Torch on Felt Surrey
Torch on Felt roofing is a flat roofing application that is extremely effective at waterproofing and is very durable.
The roofing comes in rolls which are heated with a torch to activate the adhesive as it is unrolled. Torch down roofing requires a base material such as felt or water shield as the material protects the roof surface as the torch down material is applied. This also acts as a secondary precaution from leaking.
This roofing system is fairly simple to apply, but this roofing system should last several decades.
New bitumen felt roofs can unfortunately still carry a bad reputation from the older and now unused pour and roll systems of the recent past, but large strides have been made, and continue to be made in flexibility and durability of a modern hot flame applied torch on roofing felts.
Typically applied in a 3 layer system consisting of a vapour control layer, a layer 2mm reinforced felt and a 4mm layer of felt called a cap sheet which can be a plain black bitumen finish for a solar reflective paint finish, or a mineral fleck finish in a variety of colours, typically green, brown and a purple / blue.
Torch on felt – 3 layers of felt are melt welded together with a large blowlamp or torch from where it derives the name torch on. Roofing contractors need to carry the correct insurance to work with hot flame.
Lifespan – Most guarantees are 10 Years, some are 20 years. I think a well installed Torch-on felt roof could well last up to 30 years if looked after and treated well.
Damage resistance – Foot traffic in hot weather may scuff the surface of a mineral finish; this can lead to U.V. damage by sunlight. Window cleaners also put step ladders and ladders on them in hot weather which could damage the surface.
Repair – Easily repaired but patches on top can look messy, the plain cap sheet with solar reflective paint is the most repairable and popular in unseen and industrial settings for this reason.
Appearance – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think a mineral finish is pretty to look at.
Installation issues or concerns – Make sure that any contractor has full insurance to work with hot flame, never attempt a DIY installation.
Flexibility – Modern roofing felt has good expansion and contraction properties.
Vapour transmission – Roofs are often called on to breathe. Thanks to the vapour layer a felt roof will do this. I would however personally never rely on a roof covering alone, especially if you have condensation issues. This should be dealt with in house or during roof construction.