Torch Down Roofing Cost & Types
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Torch down roofing is a type of roofing material that has been designed for low-angle or flat roofs. While it can last up to 20 years, installing torch down roofing can be a dangerous process and as such, tends to cost more than traditional roofing materials. Nevertheless, there is an array of benefits and costs all homeowners must know as they consider installing a torch down roof.
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Table of Contents
- Torch Down Roofing Prices
- What Is Torch Down Roofing
- The Different Types of Torch Down Roofing
- Advantages of Three-Layer Torch Down Roofing
- Disadvantages of Three- Torch Down Costs Compared to Other Roofing Materials
- Torch Down Costs Compared to Other Roofing Materials
- How to Lower Torch Roofing Prices
- Torch Down Roofing Tools
- Torch Down Roofing Installation
- Roofing Maintenance
- Find A Pro
Torch Down Roofing Prices
- Minimum Average Cost for 1,200 Square Feet: $365
- Maximum Average Cost for 1,200 Square Feet: $1,075
Torch down roofing systems tend to be more expensive than other roofing materials; however, their resistance to harsh weather conditions and long lifespan make them well worth the additional cost over time. There are some low-cost alternatives available that provide the same look as torch down roofing, but these substitutions have been known to shorten the lifespan of the roof itself, which can be more expensive in the long run.
The average price range for bargain-grade or discounted torch down roofing is $365 up to $460 for 1,200 square feet. Superior-grade materials for an area of the same size can cost anywhere from $850 up to $1,075. Higher-priced torch down roofing supplies may include additional features such as thicker materials, high-quality underlayment, better damage resistance, a longer lifespan and extended warranty terms.
What is Torch Down Roofing?
The product gets its name from the method of application used to install and adhere it to your home. The part of the material that makes contact with the sheathing underneath is melted with a torch to seal the material. This helps provide a secure hold and creates a waterproof seal that can prevent unwanted leaks (very important for any roof).
If it is installed correctly by a roofing pro, torch down roofing can last a very long time.
The Different Types of Torch Down Roofing
Torch roofing is available in two-layer and three-layer systems. A two-layer system is made up of one base layer and one torch down layer. Three-layer systems have a base, a smooth torch down layer and a torch down layer with a granular surface. Two-layer systems tend to last approximately 15 years, while three-layer torch down roofing can last 20 years or longer.
Advantages of Three-Layer Torch Down Roofing
There are several advantages to having a three-layer torch down roofing system installed. Firstly, torch down roof coatings are resistant to leaks. Torch down roofing is made of a rubberized asphalt material that is melted to the roof of a home using a torch. Any homeowner who is in need of strong, yet flexible water-resistant roofing material should go with this type of product.
Torch down roofs can also provide protection from heat. Adding extra coats of torch down applies a fire-resistant layer to the roof of a home. Torch down roofs also reflect UV rays, which helps keep indoor temperatures down during the summer.
Finally, torch roofing is also free of harmful fumes. Unlike tar, torch down roofing systems do not give off any type of harmful, noxious fumes.
Disadvantages of Three-Layer Torch Down Roofing
Of course, there a few cons that come with any torch down roofing installation.
To start off, installation can be hazardous. It’s very easy to make a mistake while applying torch down materials to a roof. Materials can be accidentally overheated and cause a fire that can quickly spread throughout the dry, hot attic area. That’s why its imperative you use a reputable roofing company to install your torched roof.
A torch down flat roof is not scuff or tear-resistant. Even though it may be easy to repair, this type of material is not resistant to scuffs or tears that can decrease the value and affect the overall appearance of a home if not taken care of quickly.
Additionally, flat roofs do not have any slopes. This can cause rain or snow to puddle up and stay on the roof for a prolonged period of time. While rain can be taken care of with the right type of drainage system, snow will sit around until the temperature warms up enough for it to melt away. To eliminate this problem, homeowners will need to implement building components with a higher structural load.
Torch Down Costs Compared to Other Roofing Materials
If you’re having second thoughts, fortunately, there are plenty of other roofing materials on the market. There are pros and cons of each material. Just remember to consider your area, in addition to the costs below. If everyone in your neighborhood uses one roofing material, install that type of roof.
The average costs for the most popular roofing types and materials are:
- Membrane (modified bitumen): $0.30/sf - $1.50/sf
- Rolled: $0.50/sf - $1/sf
- Asphalt Shingles: $0.50/sf - $2/sf
- Slate: $1.89/sf - $2.72/sf
- Rubber: $2.50 - $4/sf
- Steel: $3.50 - $11/sf
- Copper: $4/sf - $15/sf
- IB PVC: $4/sf - $6/sf
- Wood Shakes or Shingles: $5/sf - $8/sf
- Metal: $7.50 - $10/sf
- Clay Tiles: $20/sf - $50/sf
How to Lower Torch Roofing Prices
Despite their higher installation cost, there are a few ways to lower your total torch down roofing investment.
One of the easiest ways to save money on all home remodeling projects is to hire a pro during their offseason. When it comes to roofers, late winter or early spring is usually slow (depending on their climate). When demand is low, professional roofers are more likely to offer discounts to fill the day.
Secondly, always get multiple roofing quotes. Despite completing the exact same project, different torch down roofing companies may charge different amounts. It all depends on the labor they need, the tools they own and their schedules. As such, one roofing estimate may come in $1,000 less than the other. As such, it’s always beneficial to get at least three or four roofing quotes.
Next, help out your chosen roofer when you can. Torch down roofing installation, while dangerous, is labor intensive. The less time your pro spends on your project, the cheaper the final bill will be. As such, whether it’s carrying heavy equipment from the truck, clearing the entryway to the roof or just offering them water on a hot day, always help out the contractor as much as possible. Goodwill can go a long way.
Finally, as you saw above, there are plenty of roofing materials on the market. While torch down is cheaper than most, there are a few less expensive options. The averages above give you a rough estimate, but the best way to determine what is cheaper for your home is to call a local roofer or head to your nearest Home Depot.
Torch Down Roofing Tools
The right tools ensure proper installation. As we are dealing with fire, the correct tools become even more vital. While all below are not 100% necessary, they will greatly aid in the durability and efficiency of your roof.
- Utility Knife
- Protective Clothing
Torch Down Roofing Installation
Believe it or not, the installation of torch down roofs does not always require the removal of an existing roof. If your current roof is in decent shape, you can likely install a torch down roof above. If not, remove it so you can ensure your new torch roof lasts as long as possible.
Installation of a three-layer torch down roofing system requires knowledge and experience with using a blowtorch. Using this type of tool to install a torch down system calls for the right type of materials and insulation to ensure that the torch does not damage the overall structure. The application process should not be exposed to any type of adhesives or solvent-based materials and should only be performed by those who understand the dangers behind using a torch. This method may be able to provide a secure, leak-proof seal; however, if it is not done correctly, it could cause more problems than it’s worth.
To see it all in action, please watch the video below:
No matter what roofing material you choose, maintenance is key. As you read above, a three-layer torched roof can last up to 20 years, but the key to the longevity is maintenance.
Whether it’s repairing roof leaks as soon as possible, removing debris or having your roof checked every few years by a roof inspector, these simple steps ensure a long and healthy roof.
Below are a few other maintenance items you should consider:
- Check your attic at least once a month for leaks.
- Consider having your roof resealed after five years.
- When monitoring your roof, always check the areas around the chimney, around your gutters and around your flashing. These are all areas that will probably require repair over your roof’s lifespan.
Find A Pro
Torch down roofs provide a strong, leak-proof seal that will last for many years with very little maintenance or upkeep needed. While they are not as popular as they once were due to the dangerous application, many homeowners still prefer the classic method of installing two- or three-layer torch down systems.
If you’re ready to replace or install a new torch down roof, let ImproveNet connect you with a local roofing professional for free!
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Last updated on Jan 12, 2017