What is Bitumen Roofing: Cost, Pros & Cons

What is Bitumen Roofing

Bitumen roofing is a type of roofing material that has been widely used for centuries. It is made from a mixture of bitumen (a sticky and viscous form of petroleum). Due to its material, it has a durable and waterproof surface that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Bitumen is highly resistant to water, making it an ideal choice for areas with heavy rainfall or snowfall. 

But is it suitable for your roof? What factors should be considered while selecting this type of roof? What is its cost? Let’s take a close look at the in-depth guide on Bitumen roofing!

What is Bitumen Roofing?

what is bitumen roofing

Bitumen roofing, or asphalt roofing, often referred to as bituminous roofing, is a type of Bitumen roof material commonly used for buildings with a low-slope or flat roof. The primary materials used in bituminous roofing include:

  • Bitumen (asphalt or coal tar pitch)
  • Reinforcement felts (fiberglass or polyester)
  • Aggregate (such as gravel, slag, or mineral granules)
  • Insulation layer (various types like polyisocyanurate, expanded polystyrene, or extruded polystyrene)
  • Underlayment (asphalt-saturated felt or a synthetic sheet)
  • Flashing material (new metal roof or bituminous)

This allows the roofing material to adhere well to different surfaces, making it a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings. 

For Which Purpose is Bitumen Roof Used?

Bituminous roofing is used mainly for its durability, cost-effectiveness, and weather-resistant properties. Before bitumen roof tiles, they are checked to see whether completely dry or not. 

In addition, the insulation layer helps with energy efficiency by providing insulation from heat and cold. This can lead to reduced heating and cooling costs for buildings.

Another purpose of bituminous roofing is its ability to be easily modified or repaired. The layers can be added or replaced as needed, making it a practical choice for long-term maintenance.

Why is Bitumen Good for Roofs?

why is Bitumen good for the roof?

Bitumen is a popular choice for roofing because of its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. It has excellent resistance to UV rays, which can cause damage and deterioration in other types of roofing materials. Bitumen is also highly flexible, allowing it to expand and contract with temperature changes without cracking or breaking.

Another reason for bitumen roofing is its ease of installation. The material can be easily rolled out and adhered to the roof, making it quick and efficient. This also means that repairs or roof replacements can be done quickly.

What are the Different Types of Bitumen Roofing?

What are the different types of bitumen roofing?

There are two main types of bituminous roofing which are:

Built-up Roofing (BUR) 

Built-up roofing consists of multiple layers of bitumen, reinforcement felts, and aggregate that are hot-applied or cold-applied to create a waterproof membrane. This type of roofing is typically used on low-sloped or flat-top roofs.

Modified Bitumen Roofing (Mod bit)

Modified bitumen roofing installation, on the other hand, combines asphalt shingles with modifiers such as rubber or plastic to improve its strength and flexibility. It is usually installed in either heat-welded sheets or self-adhered to the roof surface. Modified bitumen roof repaired easily when needed. 

Both types of bituminous roofing have their advantages and can be used in different situations depending on the specific needs of a building. 

How to Install a Bitumen Roof?

How to install a bitumen roof?

Installing a bitumen roof involves several steps and requires proper tools and techniques. Here is how to install a bitumen roof:

 Prepare the Roof Surface

Before installing the bitumen roofing, ensure the roof’s surface is clean, dry, and free from debris or loose materials. This will ensure proper adhesion of the roofing material.

Measure and Cut the Sheets

Measure the dimensions of your roof and cut the bitumen roof sheets accordingly using a utility knife or scissors and wearing protective gear while cutting is essential, as the edges can be sharp.

Apply Primer

Before laying down the bitumen sheets, apply a solvent-based primer to the roof surface. This will help improve adhesion and create a waterproof seal between the roof and the bitumen.

Lay Down the Sheets

Start from one side of the roof and lay the sheets in a staggered pattern, overlapping each sheet by at least 2 inches. Use roofing nails to secure the sheets, leaving enough space for expansion and contraction.

Seal Joints

To ensure a watertight seal, apply a layer of mastic or roofing cement along the joints where the two sheets meet for bitumen roof sealer. After joints, apply bitumen coating on the roofs. 

Install Flashing

Flashing is a crucial component of any roof, including a bitumen roof. Use metal flashing around chimney leaks, vents, and other protrusions on the roof to prevent water from seeping through.

How Long Does Bitumen Last on a Roof?

How long does bitumen last on a roof?

The bitumen roof life expectancy can vary depending on the installation and maintenance quality and climate conditions. However, on average, a bitumen roof can last between 20 and 30 years with proper care and regular inspections. 

Improper installation or neglecting to address issues such as leaks and damage can significantly decrease the lifespan of a bitumen roof. It is essential to regularly inspect commercial roofs and address any issues promptly to ensure their longevity.

Factors to Consider While Selecting a Bitumen Roof

Factors to consider while selecting bitumen roof

When selecting a bitumen roof, there are several factors to consider. This includes:

  • The climate of your location
  •  The slope of your roof
  • quality of installation 
  • Budget
  • Durability
  • Efficient energy used
  • Maintenance
  • Bitumen tape for the roof

What is the Cost of Bitumen Roofing?

What is the cost of bitumen roofing?

The exact bitumen roof cost will depend on factors such as the size of the roof, its slope, and any additional features like skylights or chimneys. On average, bitumen roofing can cost anywhere from $4 to $8 per square foot, including installation costs.

Pros and Cons of Bitumen Roofing

Pros of Bitumen Roofing Cons of Bitumen Roofing
With proper installation and maintenance, bitumen roofing can last up to 30 years. The production of bitumen releases harmful emissions into the environment. However, some manufacturers are now offering eco-friendly alternatives that use recycled materials.
Bitumen is waterproof and can withstand extreme temperatures, making it an excellent option for areas in harsh weather conditions. Without proper protection and maintenance, bitumen roofing can become brittle and crack over time due to exposure to sunlight.
Compared to other roofing materials, bitumen is relatively inexpensive, making it an attractive choice for those on a budget. Bitumen can absorb oils and dirt from the air or nearby structures,  leading to unsightly stains on the roof.
Bitumen can be applied quickly and easily, reducing labor costs and installation time. To ensure its longevity, bitumen roofing should be inspected and maintained regularly. This can add additional costs for homeowners.


Bitumen roofing isn’t just about a material; it’s about embracing a reliable, efficient, and enduring roofing solution that is a testament to quality and practicality. Join us for your roofing option into your consideration and embark on a journey toward a secure, resilient, and enduring roofing solution with DKG Roofing.

Ready to elevate your roofing experience? Contact us at (940) 497-2833 today to unleash the potential of bitumen roofing for your property. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, let’s unravel the possibilities and transform your roofing into a statement of enduring quality and reliability.

About DKG Roofing

With over two decades of serving homeowners in North Texas and Denton Roofing, DKG Roofing has established itself as a highly sought-after roof repair and replacement contractor.

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