What Is A Torchdown Roofing System, Is It Best For My Home In Seattle?


Torchdown Roofing What Is A Torchdown Roofing System

There are many choices and material types you can use on your flat roofing system in Seattle. Single ply membranes such as PVC, EPDM, TPO or torchdown are the most common low slope roofing materials. Depending on your roofing systems design one of these membranes might be a better choice than the other. In this consumer education article I would like to shed some light on torchdown roofing systems. Chase NW has been installing torchdown as a Seattle roofing contractor for over a decade.

Torchdown is a reberoid (rubberized) membrane that is modified with an APP weatherized asphalt for water proofing. The material is strong, very durable and has a non-woven polyester mat. Torchdown is light weight at less than 2 pounds per square foot. Torchdown membrane comes in smooth and granulated sheets. The granulated cap sheets come in many colors, some of which are energy star rated and qualify for the Federal tax credit. Torchdown can be used to re-roof (tear off the existing roof and install a new system) or recover (install a ply of torchdown over an existing roof).  Applying the second ply of granulated cap sheet can give you a more aesthetic finish to your roof. The cool colors also reflect the suns solar rays keeping your structure cooler and saving you money on costly energy bills.

As torchdown is a rubberized material it allows for excellent expansion and contraction in the extreme heat and cold a roof can endure. It also adheres very well to metal roof flashings and as they expand and contract the torchdown is in melody with the movement. This flexibility keeps it from cracking and makes it a very effective low slope or flat roofing material.

Low slope or flat roofs

Torchdown is considered a low slope or flat roofing system application. Low slope roofs are qualified by having a roof pitch of less than 4:12 or 4” of rise per foot. It is not recommended by the NRCA or roofing manufacturers to install asphalt shingles on roofs with a pitch less than 4:12. Torchdown is most commonly seen on commercial roofs, but is also very popular and appropriate for low slope residential applications.

The typical standard material warranty for a torchdown roofing system is 10 years and up to 20 years with upgraded system specifications. “No dollar limit” warranties are available on torchdown roofing systems through certified roofing contractors. No dollar limit warranties must be installed to exact upgraded commercial specifications and inspected by the manufacturer with a passing grade. The manufacturer then guarantees not only the material but also the workmanship of the contractor for an X amount of time with a 100% guarantee.

90% complete on a 160 square torchdown re-roof with silvercoat near Seattle, Washington.

Torchdown is applied by an open flame. It comes in rolls of 1 roofing square and can easy be rolled out across the roof. The entire width of the membrane is to be heated adhering the whole roll to the sub deck or existing roof in the case of a recover. An error often made is for a contractor to only heat the seams of the modified Bitumen leaving the remainder of the membrane laying loose on the roof deck. This compromises  the integrity of the waterproofing ability as the seams over time are the first aspect of the membrane that will fail due to weatherization.

Due to its application it should be installed by an experienced roofer. Insurance is required to install torchdown which ensures the safety of both the home owner and contractor. Before you consider utilizing torchdown please contact a local Seattle roofing contractor and get a professional  consultation to make sure its best for your roof system.  We recommend following the National Roofing Contractor’s Association  (NRCA)  regulations for applying torchdown.

We have been providing quality re-roofs in the North West for over a decade. If you are interested in a fee inspection or estimate please call us at 253-445-8950 or fill out our free estimate form.

Contact us and we will get back to you quickly with an effective and affordable solution for your roofing needs.

Chase NW Roofing is factory trained and certified with GAF, IKO, Versico and Custom-Bilt Metals to install almost every roofing application. We specialize in composition shingles, torchdown, single ply, metal roofing, wood shakes, slate and concrete tile.

Don’t take our word for it! Please see what our past customers have said about us on Google Places!

4 Replies to “What Is A Torchdown Roofing System, Is It Best For My Home In Seattle?”

  1. This post shows a very good idea for all homeowners and builders. I thought this was something that would effect harm to the environment but based on what you have posted it seems very good and will surely build a sturdy house.

  2. I personally do all of my work in the North Texas areas. When I have a low-slope project I always recomend the torch down method primarily do to the extreme weather changes that we get. It gets to be extremely hot during the summer and gets as cold as any where else during the winter months. The rubber made material IS great for the contraction and expansion reasons for my area.

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