What is a cap sheet? (with photo)

A roofing sheet can be glued to the roof surface using various methods, depending on the base materials.

A cover is a building material used in constructed roofs, or BUR. BUR applications are used for flat roof surfaces and consist of multiple layers of material designed to create a watertight surface. Each layer includes asphalt or tar-coated layers of fiberglass mats. The more layers, or tarps, used on constructed roofs, the more effectively the surface will be able to resist leakage over time. A surface component, such as a roofing sheet, is used to cover and protect these lower layers and extend the life of the roof.

Over time, constant exposure to the sun weakens the asphalt and causes it to dry out. As it dries in the sun, a BUR roof becomes brittle and eventually cracks. Rain seeps into these cracks and eventually seeps into the interior of the building, leading to leaks, mold and rot. The roofing not only protects the asphalt from the sun, but also acts as an extra layer to further enhance the integrity of the roof.

A roofing sheet can be glued to the roof surface using various methods, depending on the base materials. Some installers rely on heat welding to permanently bond the sheet to the lower layers of the roof. Others apply cement overlay or add a bituminous material, such as asphalt, between the sheet and the roof surface. Depending on weather and wind levels, some installers may add gravel or aggregate to the top of the sheet to help weigh it down and hold it securely in place.

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Most roofing sheets resemble a rolled asphalt roof. They consist of fiberglass mats coated with mineral granules for strength and durability. A mulch sheet is quite heavy because of the mineral surface and is widely referred to as a 90-pound mulch in North America. A standard square of coverage of this material weighs 90 pounds (40.9 kg), although some lightweight materials are used in certain regions.

Some roof sheets are used in retrofit applications to improve a building’s energy efficiency. These sheets feature a light-colored mineral surface that creates a white or off-white roof. This light coloring reflects sunlight to maintain the building’s temperature in hot, sunny climates. By reflecting sunlight, these tiles reduce the need for air conditioning to reduce utility costs and help protect the environment. In this type of application, the cover can be used with a standard BUR roof or with a variety of other roof finishes.

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