Built-up Roofing

A cost-effective way to protect your building’s roof with 100 years of tried and tested success.

What is Built-up Roofing?

Built-up roofing, or BUR roofing, is a type of flat roofing system that has a long history in Canada, dating back over 100 years. BUR systems consist of alternating layers of bitumen and reinforcing materials that combine to create a water resistant membrane.

What is a BUR Roof Made Of?

A built-up roof is often referred to as a “tar and gravel” roof, because the system’s finished surface consists of bitumen with gravel or other coarse materials embedded. Most built-up roofing systems consist of three or four layers, a base sheet, a fibre sheet, and one to two layers of bitumen.

Commercial Roofing Applications

Built-up roofs are ideal for large flat roof buildings, such as distribution and logistics centres, warehouses, supermarkets, and workshops.

Advantages of BUR Roofing

  • Durability: With multiple layers of roofing materials, built-up roofs can withstand a lot of wear and tear. They are resistant to fire, wind, and hail damage
  • Long-lasting: With proper maintenance, a built-up roof can last for 20 years or more
  • Easy to maintain: Built-up roofs are easy to keep in good condition and are resistant to punctures
  • Attractive: Built-up roofs will give your building a clean, polished look, without the long seam lines of other roofing materials

Disadvantages of BUR Roofing?

  • Alligatoring can be common in BUR roofs. Alligatoring is a series of small cracks that develop in the roof’s surface as the result of shrinkage of asphalt material. Left unrepaired, alligatoring will grow into splits in the membrane.
  • Blistering happens when soft bubbles form in the roof’s membrane, due to moisture trapped underneath. To correct blisters, professionals need to identify and eliminate the source of water. Then they can remove and patch any blistered areas.
  • Ridges can result from two main causes, thermal expansion of roofing material and separation of underlying insulation from the roof deck.

Other Roofing Materials

The different materials used for flat roofs in Mississauga come in a wide range of options, depending on your needs and budget. Some examples include:

Single-Layer Membrane Flat Roof

Single-ply roofs use wide width sheeting designed for low slope roofs. They have far fewer seams than asphaltic rolled roof systems and don’t require dangerous torches or hot asphalt for installation.

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen is a type of roofing that is similar to the BUR system. It is made of asphalt combined with rubber or plastic, then reinforced with fibreglass to create a waterproof membrane.

Comparing Flat Roofing Materials

The following list includes some popular types of roofs with their respective pros and cons so you can consider what best suits your needs.

Built-Up Roof


  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Looks appealing
  • Cost-effective


  • Very heavy
  • Susceptible to alligatoring
  • Requires heat welding
  • Gravel can clog gutters

Modified Bitumen Roof


  • Simple repairs
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable


  • Not tear-resistant
  • Less attractive
  • Requires heat welding

Single-Ply Roof


  • Lightweight
  • Eco-friendly
  • No heat welding seams


  • Membrane can be punctured
  • Seams are vulnerable to leaks

There is no one perfect option when it comes to selecting the best flat roof material. Factors like climate change protection, cost per square foot installed, and availability are all important considerations that should be made during this process.

Expert Commercial Roofers in Mississauga

No job is too big for our roofing team. If you’re looking for a new built-up roof installation, get a fast and simple online quote to estimate the work required. All of our installations come with a manufacturer warranty and our own guarantee, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your money is well-spent.

Trusted for Over 70 Years

If you want your flat roofing installed correctly the first time, choose a roofing company with a reputation you can trust.

No Subcontracting

As a Master Elite roofing contractor, our team of flat roofers are factory-trained and certified by GAF. You can depend on us for expert installation and a warranty you can rely on.

Quality Materials

We only use materials from the leading manufacturers in the industry, so you can rest assured that your roof will be of the highest quality.

Our Lifetime Roofing Warranty

At George Kent, we are proud to offer industry-leading lifetime warranties on materials and labour for our roofing installations — and our installations are not prorated. Additionally, your warranty is transferable to future homeowners and backed by the manufacturer (GAF).

Our warranties set us apart in an industry where typical roofing warranties are closer to five years or less. If you’re unhappy with your roof at any point after it has been installed, get in touch and we will be happy to resolve the problem.

What Our Customers Are Saying

Very professional. Every DETAIL tended to. Quality work
Jan Burleigh
Jan Burleigh
Super busy Saturday night but they made room for us at the bar... After being turned away from 5 other restaurants.. pizzas were very tasty and beer good.
Rich T
Rich T
We recently hired George Kent through Lowe's to remove our old insulation install new insulation in our attic and we are very pleased with the results. The crew was very respectful and professional; they were timely, cleaned-up after themselves and were very diligent. Our attic was in particular rough shape having had a pest issue in the past. The crew made sure EVERYTHING was removed prior to the new insulation being added. The crew really went above and beyond to explain everything that they were doing, to invite us to have a look for ourselves and they even added a few extras as an added-value. Refreshing to see that professionalism still exists these days
irene noemy
irene noemy
Great service! First impressions from Rasool were great, he was really knowledgeable about the roofs and insulation. He showed me every piece that went into my roof and answered all my questions with patience. The wait time they gave me was accurate and they have the best quality roofing. My roof looks great, I recommend them.
Ivy Blackeyes
Ivy Blackeyes
John N was extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. Saved us thousands of dollars by recommending easy, cost efficient solutions. Very impressed with the level of service we received from John. Would absolutely recommend. Thanks!
Made excellent installation of window was the reason I had them re-shingle my roof about 7 years ago. Were quick to respond when neighbour thought she saw a shingle was damaged on my roof about two years ago. Mistake! Everything was fine.
Jim Johnston
Jim Johnston

Our Roofing Flat Roofing Expertise

Flat Roofing Repairs

Have a leak or need a flat roof inspection? Get your roofing system repaired and avoid damage. We have repaired countless leaks and performed hundreds of inspections, so we know how to quickly identify the source of the problem and get it fixed fast.

Flat Roof Coating and Restoration

Coatings and restoration can help to repair minor damage and leaks, as well as protect your roof from future wear and tear. It is important to have a professional inspect your roof regularly to ensure that it is in good condition and identify any potential problems before they become major issues.

Residential Roof Installation

Our roofing installers adhere to all safety regulations and undergo rigorous, ongoing training. When we finish working on your roof, we’ll clean up thoroughly and leave the work site spotless.

Residential Roof Replacement

We provide expert advice on all things related to roofs, from what material is best for your climate and budget, to how to replace an old roof without damaging your home. Plus, we offer competitive prices on all our services so you can get the most for your money.


What is the cheapest commercial flat roof?

Modified bitumen is the cheapest commercial flat roofing system. While the lifespan of modified bitumen is shorter than other roofing systems, with regular maintenance you can maximize your investment.

What is the lifespan of a flat roof?

The materials used in a flat roof’s construction largely determines its lifespan. For example, a multi-layer built-up roof made of waterproofing, tar, and gravel can last 15-20 years.

Do flat roofs require additional maintenance?

Flat roofs generally require more maintenance than sloped roofs, due to the accumulation of leaves and debris collecting on them.

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