What we forget about using “hot” asphalt


We are seeing more and more roofers using hot asphalt.  We see mops, mop handles and sleeves almost flying off the shelf.  This means that hot is not dead as has been mentioned in months and years past.

This is a tried and trusted form of roofing that has been around for over 2000 years.  Today we see T.P.O. roofs that are prone to punctures and / or poor workmanship. There is a difference between a single sheet and two or three plies with a generous layer of hot in between.

All of the equipment manufacturers in the roofing industry had their start in the built up / hot asphalt arena.  Some of the original manufacturers such as Aeroil Products, from 1917, and Blackwell Burner Company from about the same time, are now gone.  But there are other companies, such as Roofmaster, that have continued to offer equipment for the hot roofer.

Now, we do not see the kettles flying off the shelf, but we do repair kettles that are well over 40 years old.  They don’t seem to wear out like lite wall tubing or mops.

Since some roofers have not used hot in a while, there are a couple of things they want to remember before starting.  Safety is the first item.  Remember gloves, long sleeved shirts and safety goggles.  You are dealing with 450 degree material.  In case of burns, there is the Roofmaster Burn Kit .  This is stocked with all the items that will help address the unfortunate burn. Remember, asphalt will continue to burn until it is cooled.  Be sure to keep an ice chest or water cooler on the job site and plunge or soak a towel, shirt or other item with cold water to cool the affected area.

Next, remember that hot pipe and rubber or metal flex hose for the transition on the roof.  Know what kind of unions you have been using.  A Stockham union requires a pipe wrench to tighten.  A tri-lug knock or two-lug knock just requires a hammer, but you cannot mix as the interior threads (where the two halves come together) are different on the three different types.

Then you will need mops, adapters and handles, mop carts, hot carriers and feltlayers, depending on the size of the job.  Knives, hook blades and maybe some knife holders will help keep your tools at hand, and Dissolve to keep your hands and tools clean.

Remember what it was like before single ply roofing…Ah, the good old days.


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