What is bitumen and why do we use it in roofing?

Bitumen has been utilised for its adhesive and waterproofing qualities for over 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest known engineering material still used today. It is particularly popular in the roofing industry, as it can create a watertight structure which is proven to stand the test of time. As such, this article will explain what bitumen is and why it has remained such a popular roofing component for so many years.

What is bitumen?

Typically a term used interchangeably with asphalt, bitumen is a sticky, viscous and waterproof substance which is commonly used for paving and roofing. The versatility of bitumen has made it one of the most highly demanded construction materials in the world, as more than 100 billion tonnes is used every year across the globe.

Why is it used in roofing?

Looking back into the history of bitumen, there are examples of its waterproofing capabilities being used to bond walls of water tanks together as early as 3000BC. Since then, bitumen has remained one of the leading roofing components still used today, with 10% of global bitumen production going to roofing where its waterproofing is invaluable.

Over the years, developments in technology and materials have paved the way for innovative roofing systems. As such, modified bitumen is one of the most common materials used for membrane roofs which are typically found on most commercial buildings, as well as an increasing number of residential properties, too.

As a key component of asphalt, bitumen boasts a plethora of benefits which has made it so popular for roofing:

  • Versatility
  • Waterproofing
  • Multi-functional
  • Easy to maintain
  • Durable
  • Cost-effective

Another major attribute is that asphalt can be 100% recycled without compromising on functionality which, in these climate conscious times, has made it the most recycled construction material in the world.

What types of roofing can bitumen be used for?

As mentioned, the exceptional waterproofing qualities of bitumen makes it perfectly suited for a range of roofing materials, such as:

The flexibility of these materials means they can be applied to a range of surfaces on both domestic and commercial buildings, providing you with years of reliable use and protection.

Morgan Asphalte
With over 45 years of industry experience, here at Morgan Asphalte we specialise in providing a wide range of roofing types and services across the London area. As our name suggests, we offer an asphalt roofing service which is second-to-none, using state-of-the-art equipment and the safest practices to ensure all installation and repair work is completed to the highest standard.

For further information about any of our roofing services, or to request a free no obligation quote, simply contact our expert team today on 0800 998 1378.

Posted on 04 April 2016 in Roofing.

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