In the early 1900s, the use of cold applied roofing was nearly to no avail of, because the widely used materials for commercial roofs were heat based. As new polymers were developed, cold applied roofing started to gain popularity.
Heat applied roofing materials had an inherit downside. These types of materials needed to be heated to 500 degrees in kettles before they could be applied. The use of open fires and other work site dangers prompted the industry to find better techniques for roofing construction. With advances in polymers and adhesives, cold applied roofing techniques became more widely used for a majority of commercial projects.
Within the last thirty years, cold applied roofing techniques have become the mainstay. By eliminating the use of super-heated tars, job safety-the main reason for the shift-was improved. The use of such materials allowed contractors to ensure a safer job site and avoid worker injuries that were common in the use of super-heated tars on roofs.
With the use of new asphalt chemistry technologies, cold applied roofing materials are now one of the most extensively used varieties of roofing materials. Cold process materials are now currently available in all kinds of grades and mixtures.
On the low-cost end of such roofing materials, most are made with specially designed tars and polymer which are fused together to harden as they dry. The high-end cold applied roofing materials have added compounds and rubberizing chemicals to help the roof flex while still protecting the building from leaks. The older varieties would dry solid and lacking give, causing them to crack after several years.
Those considering a low cost and safe way to apply roofing material should look into using cold applied roofing materials if they have either a modified bitumen membrane system or a traditional, built-up roof.