What to Know About Waterproofing Your Rooftop - Houcks (2023)

Category: Roof Maintenance

What to Know About Waterproofing Your Rooftop - Houcks (1)

During harsh rainstorms, water can accumulate on your roof and seep through roof cracks, damaging your commercial building. As a result, mold and mildew could grow on your walls, and the wooden components of your building can rot. You can prevent moisture damage to your commercial space by waterproofing your rooftop. Whether your roof is flat or sloped, our team at Houck can help you have a high-quality,safe roofwith our waterproofing services.

Instead of spending time and money toreplace your whole roof, you can apply a waterproof coating to keep water out of the building. Use this roofing and waterproofing guide to keep moisture away from your commercial roof and all its components.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Roof Waterproofing

Though there are several types of waterproofing, you need the best one for your application. Look for the following properties to help you choose the right waterproofing membrane for your commercial roof.

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  • Compatibility with the existing roof surface:Pay attention to the type of material of the existing coating on your single-ply roof to avoid costly damage. For example, applying urethane over acrylic elastomeric could cause re-emulsification. Any surface with silicone on top would obstruct the adhesion of the waterproofing membrane.
  • Resistance to sunlight damage:Unless you have trees above your building, the waterproofing membrane needs to be ultraviolet (UV) stable or resistant. Otherwise, it’ll lose its strength as the sun beats down on it.
  • Elongation:The waterproofing membrane on your roof needs to have the ability to stretch to accommodate movement, especially if you have a high-rise or steel building, and cover cracks that may develop over time in the concrete. Manufacturers determine elongation by a percentage. If the material has an extension rate of 150%, it can stretch up to 1.5 times beyond its natural shape.
  • Breathability:Waterproofing that’s too effective can trap water inside your building if moisture accidentally leaks through. Look for a membrane that prevents water from passing through it, but allows vapor to leave.
  • Resistance to tears:Even if your material has a high elongation percentage, it can tear from a considerable force. Your waterproof membrane should be durable enough to withstand heavy wind and rainwater.
  • Resistance to abrasion:Besides tearing by force, the material also needs to withstand wear and tear from everyday use. You could determine a material’s abrasion resistance when workers drop nails, screws and heavy objects on it during construction. If rough objects can rip it, the membrane will bring leaks into your commercial property.
  • Chemical stability:The membrane should withstand chemicals from nearby industrial areas and fallen debris. If the membrane isn’t chemically inert, it could break down in the presence of soil and building materials.
  • Geometry:The waterproofing membrane needs to have the flexibility to fit around your uniquely shaped roof. A liquid membrane would work best in this case because it can take any form. On the other hand, a sheet membrane can fold and crease, leaving gaps between the membrane and underlay.

Houck is dedicated to safety, quality, and performance. We’re here to keep your facility clean, dry, and safe with superior waterproofing services. Get in touch with us today!

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Common Types of Waterproofing for Your Roof

Maintain and repair your roofto prevent leaks from coming into your commercial space and damaging your property. You can apply a sheet of bituminous material or polyurethane liquid waterproofing. Consider the advantages and drawbacks of each to determine which is best for your roof.

What to Know About Waterproofing Your Rooftop - Houcks (2)

1. Bituminous Membrane Waterproofing

A bituminous membrane sheet made from asphalt with a mixture of sticky organic liquids performs excellently as a waterproofing agent for a low-sloped concrete roof. Manufacturers carefully seal and pack these sheets in a factory, and they arrive on-site in roll form. Read the specifications and safety instructions before you begin the installation process. Since you apply it by torch, you need to consider fire prevention and safety during installation, removing all flammable objects from the site.

During the application process, unfold the bituminous waterproofing membranes and lay them firmly on the surface. You could either use a self-adhesive product or attach the membrane to the surface with a blowtorch. The layer of bituminous waterproof membrane shields against water seepage onto the roof. Then, apply roof tiles and the membrane over the filler material to provide adequate water flow into the drains.

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Here are some of the advantages of using bituminous membrane waterproofing.

  • Resistance to UV heat:Bituminous membrane waterproofing won’t lose its integrity in warm, sunny climates.
  • High elongation percentage:Most membranes must have an elongation of 150% to accommodate structural movements, so it’ll protect your roof, even if cracks develop.
  • Excellent flexibility:A sheet made from bitumen is flexible enough to take any shape once laid. Since it has high flexibility, it won’t crack, dent or break in harsh weather.
  • Resistance to chemicals:This type of waterproofing won’t deteriorate in the presence of debris or factory chemicals.
  • Resistance to punctures and fatigue:Whether a considerable force or heavy objects impact the membrane, it has a high tensile strength to withstand ripping and breaking.
  • Excellent breathability:Bituminous membrane waterproofing keeps water and vapor out of your commercial building.
  • Cost-effectiveness:The installation of bituminous sheets tends to fit within your commercial budget. Since it lasts a long time, you won’t need to replace it as often.

2. Polyurethane Liquid Membrane Waterproofing

Polyurethane liquid membrane waterproofs your flat roof, especially in unpredictable weather conditions. Craftspeople put this on a roof with a thin coating or primer and top coating using a trowel, roller or spray. Its durability depends on which polymer type the manufacturer uses, but it generally lasts a little longer than a couple of decades. When applying polyurethane liquid to your roof, make sure you wear protective equipment on your hands, eyes, and mouth.

Here are some of the advantages of polyurethane liquid membrane waterproofing.

  • Ease of installation:The application process typically takes one day, so you can quickly have a waterproof commercial roof.
  • Watertight seal:Polyurethane liquid membrane waterproofing doesn’t create joints, so there’s less room for water to seep through it.
  • High elongation percentage:Polyurethane liquid membrane stretches up to 280% to accommodate the building’s natural shifting. High-rise buildings or ones made from steel may shift.
  • Excellent flexibility:It’s more flexible than other materials, so it can be more resistant to cracks when the building moves. This material offers a seamless waterproofing membrane. It fills all capillary gaps, decreasing the absorbency and hardening its surface.

Ensure you’re using the best waterproofing solution for your roof. Contact Houck today!

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Materials Used for Waterproofing

Manufacturers use various materials for both bituminous membrane waterproofing and liquid polyurethane.

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1. Bituminous Sheets

Bituminous membrane waterproofing comes in a variety of layers.Choose a top surface from one of these materials to protect the membrane from damage.

  • Sand:This material installs easily, and it provides a waterproof, chemical-resistant seal on top of the membrane.
  • Slates:Using a membrane with this aesthetically pleasing, reliable material will enhance your commercial roof’s visual appeal.
  • Talc:Including talc as the top layer of your waterproofing membrane increases its dimensional stability and durability.
  • Polyethylene:This material prevents the panel from sticking during storage and transport, but you can also use it as a protective layer.
  • Aluminum:Manufacturers typically install strands of aluminum in a bituminous membrane to seal penetrations and provide optimal waterproofing for your commercial roof.

The next layer, the polymer-bitumen compound, usually consists of one of these materials.

  • Atactic Poly Propylene (APP):APP Modified Bitumen is a plastomeric waterproofing material that contains a mixture of bitumen and selected polymers, resulting in excellent UV and heat resistance and waterproofing properties once you torch it onto the roof.
  • Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS):SBS Modified Bitumen is a plastomeric waterproofing membrane that protects concrete surfaces from moisture damage. This membrane is impermeable to water and very flexible around uniquely shaped roofs.

The next layer of bituminous membrane waterproofing is its reinforcement, made from one of these materials.

  • Fiberglass:A dimensionally stable reinforcement core of non-woven fiberglass can protect concrete surfaces from water damage, especially in warm, tropical regions.
  • Polyester:This material has a high elongation percentage and provides optimal strength to the membrane. Polyester resists thermal shock, fatigue and punctures.

2. Polyurethane Liquids

The components of a polyurethane liquid waterproofing membrane depend on the number of layers. Review these common materials to find the most efficient application for your roof.

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  • Water-based liquid membranes:This health-friendly, energy-efficient membrane provides excellent UV stability and easy application, especially if your building is in a moderate or warm climate.
  • One-component polyurethane liquid membranes:Polyurethane’s flexibility in low temperatures and its ability to cure in various conditions allows you to use it in your location. This material saves time during the installation process.
  • Two-component polyurethane liquid membranes:You can apply this material with a two-component spray machine for efficient installation if you have a large roof. It dries and cures rapidly, so you can resume activity in your business space.

Steps in a Rooftop Waterproofing Project

We’ve compiled a list of steps for your applying a waterproofing membrane to your roof. Houck providescommercial waterproofing servicesto make the process easier.Follow these steps for using a liquid membrane for your flat commercial roof.

  1. Clean out the substrate:Cleaning the surface allows a liquid applied membrane to adhere well. Pressure-wash the substrate to clean it and remove debris, dust or grease that could compromise the adhesion. You can also inspect the roof for blemishes that affect its resistance to water damage.
  2. Prime the surface:Apply a primer to the surface to enhance the membrane’s adhesion. Primers can also prevent the bituminous oils from bleeding through to the membrane. Before the craftsperson applies the primer, they make sure the surface is dry. To speed up the drying process, they might use torches or an air blower.
  3. Treat the roof’s details:You must treat all components before applying the liquid membrane. These details include the interior and exterior corners, wall-to-floor corners, metal flashing terminations and penetrations — such as pipes, vents and drains. Embed reinforcing fabric into the liquid membrane, or use a flashing-grade sealant. Make sure you cure the materials before applying the coat of treatment.
  4. Apply the liquid membrane:Some liquid membranes need fabric reinforcing mats underneath before installation. The application, substrate porosity, temperature and waste affect the liquid membrane’s consumption rate. You might want to apply granules if you live in a warm climate, because they can keep your building cooler.
  5. Inspect the roof:In most projects, a craftsperson needs to inspect the application at each phase. They’ll check the primer’s coverage, the pull-out and mock-up, the detail treatments and the applied coating millage. They must consider the wet film thickness during application to ensure they use the right amount.

What to Know About Waterproofing Your Rooftop - Houcks (4)

If you choose to use a bituminous waterproofing membrane instead, you can follow this procedure.

  1. Prepare the roof surface:Clean and dry the top of your roof before applying the membrane. You must install it in pleasant, warm weather, considering your roof’s slope so that water doesn’t flow to the joint lap edge.
  2. Connect your torch equipment:The hose of your blowtorch should be in good condition. Use soapy water to ensure no gas leakage. When using the blowtorch, set it at the lowest possible setting to avoid sudden flames.
  3. Align your bituminous rolls:As you apply the sheets to your roof, avoid wrinkling the material, and align them properly.
  4. Install the membrane:Apply the torch fire uniformly and slowly over the roll as you lay it.
  5. Inspect the joints between the sheets:Ensure the joints properly adhere to the end laps of the membrane to prevent air gaps. If there are any spaces, lift the sheets, heat them with the torch and reseal them.

Take your next step and choose Houck for quality roof waterproofing services. Get in touch with us!

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Roof Drain Overflow Code Requirements

When waterproofing your roof, you need to follow drainage and ponding codes to prevent damage. It could become damaged if you don’t have enough drainage to get the water away from the building. Consider these regulations from theInternational Institute of Building Enclosure Consultantsas you approach waterproofing.

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  • Section 1503.4 — Roof drainage:This code indicates that you need to design and install your roof drainage system in compliance with Section 1503 and Sections 1106 and 1108 of the International Plumbing Code.Section 1106refers to the regulations for the size of conductors, leaders and storm drains, while Section 1108 provides rules for the presence of secondary, or emergency, roof drains.
  • Section 1503.4.1 — Secondary, or emergency overflow, drains or scuppers:If your roof requires an updated draining system, you should install a secondary roof drain or scupper. You would need this application if the roof’s perimeter construction extends above it, and the primary drain traps water and allows buildup. Adding this system will prevent the top of the building from collapsing during harsh rainstorms. Like the primary drainage system, your emergency overflow drain needs to comply with Sections 1106 and 1108 of the International Plumbing Code.
  • Section 1503.4.2 — Scuppers:You can install scuppers on the roof to allow water to flow out of parapet walls or gravel stops on built-up or flat roofs. If you use these components for secondary roof drainage, size their roof drainage, inlet elevation, quantity and location to keep the water from accumulating above the level outlined in Section 1611.1. Scuppers must have a maximum dimension of four inches.
  • Section 1611.1 — Design rain loads:Design each part of the roof to hold the weight of rainwater that accumulates if the primary drainage system has a blockage or the uniform load rises above the secondary drainage system’s inlet.

Houck Can Waterproof Your Commercial Roof

Schedule your next waterproof roofing project in Central Pennsylvania with Houck. Our craftspeople specialize inmaking your commercial building safer. With more than 70 years’ experience, we know the right waterproofing materials. Contact us online or call 800-458-2122 for acomprehensive estimate.

FAQs

Which waterproofing is best for roof? ›

EPDM rubber is one of the recommended waterproofing materials for roofs. It is available in membranes with two thicknesses: 45 mils and 60 mils.

Which is the best waterproofing method for terrace? ›

In the brick bat coba method, brick and mortar are used to create a slope for the water to drain away from the terrace. Another traditional method of bituminous treatment uses bitumen (asphalt) as a thin layer on top of the roof surface.

How do I waterproof my roof tiles? ›

Waterproofing is carried out under the roof tiles by using special sealing membranes. Beyond effective waterproofing, these membranes should have the following properties: They must be vapor-permeable, in order to avoid condensation of water vapor, which leads to damage (distortion, rotting, etc.)

How many layers of waterproofing do I need? ›

Two coats are needed, each taking 24 hours to dry. Extra sealant may also be needed once the tiles are down. It's a job that can take up to four days, so allow plenty of time.

How often should roof be waterproofed? ›

Here's what you need to know in terms of maintenance of your waterproofing system: Preventative maintenance should be carried out at least once every 4 months. That's 3 times a year.

How do you make a rain proof terrace? ›

If at all you are planning to have a garden on your terrace, you need to have waterproofing done. Waterproofing can be easily be done by application of waterproofing polymer coating on concrete slab/surface. But this coating is done on concrete. Once a waterproof Silicone polymer coating is done.

How long can water sit on flat roof? ›

Standing water on a flat roof for 12-36 hours after a rain storm can be normal, but according to the National Roofing Contractors Association, any water found ponding on flat roofs for longer than 2 full days should be examined by a professional commercial roofing contractor.

How much does it cost to waterproof a flat roof? ›

Flat roof coatings will cost between $0.15 to $2.00 per square foot for materials and an additional $0.50 to $3.00 per square foot for labor as broken down in the cost per square foot section above.

How often should you seal a flat roof? ›

The Lifespan of a Flat Roof

A flat roof left unmaintained will typically last about 10 years. It's a good idea to plan for a new coating every five years to ensure its integrity and continued performance.

What is the best sealant for roof tiles? ›

One of the best roof tile sealers is the Siloxa-Tek 8500. It is a penetrating concrete sealer designed to treat a variety of applications with an emphasis on hydrophobicity and reduction of water uptake. It dries completely clear with a natural finish that will not change the look or appearance of the susbtrate.

Can water leak through roof tiles? ›

Whilst roof tiles and slates are designed to keep out any rain, there is always the chance that strong winds can lead to rain forcing its way through any gaps or underneath the tiles.

Which waterproofing is best for old roof? ›

The best way to waterproof old concrete roof/terrace depends upon the surface conditions and the age of the structure/roof. The best option which is Polyurethane Coating. The procedure involves surface preparation with wire brushing followed by cleaning and filling the exposed cracks with elastomeric material.

How many years does waterproofing last? ›

While basic waterproofing membranes should last at least ten years, they can last much longer given the right choice and circumstances. Conversely, poor quality waterproofing will rarely last the distance.

Do I need to sand before waterproofing? ›

It's imperative to have a smooth deck surface before any waterproofing takes place. A well-prepared contractor is going to have sandpaper with them to smooth out rough spots, as well as dings and splinters. Doing this assures you'll have a perfect application without overlooking damage to the wood.

Do I need to prime before waterproofing? ›

Every manufacturer of a sealant or a waterproofing membrane specifies priming of surfaces.

What is the best time to do waterproofing? ›

The summer season provides the best working conditions for terrace waterproofing and other exterior areas. Cracks need to be fixed and gaps filled before embarking on the treatment plan. The hot and dry conditions allow the repair and renovation work to progress quickly.

Is sealing a roof worth it? ›

If you have a residential or commercial roof which is flat, it absolutely should be sealed. Flat roofs can turn into pools of water during a heavy rainstorm or prolonged rain event. Although these roofs are designed to drain, rapid accumulations of rainfall can cause sitting water with nowhere to go.

How many times can you recoat a roof? ›

While we typically apply an acrylic elastomeric roof recoat every 18 years, a silicone roof recoating should take place every 10 years. Silicone roof coatings, while not as durable as acrylic elastomeric, are often the better choice where precipitation is severe and roof ponding is an issue.

What are the roof waterproofing methods? ›

ROOF/TERRACE WATERPROOFING METHODS

Washing the Roof-terrace surface and making it dust free. Filling all the visible cracks by way of specially prepared Silicone crack filler. Applying First coat for Filling the invisible cracks & small holes with diluted silicone.

What is a good level of waterproofing? ›

5-10,000mm is ideal for those who spend long days out on the mountain, in all weather conditions; while 10-20,000mm is best for those in wetter climates or skiers and snowboarders who prefer backcountry.

What is Level 3 waterproofing? ›

Class 3 – Waterproof so tight it floats or can handle quick submersions. The product could be permeated by water in any of the following applications: prolonged submersion, submersions greater than 3 feet in depth, high water pressure applications.

What chemical is used in terrace waterproofing? ›

Polyurethane is a widely used chemical used for waterproofing exposed surfaces, including roofs. Polyurea is one of the best waterproofing chemicals in India and can be used to waterproof joints and surfaces in concrete structures.

What is the best surface for a roof terrace? ›

Paving is an obvious and widely used roof terrace surfacing solution. Porcelain tiles are the most popular, although natural stone paving is also used.

How do I stop seepage in terrace garden? ›

Opting for planters, plastic pots or containers helps avert the problem of water leakage from plants. Here are some of the plants/vegetables that you could grow on a terrace of an Indian home.

Do flat roofs always leak? ›

Just like any roof, a flat roof will develop leaks, but since it's flat, the water doesn't have anywhere to go but straight down. This means that moisture can seep into the roof itself and cause problems that may lead to mold and fungus.

How do I stop my flat roof from ponding? ›

Check your drains: If there is anything obstructing the flow of water to the drain or the drain is blocked, remove any debris or blockage. Structural issues: If you have improperly installed frames, joists or beams you'll need to call a professional to come and advise.

Should I put gravel on my flat roof? ›

Gravel and pea shingle have two primary purposes on a flat roof; they provide a 'loading coat' and they afford UV protection. As ballast, the gravel will help anchor the material underneath and lower the risk of it being blown off in high winds.

Is a leaking flat roof covered by insurance? ›

Most home insurance providers will cover the cost of repairs if roof leaks are due to a sudden, unexpected event, like storm damage or a falling tree. But you won't be covered for roof leaks that are due to wear and tear.

How long does roof coating last? ›

Summary: roof coating systems last 10-20 years, but once they reach the end of their warranty, they can be recoated and a new warranty begins. The process can be repeated, making roof coating systems a renewable and sustainable roofing system.

How long does a spray on roof last? ›

Spray foam roofs are generally expected to last around 20 years at installation. The roof will last much longer than 20 years, but this is the standard warranty period. This all depends on the thickness of the foam and the coating, and applying more of either of them will generally extend the warranty term.

What is the best roof coating for a flat roof? ›

Arguably the best flat roof coating system available on the market today, the Ure-A-Sil (urethane-silicone) System sets the standard for performance and value in fluid-applied commercial roof restoration.

What maintenance does a flat roof require? ›

Your flat roof should be replaced every 15 years, to ensure the maximum protection of your property. If the roof is not maintained regularly, it may need to be completely replaced a lot sooner than this. Ensuring that your roof can drain properly is one of the most important things to do.

What maintenance does a flat roof need? ›

“A flat roof should be inspected at least twice yearly; in autumn to ensure it is clear of leaves, dirt and debris, outlets are not blocked and the roof is free draining; in spring to discover and rectify any damage due to weather.

Why does my roof leak in heavy rain? ›

Roof leaks that happen during heavy rains may indicate the end of the shingles' life. Metal corrosion. Cracks in metal and corrosion around fasteners can create enough space for water to leak. Over time, expansion and contraction can loosen the seams in a metal roof.

Will roof sealant stop leaks? ›

Roof sealants not only cover roof leaks, but they also provide a protective layer to prevent water and sunlight penetration. These sealants come in many forms, including liquid in a paint can, liquid in a spray can, liquid in a caulk gun, and adhesive tape.

Which is better silicone or elastomeric roof coating? ›

Many factors can affect the longevity of an elastomeric coating, but mil for mil, silicones last longer than acrylics. This is mostly due to the inherently superior UV and moisture resistance of silicone materials.

What is the most common cause of roof leaks? ›

Some of the most common roof leak causes include an aging roof, broken or missing shingles, clogged gutters, and chimney damage. If these problems are neglected, it can be disastrous for the structure of your home.

Where is a roof most likely to leak? ›

The Four Most Common Places a Roof Will Leak
  • Around the Chimney. The chimney is one of the main culprits of a roof leak. ...
  • Around Windows and Skylights. ...
  • Vent Pipes. ...
  • Missing Shingles.

Should 20 year old roof replace? ›

A reputable roofing contractor will recommend that you replace your roof somewhere around 80-85% of the manufacturer's life of the roof. For example, you should consider replacing a 25-year roof around the 20-year mark.

Can you waterproof a roof from the inside? ›

In case of heavy rains, as a temporary solution to roof leakage, you can fix your roof by replacing it from the inside, and later you can fix it from the outside. Your roof needs repairing if you identify the following: Broken, rotten, damaged shingles.

What is the longest lasting roof covering? ›

Roofing material that lasts the longest are concrete, clay or slate tiles. These materials significantly outperform other natural products like wood shakes or any manufactured roofing materials including asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Although these materials have a good lifespan, they are not as durable.

Which coating is best for roof? ›

Silicone roof coatings are the preferred choice when it comes to UV protection and resistance to ponding water. They erode much slower than other coatings without becoming brittle or hard. Modern silicone formulations have a high-solids content that typically exceeds 90 percent.

Which Dr Fixit is best for waterproofing? ›

Fixit LW+ is another essential waterproofing solution from Dr Fixit. This material is integral for waterproofing of plaster and concrete. Using this product as an additive in cement enhances cementing properties of cement, imparting its higher compressive strength.

Which Dr Fixit is best for roof slab? ›

You can use a mixture of Dr. Fixit Pidicrete URP and mortar to give it an appropriate and recommended slope. Furthermore, two coats of UV resistant Dr. Fixit Newcoat Ezee can be used for roof waterproofing.

What is the longest lasting roof coating? ›

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam, also known as SPF, is regarded among the longest lasting types of roofing systems. Many SPF roofing systems have endured for over 50 years with few signs of failing. For this reason, SPF roof coating systems in Fort Lauderdale and beyond remain one of the top choices in commercial roofing.

Does roof coating stop leaks? ›

A roof coating helps to fill in small gaps in the roof where water may seep through. It will not stop the leak, and if water gets into the roofing system it can cause a lot of damage.

How do you waterproof an old terrace? ›

PROCEDURE FOR TERRACE WATERPROOFING
  1. SURFACE PREPARATION. Rake the construction joints to remove loose concrete from the joint. ...
  2. COATING. Wet the RCC substrate by sprinkling water. ...
  3. PROTECTIVE LAYER. ...
  4. BRICK BAT COBA TREATMENT.

Which brand is best for waterproofing? ›

Now glance through the Best Waterproofing Brands in India you can buy leakage preventing chemicals from
  • Dr. Fixit Waterproofing.
  • Abro Waterproofing.
  • Berger Waterproofing.
  • Fosroc Chemicals Waterproofing.
  • Ardex Endura Waterproofing.
  • Star Coatings Waterproofing.
  • Sunanda Waterproofing.
  • Cico Waterproofing.

Can we mix Dr Fixit with cement? ›

Dr. Fixit Pidiproof LW+ is added as per the recommended dosage into the remaining mixing / gauging water, then add to concrete mixer and mix for another 2 minutes. Place the concrete or apply plaster, as needed.

How much does it cost to waterproof a roof? ›

The average cost to seal a roof is $1,270 and typically ranges between $461 and $2,092. However, you may pay as little as $100 or as much as $3,200 or more. That's a total average of $0.65 to $5 per square foot. The type of roof, sealant used, your current roof's condition, and your location all affect price.

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