BUR and Acrylic Coating ( for Cerberus and others)

Hi all,

I have a roof in question. It is BUR with loose gravel, over a metal deck. a little ponding, but nothing major.
Owner is money-conscious, and is looking for the cheapest way to to make it waterproof for 3-5 years.

I was thinking IB, but it is a little too much money for him. So I’m thinking Acrylic coating with aluminum base coat. All from the same manufacturer.

Here is a technical question. How do i prep the
existing roof for the coating?
I plan to power-broom the gravel as thoroughly as possible, but there will be some stones stuck in the asphalt. Also the roof surface will not be smooth.

Here is what Mfg’s spec says:
1. All existing surface contaminates such as asphaltic mastics, peel and stick membranes or other roofing materials shall be removed to expose the underlying surface to which new materials are to be applied. Loose aggregate is to be removed by mechanical means such as a “wet-vacâ€Â


How about a cold king [chopped glass] system or a ram system will give him 5to10 in longevity and is resoniable priced

Why not just do some good roof maintenece. We keep some old BUR gravel roofs alive for years by scratching the gravel and torching an area with a modified bitumen patch or you can use mastic and membrane in the bad ares. A lot better and more economical than a coating that just wont work. You should have him budget for a new EPDM roof they go down for a good price and have a great track record.


First answer me one question. Is the existing BUR coal-tar pitch or asphalt?

Assuming it is asphalt and you are going to power broom and spud (scrape) the stone aggregate and flood coat down to the roof membrane, I’d recommend doing What RooferJ recommends, except the part about installing an EPDM roof. Another method would be to prep the roof the same way, repair any obvious damage, then apply a re-saturant and aluminum coating. This isn’t the best solution, but if the guy is looking for 3 years or so, it might just work for him. There are several coatings that would work, but the problem with a lot of coatings is they end up costing half as much as a new roof.

Do you have photos? Do you know how to tell the difference between asphalt and pitch? Just asking, since I don’t know your background or areas of expertise.

Anyway, it says asphaltic mastics, and yes the mastic is the stuff that comes in a can. Still, you should verify that what you are using is compatible with the asphalt. Maybe you should try a test area if in doubt.

Do you have an asphalt kettle? if you are going to spud the area, why not just mop extra plies over the bad area. Afterall, the owner is only trying to buy a few years. No sense installing a 20-year patch on a 3-year roof.

Is the roof 230 square feet or 23000 square feet?

sounds to me the most cost effective way to only get a few years out of the roof would be to repair when it leaks? Without knowing the building owner… I suspect he says to make it last a few years when he is going to make it last longer than he should. Just a guess. I wonder what whole roof with re-saturant poured all over it would look like. You might be able to skip the cleaning process. Would be ugly and pricey.

To All,
Thanks for answers. However, i still do not have a solution.

The owner might add another level or two in 3 years, that is why he wants to go economical way with minimal expenses.

I will not do patching work like some of you have suggested, as I strongly believe it is a waste of money and time (waste of money = cost of patching + cost of interior repairs * few times a year in same or different spots). Also BUR, modified and alike systems is not my specialty, thus i won’t undertake the responsibility of patching.

To RooferJ,
Jim, i won’t do epdm. I believe it is an inferior system, and the only reason it is popular among roofers, is for it’s relatively low cost, no need for special equipment and any wanna-be commercial roofer can do it without proper training. Epdm’s warranty is a joke, since no manufacturer will ever warranty the seams, and i cannot rely on glue. So we do not work with epdm.

In this particular situation there are areas of ponding water, which will void Epdm warranty, and due to the budget constrains, we cannot go with tapered insulation either.

To Cerebrus,

  1. I don’t know if it is Tar or Bitumen (asphalt) nor do i know how to tell the difference. I suppose i can figure it out, or do the research.

What do you mean when you say “flood coat down to the roof membrane”?

I do not have a kettle, nor do i want to get one :slight_smile:

To Roofing Maven,
23000 square feet.


The owner is sick of repairing this roof, so patching should not be an option.

I have three options at hand.

1)IB roof - best long-lasting solution IMO, but probably too expensive.
2)Acrylic Coating - very good stuff if installed with longevity in mind (more coats, etc - more $$$), still not cheap. Like Cerebrus said, coatings can cost a half of new roof.
3) Some other cheap way out to last 5 years. Probably some type of aluminum coating.

Can some one explain what you guys mean when say “re-saturant” ?

Here are my questions so far. How do i get rid of “crocodile skin effect”? I want to make it smooth, with the least cost. I suppose that is what you refer to as re-saturant. Is this re-saturant going to dry up quickly, or it is going to be “wet”?

About pics, sorry, can’t post them - conflict of interest.

Thank you,


Probably some type of aluminum coating
Aluminum roof coating never kept any water out. Nor was it meant too.
Maybe if there was someone who new how to do repairs.
Conflict of interest?

something that you said today might have made a difference earlier on in this conversation.
4-5 years…
adding a floor or two above this…

I would consider a ballasted mechanically fastened
EDPM, then you could possibly re-use most of your product. I would evaluate the financial aspects of this idea before eliminating it as an option.

re-saturant is kinda like syrup for roofers. Useful product, messy as karnak, much more pricy. Kinda like self-leveler the tile guys use. Goes where it needs to. Maybe Cerberous or Lefty can give you a better description

I re-read my post and hoped nobody caught my mistake. I didn’t mean resaturant (I hate resaturants), I meant apply an emulsion and then coat it with aluminum coating a few days later.

[quote]I have a roof in question. It is BUR with loose gravel, over a metal deck. a little ponding, but nothing major.
Owner is money-conscious, and is looking for the cheapest way to to make it waterproof for 3-5 years. [/quote]

Here’s my two cents…23000 square feet is a very large roof…the one who walks away with this job is probably going to vac, prime and put two ply 15# organic rag felt in hot with hot asphalt top coating

Actually, the most logical thing to do is chase leaks until it is time to replace the roof. If it has become too expensive for the owner to have someone chase leaks all the time; it is time to replace the roof.

Thank you all for help.

Cerebrus, what is emulsion and what would be the cost/sq.?
Also for future reference, how do i tell the difference between hot tar and asphalt/bitumen?

I spoke with the manufacturer, and got their take on this. Now it is up to the customer.

I appreciate your help guys.

Can’t tell you about cost, that will differ from region to region. Besides, you would be better off getting that information from an estimator or roofer.

As for telling the difference between asphalt and coal-tar pitch, that is an easy one. If it smells like asphalt pavement, then it is asphalt; however, if it smells like a telephone pole (creosote), then it is coal-tar pitch. If you are looking at an existing roof that has been down for a few years, the pitch will bleed through the gravel much worse than asphalt. If it is being heated in a kettle, coal-tar has a greenish-yellow colored smoke that if you inhale gives leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Asphalt smoke is nearly white.

So, to answer your question, if you are looking at an existing roof and can’t figure it out. Break off a chunk of bitumen from the flood coat, and heat it with a lighter. Take a whiff, and you will know soon enough.

so what is it that you decided to propose???