Built-Up vs Spray Foam Roofing: The Pros and Cons of Both

Apr 19, 2021


Welcome to Bio-One Atlanta, your trusted experts in business and consumer services - cleaning. If you're in need of a roofing system, you've come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the pros and cons of two popular roofing options: built-up roofing and spray foam roofing. By the end, you'll have the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision tailored to your specific roofing needs.

What is Built-Up Roofing?

Built-up roofing, commonly known as BUR, has been a popular choice for commercial and industrial buildings for decades. It is a traditional roofing system that consists of multiple layers of bitumen and reinforcing fabrics, typically alternating between the two. The layers are then topped with a protective surface, such as gravel or mineral granules. The result is a durable and weather-resistant roofing system.

Pros of Built-Up Roofing

  • Durability: Built-up roofing systems are known for their longevity and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.
  • Cost-Efficiency: BUR systems offer a cost-effective solution in terms of installation and maintenance, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals.
  • Fire Resistance: The multiple layers of bitumen in BUR provide excellent fire resistance, ensuring the safety of the building and its occupants.

Cons of Built-Up Roofing

  • Weight: Due to the multiple layers, BUR systems can be quite heavy. This may require additional structural support during installation.
  • Installation Complexity: The installation process for built-up roofing can be more complicated and time-consuming compared to other roofing options.
  • Maintenance: While BUR systems are durable, regular maintenance is necessary to ensure their longevity.

What is Spray Foam Roofing?

Spray foam roofing is a modern roofing system that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves applying a layer of liquid foam insulation directly onto the roof's surface. The foam expands and solidifies, creating a seamless and waterproof barrier. The roofing system is then coated with a protective layer for added durability.

Pros of Spray Foam Roofing

  • Seamless Protection: Spray foam roofing forms a continuous, seamless layer that prevents water infiltration, leaks, and air leakage.
  • Insulation Properties: The foam insulation in spray foam roofing provides excellent thermal insulation, reducing energy costs and increasing comfort.
  • Longevity: When properly installed and maintained, spray foam roofing can last for decades, making it a long-term investment.

Cons of Spray Foam Roofing

  • Initial Cost: The initial installation cost of spray foam roofing may be higher compared to other roofing systems.
  • UV Resistance: Without a protective coating, spray foam roofing may be susceptible to UV damage. Regular maintenance and coating are necessary to enhance its durability.
  • Specialized Installation: Spray foam roofing requires specialized equipment and expertise for proper installation, which may limit the availability of contractors.


Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of both built-up and spray foam roofing, you can make an informed decision based on your specific needs. Whether you prioritize durability and fire resistance or value seamless protection and energy efficiency, Bio-One Atlanta is here to assist you with your roofing requirements. Contact us today for expert advice and professional installation services.