of low slope roofing systems.

Maximize Insulation and Minimize Leaks with BUR Systems

Here’s what you need to know before beginning a BUR installation or repair on your commercial roof:


Built-up roofing systems are installed through a build-up of layers and are best suited for low-slope roofs.

Your roofing contractor will have alternating layers of bitumen and roofing felt – in the form of some or all of the following materials:

  • Hot asphalt
  • Coal tar
  • Cold-applied adhesive
  • Fiberglass
  • Ply sheets
  • Polymer

These reinforcing fabrics make up the base sheets and cap sheets of your roof, which then make up a durable and long-lasting roof membrane.  With the exception of cold-applied built-up roofing systems, tar and gravel installation happens when the bitumen is hot, and then the system is allowed to cool and harden.

Surfacings are added last and can be either gravel, minerals, elastomeric coating, or a ”cool roofing” top sheet. The surfacings add a layer of UV and thermal resistance, as well as increase the weatherproofing capabilities of the built-up roofing system as a whole. Sometimes your roofing contractor will install underlayment before laying down any BUR roofing layers.

Built-up roofs are, however, considered to fully adhere when installed directly to the roofing deck, so underlayment isn’t always needed depending on the situation. A licensed roofing contractor will be able to point you toward the right tar and gravel installation for the roofing needs of your particular facility.

Layered protection

Built-up roofing systems provide protection to your commercial building through layers of weather-resistant, waterproof layers. If during a bad storm, your top layer should sprout a crack or be subject to physical damage, the layers below will stop water from permeating the roofing system.

Because of this long-lasting, built up protection, tar, and gravel roofing is an excellent low-maintenance option for facilities with rooftop gardens or roof decks.

The durability of BUR roofing systems is one of their main draws, but certainly not the only one. And with proper installation performed by a licensed roofing contractor, the roofing materials will last for years to come.

Energy efficiency

Especially when combined with a ”cool roofing” top sheet or an elastomeric coating, built-up roofing systems provide much regarding thermal resistance and UV protection. And because sustainability is important to many facility owners, BUR roofing is a perfect choice.

The coveted LEED v4 certification, for instance, is focused more than ever on the use of sustainable and energy-efficient materials than previous iterations. As such, the energy efficiency savings provided by the high thermal resistance of built-up roofing systems can contribute credits toward meeting LEED v4 certifications.

Trusted St. Louis Commercial Roofers

Before commencing your facility’s roof repair or installation, be sure to schedule a consultation with St. Louis’ commercial roofing experts—Wildwood Roofing & Construction.

Wildwood Roofing & Construction has been completing commercial roof repair and commercial roofing systems for years, and we are proud of each of our roof restoration projects. We know that every St. Louis roof repair project is different, which is why we provide our clients with a free quote. Our licensed installer will provide you with an honest and accurate quote for your residential roof repair.

We’re passionate about roofing. We live for the feeling of seeing a job well done. This means using knowing the proper roofing techniques better than anyone else. It means being up-to-date on fire safety codes, St. Louis City and County building codes, and what international standards are being recommended by the National Roofing Contractors Association. Our goal is to deliver roofing solutions that meet a facility’s needs perfectly. And we do it seamlessly.

We hold ourselves to a higher standard. When we give you an estimate, we stick to it. When we give you a timeline, we’re serious about keeping it. Every time. There’s a reason why our past clients recommend us to their contacts and colleagues. We aim to be proud of every roofing project we complete—and we haven’t failed that goal yet.

We know what we’re doing, so you know you’ll be getting the highest quality roofing job available in St. Louis. Plus, we will quote you a fair price and stick to it. We’re trusted around St. Louis as the commercial roofing experts because we work quickly, getting your facility back to working condition in no time. And, because we hold ourselves to a higher standard, we’ve never completed a roofing project we weren’t proud of.

Drop us a line to tell us your project goals. We’ll tell you how we can exceed them.