Posted by Eric Boullenois - 06 November, 2018
Today, effective waterproofing of flat roofs is no longer a problem – even in regions prone to frequent rainfall. In a webinar on the topic, Master Builders Solutions expert Albert Berenguel explains particular points of interest as well as why selecting the right waterproofing solution and diligent maintenance are crucial.
In regions with changing weather conditions and frequent rainfall, the traditional roof design was that of a heavily sloped roof. One main reason for this was to allow the water to run off as quickly as possible and thus minimize any risk of roof leakage. For some time now, however, these regions have begun adopting flat-roof designs. Increasingly, the necessity is felt to make some kind of use of – hitherto largely unusable – roof surfaces, converting or designing them, for instance, to be used as roof gardens, parking spaces, or for a variety of sport or recreational activities. In densely built urban areas especially, this serves to create new, urgently required open-air spaces.
Challenges for waterproofing solutions
Using the right solutions and a systematic approach, the problem of flat-roof leakage in regions with heavy rainfall, hitherto a major detriment, can be dealt with efficiently. The same is true for the often intricate and involved roof designs frequently employed by architects in their designs for state-of-the-art public buildings: Every single corner, rim, edge, hollow, or erection ups the challenge for the waterproofing solution – and makes regular roof inspection all the more important. In general, all roofs should be subjected to careful visual examination once every year, as well as after storms or intense rainfall. Carrying out such examinations thoroughly and systematically – supported, for instance, by maintaining checklists and taking pictures to document changes over the years – significantly reduces the risk of larger-scale damage. Also with regard to flat roofs, particular attention should be paid to the inspection, in shorter intervals, of any drains located on the roof: Standing water on roofs often indicates – as well as causes – other problems.
Prefabricated solutions often insufficient
On flat or complex roofs, prefabricated sheets and similar traditional solutions are only of very limited use in regions prone to heavy rainfall or intense weather conditions. Such solutions, as it were, come with their built-in Achilles’ heel – namely, the overlaps and seams invariably part of such systems: These joints and connective areas require particular attention during installation, and, after installation, the risk remains of them coming apart in places. The higher the complexity of the roof design, the higher the number of seams and connective areas – this is why, in such cases, each drain, chimney, or ventilation pipe increases the probability of leak occurrence. And this is compounded by the fact that, without additional protection, such sheets usually are not accessible to foot or vehicle traffic.
Liquied solutions provide maximum flexibility
In such cases, liquid-applied waterproofing solutions present a flexible and safe alternative. Such solutions are installed without any seams, thus forming a continuous membrane on even the most complex geometries – regardless of the number of erections, drains, protrusions, or other deviations from a straight surface, each specific roof may have. Also, these systems are available for a wide variety of different requirements, including all possible substrates, locations, usage scenarios, and weather conditions.
Overview and specifics in webinar
Requirements, of course, vary with each individual roof. And each usage scenario, too, places different demands on the waterproofing solution. Effective maintenance, and the many details involved, is another crucial point to be taken into account. Addressing the numerous challenges involved in durable and effective waterproofing is a specially produced free webinar by Master Builders Solutions expert Albert Berenguel: His 25-minute video presentation provides a comprehensive and detailed overview – from general considerations, to structural-constructional questions, to all aspects of maintenance. He also provides recommendations where to receive further support, and will be happy to reply to your questions by e-mail.