Asphalt is a waterproofing agent and adhesive used in built-up roof systems used in new construction successfully for decades, with approximately a 40% percent market share in the roofing industry.
The asphalt that is used in built-up systems provides an excellent water barrier, but asphalt is also highly subject to degradation from exposure to the sun, hardening progressively when exposed to roof temperatures. This deterioration occurs with all asphalt-based components, including cap sheets, saturated felts, and asphalt moppings.
Normal changes in temperature cause the underlying asphalt to expand. Since the asphalt skin can't stretch to accommodate for the movement, random cracking begins to relieve the stress and fresh asphalt is exposed. Over time, that fresh asphalt within the cracks forms a new skin which then eventually cracks in the same line again due to temperature changes, leaving a slightly deeper depression. This process repeats itself over-and-over until the crack lines grow deep and into the felts, ultimately allowing water to infiltrate the building, causing leaks.
The best thing you can do for your built-up roof is to protect the asphalt waterproofing component from the effects of exposure to heat and sunlight, such as a white elastomeric cool roof restoration coating like the ones manufactured by Conklin Company.
Please watch this short video to learn more about built-up roof restoration coating systems:
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