Apartment Management Magazine Roofing 101 Series: Hot Mop vs. Torch On

What’s Right for Your Roof

Written by Steve Pinkus, owner of Royal Roofing Company

For your flat or low-slope roof, there are more retrofit options than ever. Choosing what’s right for you can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared.

Picking a roof might seem harder than picking out a single ice cream topping from a store with limitless options. Unlike dessert, your roof can cost thousands of dollars and you will have to hang on to it for 5, 10 or even 15 years or more.

Two of the most popular flat roofing options are the “hot mop” and “torch” systems. But which one to choose if two entrepreneurs cite two different options? Each has unique benefits, but if you’re not informed, you could choose the wrong roofing system and end up with a lemon of a roof – or worse.

What is a Hot Mop roof?

Hot mopping is one of the oldest and most trusted ways to repair or replace your flat roof. The two-part name comes from 400 degrees Fahrenheit, a “hot” liquid asphalt tar that is applied to the roof using a large “mop”.

Although the details have changed over the years, the fundamentals remain the same: repeated layers of fiberglass felt and hot tar are applied to create an impenetrable shield for your roof. Over time, other nicknames for hot mop roofs have emerged, including a “constructed” roof, named after the many layers of felt and tar that are built up as part of the process. And just like making lasagna, the more layers, the stronger. Redundancy enhances its protection, making it the most durable roofing system and why 70% of all roofing systems installed today are hot mops.

The many benefits of hot mop roofing are why it has long been the most popular flat roofing system. These include, among others:

  • Durability and weather resistance
  • Low maintenance
  • Long warranties available
  • Affordability

With that, there are also important considerations for a hot mop roof. Application requires trained roofers who can not only apply it correctly, but can also protect themselves and your building from the hazards of hot tar. Hot tar also has an iconic smell that may bother some people, so accommodations for building owners and tenants may be needed. With that in mind, hot mop roofing continues to be #1 for many reasons.

What is Torch On Roofing?

Torch roofing, also called torch roofing, is another low-slope roofing system that is considered an alternative to hot mop roofing. Rather than combining the “ingredients” of felt and tar during the installation of your roof, the layers for a roof flare are factory-made and delivered in rolled sheets of material.

If you were wondering, “Well, how does the roll stick to the roof?” you are about to learn. An open flame propane torch is used to melt the tar in the rollers. Immediately afterwards, it is rolled out onto the roof and its seams melt together to create a tight seal.

Keep in mind that this is not a handheld torch like the one you may have used to toast marshmallows or seen used to make creme brulee. These are high powered flames that operate on an industrial level, and with high power comes great responsibility for safety.

When used appropriately on a non-combustible deck such as concrete or metal, the roofing torch can be an excellent roofing solution. The rubbery additives make it highly puncture resistant, it’s an excellent insulator and the cap sheet – or top layer – protects against harmful UV rays similar to traditional hot mop roofs. If you only have a small area to repair or it’s in an area that’s hard to reach with a hot tar kettle, a torch on the system might be a solution that doesn’t require too much labor. works and remains waterproof for years, but probably not decades.

Aside from the higher cost, when should you not opt ​​for a blowtorch roof job? With the risk of flash fires being so high, there are several ways to avoid a roof fire, and you need an experienced and trusted roofing contractor to advise you appropriately. Your roof can catch fire during the process, but perhaps even scarier than that, the flame can penetrate your roof and cause the attic to smolder and build for hours before igniting. This can effectively create a ticking time bomb that ignites after the contractor leaves for the day.

Although fire roofs are banned for use with combustible wood structures in New York and 36 other states, some unethical roofers – if you can even call them that – still get countless customers to use them. in bad situations to earn extra money.

Whichever roofing system you choose, it’s only as good as the roofer who installs it. Contact Royal Roofing Company for a free consultation, whether you are just starting out or already have other offers in hand.

About the Author

Roofing 101 is a pioneering educational resource that aims to empower property owners and managers to make informed choices for their roofing needs. For residential and commercial buildings, Roofing 101 levels the playing field by revealing the closely guarded information that most contractors choose not to share with their clients. By sharing decades of experience through this platform, the Roofing 101 team drives better service, happier customers and cost savings in the roofing industry.

Roofing 101 is supplied by Royal Roofing Company and run by owner and industry veteran Steve Pinkus. Whether you are just starting out or already have quotes in hand, you should include Royal Roofing Company in every roofing project. Royal Roofing Company has been in continuous business for nearly 40 years in Southern California under the same license. That’s because they hire only the “best of the best” roofers and use the best quality materials. They maintain the highest level of business integrity as evidenced by their 38 year CSLB license which stands without a single violation, citation or disciplinary action.

For more resources or to schedule your free estimate, visit https://royalroofing.com/roofing-101/, call their office at 562-928-1200 or contact Steve directly at 213-305-0277 and [email protected]. Mention “Roofing 101” to your Royal Roofing Company specialist to benefit from an exclusive 10% discount on your roof up to -$1,000.

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