Torch Down Roofing: Everything You Need To Know

John Doe
Ritik N.
Torch Down Roofing: Everything You Need To Know

If you're shopping for a new roof, you've seen a range of alternatives, including tile, metal, and asphalt shingles. But have you given torch-down roofing any thought?

The popularity of this kind of roofing, also known as modified bitumen roofing, is rising because of its toughness, adaptability, and simplicity of installation.

In addition, torch-down roofing can offer great weather protection and is particularly well suited for flat or low-slope roofs.

To help you decide if torch-down roofing is the best option for your house or place of business, we'll examine its advantages, disadvantages, and installation procedure in more detail in this blog.

What is Torch Down Roofing?

torch down roofing

Torch-down roofing is a type of roofing material for flat roofing or low-slope roofs. It comprises sheets of reinforced modified asphalt reinforced with polyester or fiberglass.

Using a torch, the material is melted during installation and bonded to the entire roof. By doing this, a strong, long-lasting waterproof barrier is produced. It is also resistant to all elements and fire hazards.

Types of Torch Down Roofing

As torch-down roofing gives the best resilience to strong winds and severe weather, it is a popular option for watertight sealing on flat roofs. There is a multitude of materials that can be used to make torch-down roofers. The most popular options are:


torch down roofing

For Torch-Down roofing, modified bitumen (MB) is a common material available in various shapes, from poured sheets to standing-seam reinforced panels.

Modified bitumen roofs feature an airtight seal that successfully deters snowmelt and rainwater and are more resilient than other choices. They are, therefore, the best option for rooftops that need long-lasting weather protection.


man doing torch down roofing

Modified bitumen membranes used in torch-down roofing can be put directly to the roof to produce a smooth, weather-resistant seal forming an underlayment. Due to its excellent resilience to adverse weather, this type of roofing is perfect for flat or slightly inclined roofs.

To add stability and support, torch-down roofing underlayment is laid over and above the torch-down roofing. To safeguard your torch-down roofing investment over the long run, install an overlay board over the underlayment.

Other materials

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is one substance that can be used as a cap layer for torch-down roofing. An exceptionally strong thermoplastic membrane that is also durable against elements is PVC.

Without cracking or degrading, it can tolerate high temperatures and ultraviolet rays. Thermoplastic olefin (TPO) is yet another material that can be used for torch-down roofing. It is simple to install TPO because it is a single-ply membrane that is lightweight and flexible.

Ethylene propylene diene monomer, or EPDM, is also a well-liked option for materials used for torch-down roofing. It is an incredibly long-lasting and weather-resistant synthetic rubber membrane. 

How much does Torch Down Roofing cost?

Torch-down roofing typically costs between $3 and $7 per square foot for materials and installation. However, the price may increase if premium materials are used or the installation needs to be simplified.

The price may be higher, for instance, if a roof needs more insulation, repairs, or the removal of old roofing materials. In addition, some materials, like PVC or TPO, may cost more than standard, modified bitumen.

Finally, it's vital to remember that labor costs should be included in the price of torch-down roofing. 

How to choose the Right Torch Down Roofing for your home?

Choosing the right torch-down roof design might be difficult, but various variables must be considered.

Each form of the roof has advantages and disadvantages; it is critical to investigate and evaluate the various designs to find which best meets your demands and budget.

A few essential factors that need to be considered with utmost care are as follows.

Type of membrane

Torch Down Roofing membranes come in various textures and compositions, letting you pick one that best suits your requirements and tastes. Steel, aluminum, zinc alloy, ceramic, and other materials can be used to create high-quality two-layer torch-down roofing.

The kind of membrane chosen for a given application is determined by several elements, such as the surrounding environment (such as climate and location), the desired performance characteristics (such as fire resistance), financial concerns, and availability.


Selecting a torch-down roofing material that can withstand heat stress without cracking or degrading in regions with high-temperature variations, such as hot summers and freezing winters, is crucial.

For instance, roofing made of PVC or TPO can resist high temperatures without losing its flexibility or toughness. In addition, you need a torch-down roofing material that will endure moisture and stop leaks if you live in an area with heavy rain or snowfall.

For example, roofing made of modified bitumen or EPDM is extremely resistant to water intrusion.

Roof slope

Since the torch-down roof system offers a tough and waterproof surface, it is frequently used on flat or low-sloped roofs. A smooth-surface torch-down roofing material is normally advised for roofs with a slope less than 2:12. Because of its flat surface, this material adheres well to the roof deck and creates a dependable seal against water intrusion.

A torch-down roofing material with a coarse surface is often advised for roofs with a slope of 2:12 or higher. During installation and maintenance, the granules on the surface of this kind of material can assist in reducing slips and fall by adding to the surface's traction. 

Quality of adhesive

To ensure the roof's endurance and durability, selecting a high-quality adhesive is crucial because it holds the torch-down roofing material in place. Solvent-based glue is a well-established and dependable solution for adhesive.

Long-lasting and strong solvent-based glue has been in use for many years. Another choice is the more recent and environmentally friendly water-based adhesive. A water-based adhesive is a low VOC (volatile organic compound) product that is simple to use and dries rapidly.

The installation process of Torch Down Roofing

It is crucial to adhere to the manufacturer's instructions and, if necessary, seek professional assistance to ensure a successful and durable installation.

Tools and equipment needed

  1. Roofing torch
  2. Propane tank and regulator
  3. Hand-held propane torch
  4. Utility knife
  5. Scissors
  6. Measuring tape
  7. Chalk line
  8. Roofing roller
  9. Trowel
  10. Roofing nails
  11. Roofing adhesive
  12. Roofing membrane
  13. Roofing primer
  14. Safety goggles
  15. Work gloves
  16. Safety harness and anchor points (for roof safety)
  17. Ladder or scaffold (for accessing the roof)

It's vital to note that torch-down roofing installation calls for specialized tools and knowledge and is not a task that can be completed independently. Instead, working with a roofing professional that is qualified, skilled, and equipped with the right tools is advised.

Cleaning the roof

You must carefully clean the surface of your roof before torch-down roofing is applied. As a result, the possibility of leaks will be decreased, and appropriate adhesion will be ensured. In addition, the lifespan of Torch Down Roofing is increased by routine maintenance, which includes clearing away debris and looking for leaks.

Measuring the roof

For roofs that have a slight pitch, torch-down roofing is appropriate. Perfectly flat roofs or roofs with a severe pitch could be better. It is crucial to measure the roof before installation and account for any differences between the pitch and the intended slope.

Preparing the underlayment

Use torch-down roofing flashing and underlayment to protect your roof from moisture, deterioration, and wear and tear. It is frequently employed for both residential and commercial purposes, from residential residences to commercial structures.

Underlayment is positioned beneath the roof membrane to add further weatherproofing. To achieve a watertight seal, underlayment should be put on top of a layer of solid foam insulation.

Finally, the underlayment must be firmly fastened to the roof deck or ceiling joints using fasteners like nails or screws.

Applying the adhesive

The commercial roofing contractor will use a trowel or a roofing roller to cover the substrate with glue. Usually, a thin, even layer of glue is placed, and care is taken to prevent any gaps or bubbles from forming.

Laying the membrane

The roof surface will receive a coating of roofing primer from the roofing contractor—the primer aids in ensuring adequate membrane adhesion. Next, the roofing contractor will roll out the membrane onto the roof surface after cooling of primer.

Typically, a rubberized or modified bitumen that is elastic and strong creates the membrane. Finally, the roofing contractor will precisely position the membrane to ensure it covers the whole surface.

Heating the membrane

One of the most important steps in the torch installation is heating the membrane. This stage entails melting the bottom side of the roofing membrane using a propane torch to form a solid bond between the material and the roof substrate. There are two types of membrane sheets cap sheet and base sheet.

Overlapping and sealing the membrane

The roofing material is measured and rolled out onto the roof. After that, the membrane is placed, with a minimum three-inch overlap at the edges. To prevent gaps or openings where water could leak through, overlap is required.

The membrane along the edge will be overlapped and then heated with the roofing torch. The roofing membrane is rolled out farther after the seams have been sealed, and the procedure is continued until the entire roof has been covered. It's crucial to avoid seam failure through overlapping.

Maintenance Tips for Torch Down Roofing

A Torch-down roof needs regular care and maintenance to preserve its life span and guard against any problems. Here are some pointers to keep your metal roof in good condition. Torch-down roofing needs occasional cleaning and debris removal for routine maintenance.

Torch-down roofing can be quickly and easily repaired with a blowtorch and sealing sheet. This roofing is an affordable substitute for conventional roofs requiring substantial care because it is very resistant to tears and leaks.

The lifespan of the roof can be increased, and the expense of replacement can be decreased with proper maintenance. Repair-needed areas can be found by checking the attic for evidence of damage, such as damaged or missing shingles.

Pros & Cons of Torch Down Roofing

Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each roofing material is crucial when selecting the best option. Homeowners can make an informed decision and ensure that their roofing material suits their demands for both style and function by considering these advantages and disadvantages.


Torch-down roofing is a material that offers waterproof protection and a lovely finish. It can cover the type of low-pitch and flat roofs of industrial, commercial, and residential facilities because it is breathable and fire-resistant.

Torch-down roofing is a great alternative to conventional roofing materials like asphalt or concrete because of its special qualities. Torch-down roofing emits fewer toxic emissions than other roofing materials and is more flexible, long-lasting, energy-efficient, and resistant to fire hazards.

Torch-down roofing may also be quickly fixed if worn or damaged, leading to low maintenance costs.


Compared to other roofing materials, torch-down roofing is only marginally less expensive. However, compared to other roof types, it is less labor-intensive to maintain and has little effect on energy efficiency. Flat roofs that must tolerate heat and moisture are often covered with torch-down roofing.

Bottom Line

Modified bitumen membranes are placed with a propane flame to create waterproof, fire-resistant roofing, known as torch-down roofing.

The membrane has improved UV protection and puncture resistance and is made to tolerate extreme temperatures without splitting or breaking. This type of roofing is a desirable alternative for flat roofs because its price ranges from $3,100 to $9,600.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Torch Down Roofs last?

Torch-down roofs typically endure 15 to 20 years. Adding layers can help your roof last longer if you choose. In addition, with a 15-year warranty included with two-ply systems, you can be sure that anything wrong will be rectified.

Finally, Torch down roofs is dependable for homeowners because they resist punctures and other abrasive damage.

Is EPDM or TPO better than Torch Down Roofing?

TPO roofing is superior to EPDM for insulation and defense against rain and snow. Additionally, it has better water resistance and less sunlight reflection.

TPO roofing is a great choice for those who desire a sleek and modern appearance because it can be installed over a burn-down roof with little modification.

Can you walk on Torch Down Roofing?

Torch-down roofing is a resilient and tear-resistant roofing material that may withstand minor wear. You can therefore stroll on it without worrying about your safety. Torch-down roofing also offers a lovely finish and weatherproof security.

Are there any alternatives to Torch Down Roofing?

Traditional torch-down roofing can be replaced with one of the many readily available, cost-effective, and weatherproof roofing solutions. Rubber roofs, EPDM roofing, TPO roofing, PVC roofing, and modified bitumen roofs are a few of these substitutes.

About The Author
ritik n.
Ritik N.
Content Writer
Ritik is a seasoned writer with a passion for copywriting. With 12 years of experience under his belt, he has honed his craft and developed a unique voice that resonates with readers. When he is not writing, he enjoys hiking and volunteering.