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Types of roof membranes for flat or low-slope roofs

Nov 25

What's a Membrane Roof and How Does It Work?

Membrane roofing provides a continuous, waterproof barrier to protect an interior building's structure. Because they are water-resistant, membrane roofing can be used on roofs with low pitches. Tiled, slate, or shingled roofing may not be as effective.

Installation of a Single-Ply Membrane for a Flat Roof is Underway

The substructure, which can be made from wood, concrete, metal, and other materials, is located beneath the main roofing layers. It can also include insulation, plywood, underlays, and vapor barriers. pa can install these.

  • Membranes to be used with Built-Up Roofs (BUR).

Built-up roof membranes, also known as BUR, have been used successfully on flat roofs for decades. Single-ply roofing has become more popular but BURs remain in high demand.

BURs consist of layers of bitumen and coal tar as well as reinforcing material sheets. They are also known by the names Tar and Gravel Roofs. There may be several plies depending on the roofing conditions.

To infuse the felt sheets, the reinforcing feel is sprayed with bitumen. There is less overlap required on the main roof surface.

  • Modified Bituminous Membrane Roofing

Polymer-modified roofing membranes, also known as modified bitumen roof membranes, are also called polymer-modified roofing membranes. They are used to replace older roof systems since the 1960s.

These roofing materials are made from polymer-modified bitumen. Manufacturers should provide guidance to architects on the type of product to specify.

Modified bitumen roofs, such as BUR roofs, are usually constructed in multiple layers. Typically there are two to three layers. In three-ply applications, the foundation sheet is laid first. The sheet is then followed by the reinforcing plywood.

Modified bituminous roofs are easier to install than BUR. They are also less likely to have problems. Installers should make sure that the roll is properly heated before it is rolled down. They are also available for many years. They are very durable and can be fitted correctly.

The chemicals used in modified bitumen systems such as BURs can be dangerous to the environment and workers.

  • Modified SBS Roof Membrane Bitumen

In their completed state, styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) membranes are more flexible (elastic). SBS membranes can also be used with hot-mopped Asphalt, similar to BUR membranes. There are also new adhesive-backed, peel-and-stick roofing products.

SBR membranes can also be known as styrene-butadiene rubber membranes.

  • Modified Bitumen Roof roll with Torch Application

Thermoplastic refers to one type of thermoplastic.

Single-ply membrane roofs are made up of multiple layers of material that are connected together to create one continuous membrane. This prevents leaks. Properly installing seams, transitions and penetrations are crucial for commercial flat roofs.

If the seams are properly inspected and repaired, a single-ply membrane can last more than 30 years. Thicker membranes are more expensive but can last longer. Roofs should slope towards roof drains. Flat roofs should be cleared of ponded water within 48 hours.

Roof with single-ply fully adhered membrane

The substrate is attached directly to mechanically attached membranes. They are more resistant to uplift and less likely to leak. Installers must be careful to ensure proper penetrations.