One of the longer lasting roofing options for flat roofs is bitumen roofing or a modified bitumen roof. Modified bitumen is a type of asphalt product that can be applied in a number of ways to the roof in both hot and cold temperatures. Modified bitumen roofs have a lot of advantages over other types of membrane roofing, and are often seen as the modern alternative to the built up roof.

Request Your Free Quote! There are several different advantages to using a bitumen roof on your building or home. Unlike some newer types of roofing, it has a long, proven track record that can be counted on. Bitumen roofs are one of the longer lasting types of flat roofing materials, easily lasting 20 years or more.

Regardless of how the material is applied self-adhesive sheets, hot-mopped asphalt, or cold-applied adhesives the seams are usually melted together which help stop leaks.

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Other types of membrane roofing have seams that are left open or covered with another material that can weaken over time, so the fact that a bitumen roof can be seamless is a big advantage. Bitumen roof is also very durable.

What’s the Difference Between Tarmac and Asphalt?

They have a high-tensile strength so they are unlikely to develop the kinds of cracks that other flat and membrane roofs are known for. They are also rated against wind, fire, and hail so they are unlikely to be damaged in the event of a storm. Like all roof types, a bitumen roof does have some drawbacks. The first is their black color, which can absorb rather than reflect heat. And while the material itself may not be damaged by heat or UV rays, if proper insulation is not used with it, this absorption of heat can lead to superheating of the building below.

Bitumen roofing is also available in 1, 2, or 3-ply. The 1-ply material is not durable, and if used can pose certain problems such as breaking down prematurely, while the 2 and 3-ply material roofs cost significantly more to install, which can make this one of the most costly types of flat roofing products around.

bitumen vs asphalt

Granules need to be included as part of the installation process to help protect the roof from the sun. If they are not included, this can further raise the temperature of the building or damage the roof. Unfortunately, not all types of bitumen roofs include granules as part of the installation process. Finally, if your roof is likely to hold a lot of water or to gather puddles of standing water after rainstorms, this can prematurely age and damage the bitumen roof.

The key to getting a successful bitumen roof job done is to make sure you are having it done correctly. This means using a 2 or 3-ply material and having it coated against UV exposure. When done right, a bitumen roof can far outlast the competition. Our roofer, Dave, was great to work with.It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product, and is classed as a pitch.

Before the 20th century, the term asphaltum was also used. The Pitch Lake is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world, estimated to contain 10 million tons. Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.

In material sciences and engineering, the terms "asphalt" and "bitumen" are often used interchangeably to mean both natural and manufactured forms of the substance, although there is regional variation as to which term is most common. Worldwide, geologists tend to favor the term "bitumen" for the naturally occurring material. For the manufactured material, which is a refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils, "bitumen" is the prevalent term in much of the world; however, in American English"asphalt" is more commonly used.

To help avoid confusion, the phrase "liquid asphalt", "asphalt binder", or "asphalt cement" is used in the U. Colloquially, various forms of asphalt are sometimes referred to as "tar", as in the name of the La Brea Tar Pitsalthough tar is a different material.

Naturally occurring asphalt is sometimes specified by the term "crude bitumen".

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Asphalt properties change with temperature, which means that there is a specific range where viscosity permits adequate compaction by providing lubrication between particles during the compaction process. Low temperature prevents aggregate particles from moving, and the required density is not possible to achieve. Specifically, Herodotus mentioned that bitumen was brought to Babylon to build its gigantic fortification wall.

In French, the term asphalte is used for naturally occurring asphalt-soaked limestone deposits, and for specialised manufactured products with fewer voids or greater bitumen content than the "asphaltic concrete" used to pave roads. The expression "bitumen" originated in the Sanskrit words jatumeaning "pitch", and jatu-kritmeaning "pitch creating" or "pitch producing" referring to coniferous or resinous trees.

From the same root is derived the Anglo-Saxon word cwidu mastixthe German word Kitt cement or mastic and the old Norse word kvada. In British English"bitumen" is used instead of "asphalt". The word "asphalt" is instead used to refer to asphalt concretea mixture of construction aggregate and asphalt itself also called "tarmac" in common parlance. Bitumen mixed with clay was usually called "asphaltum", but the term is less commonly used today. In Australian Englishthe word "asphalt" is used to describe a mix of construction aggregate.

In American English"asphalt" is equivalent to the British "bitumen". However, "asphalt" is also commonly used as a shortened form of " asphalt concrete " therefore equivalent to the British "asphalt" or "tarmac". In Canadian Englishthe word "bitumen" is used to refer to the vast Canadian deposits of extremely heavy crude oil[14] while "asphalt" is used for the oil refinery product.

Diluted bitumen diluted with naphtha to make it flow in pipelines is known as " dilbit " in the Canadian petroleum industry, while bitumen " upgraded " to synthetic crude oil is known as "syncrude", and syncrude blended with bitumen is called "synbit". The oil sands of Alberta, Canada are a similar material.

Neither of the terms "asphalt" or "bitumen" should be confused with tar or coal tars. Tar is the thick liquid product of the dry distillation and pyrolysis of organic hydrocarbons primarily sourced from vegetation masses, whether fossilized as with coal, or freshly harvested.

The majority of bitumen, on the other hand, was formed naturally when vast quantities of organic animal materials were deposited by water and buried hundreds of metres deep at the diagenetic point, where the disorganized fatty hydrocarbon molecules joined together in long chains in the absence of oxygen. Bitumen occurs as a solid or highly viscous liquid.

It may even be mixed in with coal deposits. Bitumen, and coal using the Bergius processcan be refined into petrols such as gasoline, and bitumen may be distilled into tar, not the other way around. The naphthene aromatics and polar aromatics are typically the majority components. The substance is soluble in carbon disulfide. It is commonly modelled as a colloidwith asphaltenes as the dispersed phase and maltenes as the continuous phase.

Asphalt may be confused with coal tarwhich is a visually similar black, thermoplastic material produced by the destructive distillation of coal.

What Is the Difference Between Blacktop & Asphalt?

During the early and midth century, when town gas was produced, coal tar was a readily available byproduct and extensively used as the binder for road aggregates.If you are deciding between asphalt pavement and concrete for your next paving project, there are several important factors to consider. Our team of asphalt paving contractors has pulled together a handy list to help you compare what surface type will meet your unique project needs.

The first thing to consider is the climate where the project is located. In colder climates, where there is a hard winter, there is no doubt that asphalt is the better material to use for driveways, roadways and parking lots. Here are a few key reasons why:. While there are clear benefits of choosing asphalt pavement in cold climates, the opposite is true for warmer climate areas.

Concrete tends to be a better material in these areas. Asphalt pavement tends to soften in extreme heat and become oily. Did you know?

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Asphalt paving material is environmentally friendly. It is considered a green technology because it can be recycled. When asphalt pavement is recycledthe old asphalt is ground up and reused. This is not always the case with concrete, which must be hauled away and disposed of in an environmentally approved facility. Certain types of asphalt, such as porous or permeable asphaltalso helps with water drainage by allowing the water to percolate through the pavement into the soil below. With concrete, the water must run off the sides into streams and the local water table.

Asphalt is often considered superior to concrete for certain paving projects because asphalt is much easier to work with than concrete. There may be more preventative maintenance with asphalt materials, but this serves to keep the asphalt looking and functioning like new for a longer period of time. Concrete, on the other hand, often loses its new look much more quickly.

Still not sure about the difference? With over 75 years of asphalt paving experience, from highways to driveways, we are your local source for all of your asphalt paving needs.

Modified Bitumen

If you live or work in the Milwaukee area, call us at For the Madison area, call us at Milwaukee: Careers Resources Blog Contact Us. Asphalt Paving Blog. Subscribe to the Wolf Paving Blog. Asphalt Pavement vs.Asphalt or bitumen, what is the best solution for the area you are planning to resurface? Continue on reading if you would like to know the difference between the two, what are the benefits and disadvantages, price difference and lifespan.

When people talk about asphalt and bitumen, the words are often used to describe the same thing, which is not correct. To set the record straight we offer an explanation of the difference below:. Bitumen is the liquid binder that holds asphalt together. A bitumen-sealed surface is a layer of bitumen sprayed and then covered with an aggregate. This is then repeated to give a two-coat seal. Asphalt is produced in a plant that heats, dries and mixes aggregate, bitumen and sand into a composite.

However, which one is the best option for you? This takes us to the next part of our blog post. Still unsure whether asphalt or bitumen is the right choice for your next resurfacing project? Call us on to get expert advice or continue on reading about the price difference between the two materials. When you compare the price between bitumen and asphalt, bitumen is a clear winner. Bitumen is cheaper to install and if you are planning to resurface a road with low volumes of traffic, bitumen can be a good investment.

However, asphalt is the most cost-effective. Yet, when you look at the cost efficiency and lifespan of the two, asphalt comes out as the winner. Asphalt generally has a thicker layer of mm whereas bitumen has a layer with a thickness of mm. This is one of the reasons why asphalt has a longer lifespan.

Additionally, an asphalt surface only requires periodic maintenance, saving you both time and money!

bitumen vs asphalt

When you are thinking about resurfacing an area, we suggest you consider the purpose of the area you are planning to resurface as well as your budget. To summarise, asphalt comes with many benefits and few disadvantages while there seems to be more disadvantages than benefits using bitumen.Tarmac Asphalt vs Bitumen. Three extremely popular construction materials used worldwide, asphalt, bitumen and tarmac are indeed quite hard to differentiate from one another to the untrained eye.

However, the nature of these three materials vary drastically, thereby making it very necessary to discern them from one another. Asphalt or asphalt concrete, a composite material that is used for construction purposes, is mainly used for the paving of road surfaces.

Asphalt is also now increasingly being used as the core of embankment dams. Asphalt concrete, consisting of bitumen, a liquid or a semi solid form of black, sticky and viscous material, which acts as a binder for mineral aggregates such as sand and rocks, is sometimes also referred to as blacktopor pavement.

There are various ways of mixing asphalt and aggregate, thereby creating different kinds of mixtures. Hot mix asphalt concrete, cut-back asphalt concretewarm mix asphalt concrete, mastic asphalt concrete or sheet asphalt and natural asphalt concrete are some of them. Different types of asphalt concrete have different characteristics thereby responding to durability, tire wear, braking efficiency and roadway noise and other factors in ways unique to each mixture.

The Hot Mix asphalt concrete is made by heating the asphalt binder to decrease its viscosity. The Warm Mix asphalt concrete uses waxes, emulations or even water to the asphalt binding which allows more rapid availability of the surface for use and is often used for construction sites with tight time schedules.

The Cold Mix asphalt concrete is produced by emulsifying the asphalt with water and soap, thus reducing the viscosity of the mixture before adding it to the aggregate. This is essentially used on less trafficked roads or as patching up material. The Cut-back asphalt concrete is produced by dissolving the binder in kerosene or another lighter fraction of petroleum while Sheet asphalt or Mastic asphalt concrete is made by heating hard grade blown in a green cooker till it becomes a liquid and then adding it to the aggregates.

Bitumen, also sometimes referred to as asphalt, is a semi solid or a liquid form of petroleum that is sticky black and highly viscous in nature.

Bitumen vs Asphalt

Found in natural deposits, bitumen is used as a glue that binds the aggregate particles together to create a solid base. While the main use of asphalt is in road construction, it is also used for bituminous waterproofing products, production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.

However, deposits of bitumen also occur in the remains of ancient, microscopic algae and places which had once contained life, usually deposited in the mud at the bottom of lakes or the ocean where the organisms had once lived.

One good example of this is La Brea Tar Pits. The largest use for bitumen in modern times is in asphalt concrete which in turn is used for paving road surfaces. Bitumen is also used to produce Japan black, a lacquer that is known especially for its use on iron and steel. Short for tarmacadamtarmac is a road surface paving material that was patented in by Edgar Purnell Hooley. The history of tarmac dates back to 8th century AD when it has been found that the streets of Baghdad had been paved with tarmac.

However, it was more than years later that a road construction method called macadamisation was introduced by John Loudon McAdam which allowed horses and carriages or coaches to travel on the roads quite conveniently.APP products are designed to be heat welded. They use a blend of modifiers that allows for a broader range of temperature when heat welding, making them more user friendly. It is important that the SBS product is designed for heat welding with additional coating asphalt on the back and a burn-off sheet.

This allows the roofing contractor to finish the entire base layer s without having to worry about tracking over a completed section. Unfortunately, any time that the base layer remains exposed, dirt and debris are allowed to accumulate, which in turn may cause blistering sometime in the future.

Recognizing this danger, most manufacturers limit the time the base layer s can remain exposed to the elements to five days. Any longer open time will need the consent of the manufacturer and its required cleaning procedure prior to application of the cap.

What are the pros and cons of hot- vs.

A-Pak Paving Resurfaces Our Asphalt Driveway

Some owners have turned to cold-applied modified bitumen systems when hot kettles or the odor of hot asphalt poses a concern. School systems are a good example, particularly now that many districts are offering year-round schooling. The staging of an asphalt kettle for hot-applied systems can be a safety concern around children and the odor may be an irritant to some people. In some cases, the roofing contractor may elect to use cold-applied adhesives instead of a heat-welded or hot-asphalt application in these situations.

The finished membrane has the same basic waterproofing whether it was installed with hot asphalt or cold adhesive. Additionally, there may be concern about the odor and solvent content of cold-applied adhesive. One method to continue to use hot asphalt is to stage the kettle in a restricted area away from children and to use either a filter, an after-burner, low-fuming asphalt or some other odor control during installation.

For example, one fume recovery system eliminates odor, fume and particulates at the kettle. The use of low-fuming asphalt also helps to eliminate some odor and fume at the point of application. Do modified bitumen membrane systems handle abuse? Gravel-surfaced built-up roofing systems have been known for the damage resistance provided by their four-ply construction and gravel surface. Modified bitumen products also have demonstrated similar performance. Recently, hybrid modified bitumen systems, comprised of two-to-three plies of BUR and a modified bitumen cap sheet, also have provided good damage resistance due to their multi-ply construction, the strength of the modified bitumen sheet, and the damage protection provided by the granular surface.

In addition, walk pads or a sacrificial layer of the modified bitumen product can be used in high traffic areas such as the walking area from the access hatch to and around the high-maintenance equipment.

Regardless of which is used, the owner should limit traffic on the completed roof. Where are metal-surfaced modified bitumen cap sheets used and why? A metal-surfaced modified bitumen cap sheet is usually an aluminum- or copper-faced membrane that generally incorporates a woven fiberglass reinforcement, which is coated with a blend of SBS and a premium asphalt. This special cap sheet can be used as a flashing material, usually in areas that are in view.

Its woven fiberglass mat provides the membrane with superior tensile properties, dimensional stability, tear and puncture resistance.

bitumen vs asphalt

Additionally, premium SBS modified blend provides the membrane with excellent weathering characteristics. The metal surface, usually embossed, provides solar energy reflectance.

It reduces the heat to the roof membrane and to the building it covers, and offers excellent U. For one- or two-story construction, it helps to reduce air conditioning costs.

Why hot-air weld the lap instead of torching?Bitumen is a mixture of organic substances that are usually liquid consisting of aromatic hydrocarbons. It also occurs in solid form as in the case of the mineral gilsonite. Additionally, bitumen is sometimes referred to as asphalt in the United States.

Bitumen tends to be darkly colored, viscous, and forms in the vicinity of oil and coal deposits. Bitumen usually forms in environments with abundant algae, plants, and other organic matter. Because of this, it typically forms under the same conditions as oil and coal, namely in lakes, marshes, and areas of high vegetation where plant matter can be preserved in mud deposits which become altered due to heat and pressure as they get buried.

The main geological source for bitumen is organic shale. A well-known location where bitumen is seeping out of the ground is the land containing the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. It is also possible that bitumen forms in hydrothermal vents. Veins of the mineral gilsonite have been found in rocks originating from hydrothermal settings. An example of this would be the Uinta Basin of Utah. Bitumen has been known and used since antiquity.

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It has been used to make roads, waterproof boats, and construct walls and buildings. Its earliest use was probably as a sealing agent for baskets and boats.

bitumen vs asphalt

Bitumen has also become indirectly important for paleontology and archaeology because of locations such as the La Brea Tar Pits where animals have become trapped and preserved in the bitumen or asphalt over tens of thousands of years. The La Brea Tar Pits contain a detailed record of the natural history of the Los Angeles basin going back 38, years. Bitumen has also been used for medicinal purposes. There is evidence that bitumen or asphalt from the Dead Sea area was used to treat skin diseases.

Tar is a viscous black liquid made of hydrocarbons which can form in multiple ways. Because of this, the chemical composition of tar varies, though it is always made of organic matter of some sort.

It has many uses as a waterproofing and sealing agent. It is also used for many medicinal purposes. Tar can form in a variety of ways and tar will have different properties depending on how it forms.

Two common types are coal tar and wood tar.

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Coal tar is distilled from petroleum and coal sources while wood tar is obtained from vegetation through a similar distillation process. Coal or petroleum-derived tar is made of hydrocarbons that occur geologically in association with coal and oil deposits. This tar used in the construction of roads. Additionally, it also has medical properties and has been used to treat psoriasis. Because it has high benzene content, however, it is also considered to be a carcinogen.

Wood tar is derived from various parts of trees through the same distillation methods used to obtain coal tar. The biproducts of the process that creates wood tar are turpentine and charcoal. Wood tar is made through the process of destructive distillation. Wood tar has been used in northern Europe for thousands of years for waterproofing boats among other uses.

It also has important medical applications since it is microbicidal.

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