Torchdown roofing is like rubberized asphalt that comes in large rolls. Each one is rolled out across the roof and a torch is used to melt it directly onto the existing sheathing. The torchdown also melts each piece together totally eliminating any and all seams. This helps it form a water tight barrier that will eliminate leaks from the small amounts of water that tend to gather on flat roofs. Made of modified bitumen combined with high quality resins, they are also resistant to the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Torchdown roofing has an estimated life span of about 20 years, and is virtually maintenance free over that time. The combination of materials used makes it very strong, tear resistant and will avoid any other abrasive damage. Unlike the old style tar and gravel roof, the torchdown process is pretty much odor free.
Tar and gravel roofing has been around for many years, and with good success. It is a process by which a combination of asphalt and tar are spread, covering the entire surface, then a gravel mixture is placed over top. This gives it a water resistant surface and a life span of around 15 years. The one big drawback with this type is the fact that the fumes can be overwhelming. Some people have actually had to move out of their house while the new roof was being installed.
Although the tar and gravel rough tends to be about a thousand dollars cheaper for an average sized job, by choosing the torchdown variety you’ll be getting a much better overall finished product, and you won’t have to deal with those obnoxious fumes. Be sure to choose you roofing contractor wisely, as there have been reports in the past of fires being started by some inexperienced roofers laying the torchdown style.