Built-Up (BUR) Roofing for Commercial Buildings

With over a century of history in low-slope and flat roofs, Built-Up systems are still popular all over North America. Their repetitive, layered design provides excellent weather resilience and durability. Properly installed and well-maintained BUR roofs can last up to 30 years.

What is a Built-Up Roof System?

BUR commercial roof systems consist of multiple layers of roofing felts and roofing asphalt (bitumen) or coal tar pitch that provide redundancy of durable protection. These installations can be fabricated in a variety of ways. Typically, a base sheet is positioned over a suitable insulation board and serves as a foundation for additional plys to be mopped. Then, this layered roof system is covered with gravel, a mineral sheet cap or a coating.

Build Up Roof installed by Centimark
Gravel roof installed by CentiMark
BUR installation
BUR roof with gravel

Built-up roof systems are typically installed in a 3-ply system. However, 2 or 4-ply systems might be recommended based on the facility operations, location and environmental conditions. Our experienced project management team will help you determine what type of BUR installation is the best for your facility. We specialize in ballasted, hot and cold BUR systems.

Built-Up Roof (BUR) vs Mod-Bit

BUR and Mod-Bit systems are similar in many ways. However, the gravel layer of BUR is what makes a big difference. Let's see what the gravel can do for your commercial building.

Softened impact and increased traction

BUR gravel layer will distribute the impact of foot traffic or large debris more evenly, softening the hit. It will also provide additional traction for anyone walking on your rooftop and slow down rolling debris from storms.

Appealing look of your roof

Rooftops often serve multiple functions in urban areas, including high-rise urban gardens, patios, pools and common areas. When the appearance of your roof is a part of an experience, the gravel texture of BUR will definitely add to the ambiance.

Advanced fire resistance

Wildfires and flying embers, electrical issues and lightning storms, many elements may start a roof fire. Gravel has excellent fire resistance ratings and may stop the spread.

Although gravel can be of great benefit, this added feature causes BUR roofs to be significantly heavier than Mod-Bit, which may pose challenges to some buildings. Gravel also tends to accumulate dirt and debris. As a result, it may be difficult to identify the point of water entry in BUR roofs that may be leaking. Loose rocks and trapped debris may also obstruct drains and gutters, which is why properly maintaining your BUR roof is paramount.

Benefits of BUR Roofing

Outstanding performance

Outstanding performance

Properly installed and maintained BUR roofs can last up to 30 years. Systems are highly durable, water resistant, resilient to impact and require minimal maintenance.


BUR roofs prevent water intrusion through multiple redundant layers. If something happens to one layer, there are "backups".
Fire resistance

Fire resistance

The gravel layer of BUR roofs is an ideal fire-proofing solution. It protects the rest of the system and prevents fires from spreading.


If you expect foot traffic on your commercial roof, BUR will provide a safer walking surface, particularly in wet or icy conditions. For additional safety measures, look into walk pads and other roof safety accessories. 
Customization and appearance

Customization and appearance

BUR systems are often chosen for architectural applications where a roof makes a statement. The gravel layer provides an appealing look.

Built-Up Roofing Installation

Our experienced project management team will help you determine what type of BUR installation is the best for your facility. We specialize in ballasted, hot and cold BUR systems.

Built-Up Roof Cost

Looking for BUR roof replacement costs? Prices of installations drastically depend on your project's size, your building's function, season/year and installation methods. Bids for built-up roofs should include tear-off, material, labor and any ongoing maintenance plans necessary to maximize the performance of your new roof.  

Why Choose CentiMark as Your Commercial Roofing Specialist?

With over 55 years in commercial roofing, we've installed, repaired and serviced all types of roofs. Our goal is to educate our customers on all roofing options and solutions available to them and help them choose the most optimized roof system or service for their exact application and needs. We are a family owned company that grew into the largest commercial roofing contractor in North America by developing lasting partnerships with businesses based on trust and delivering on our promises. Our priority is protecting the continuity of your business operations. Our materials and labour are also covered by our Single Source Warranty, which ensures you have one point of contact for your comprehensive roofing solutions, saving time and money while removing the uncertainty that can come with service providers. 

Interested in BUR Roofing for Your Commercial building? Contact Us for Your Free Quote!

Our team of dedicated roofing professionals is just a message away! Let's evaluate your current roof condition, your needs and building functions and discover the most optimal commercial roofing solution for your needs.

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