Firstly, what is Butyl tape? Utilised by a variety of industries, Butyl tape is a bonding and self-adhesive tape that’s a solvent-free formulation. Most commonly used by the roofing industry for a number of reasons (some of which are explained below), it is available in three main types – flashing tapes, high-performance GCA tapes and sealing tapes.
The first reason as to why Butyl tape is used within the roofing industry is that it can create a waterproof seal between the lap joints and edges on a flat roof. Adhering to a range of materials, it has the flexibility to work within a range of temperatures and will protect your roof from harmful condensation and water (as well as other environmental elements). Alongside the fact that it is waterproof, Butyl tape is also built to last. Many roofers swear by it as it can last up to 30 years and is a low-cost solution.
2) It’s used to cover cracks
Butyl tape and in particular fleece backed Butyl tape is often used by roofers to repair cracks within a roof before they apply a coating to it. If you are sealing a crack on your own without the help of a roofer (of course, take precautions before you do this) and doing DIY in your spare time, Butyl tape is a simple and effective way to strengthen the weaknesses in your roof. A protective coating, it gives your roof the extra durability it needs throughout the year.
3) It protects your roof from UV rays
Another reason as to why Butyl tape is used within the roofing industry is it creates a UV resistant coat on the surface, that does not become damaged from the UV rays that hit the roof, due to the materials that it is made out of. This benefit will, yet again, increase the durability of the tape, meaning that you (or the roofing professional) won’t have to replace the tape for a number of years.
Those are just three of the reasons as to why the roofing industry tends to favour Butyl tape over other adhesives when they are working on a roof. It can be used on a range of roofs and also roofs that are infected by asbestos. As mentioned above, it’s also used by a range of industries for a variety of reasons. From glazing repairs to campervan repairs, conservatory construction and pipe seal, the possibilities with the tape are (almost) endless.
However, like everything, Butyl tape has its limitations. Although it’s a great solution to binding cracks, it creates a watertight seal, is UV protected and is durable it should only really be used in small areas. If you use it over a large area to patch up a hole, it might not hold up to bad weather. It also can become discoloured due to oxidation. These are considerations that are taken by the roofing company, who will use an array of materials to seal up any holes and repair a roof.