The long-term advantages of torch on membrane
Modern techniques for waterproofing buildings have resulted in less leaky structures. One of the major advances in waterproofing has been the invention of torch-on membrane. This is mainly used on waterproofing flat roofs, works by using a substance such as polyurethane or bitumen, and heat-fusing (welding) different pieces of this substance together to form one continuous membrane. The seams, or where the membrane pieces overlap, can also be fused with solvents instead of heat and can be as strong as the rest of the membrane.
There are some major advantages to membrane roofing. In the past asphalt and gravel were used, but these applications often had weaknesses. For one, it can be very difficult to create a proper seal at all seams and connection points. This can cause many roofs to leak early in its lifespan, and require much more maintenance. However, membrane materials are either seamless or have seams as strong as the body. This can prevent the leakage concerns that are often associated with flat roofing systems.
Repairing gravel and asphalt systems can also be difficult, mainly because it is difficult to locate the exact place where a leak is. Membrane materials can be patched easily though, and breaks or leaks are much easier to find.
Finally, asphalt roofing required a layer of gravel above it for a couple of reasons. One was that exposure to sunlight caused it to expand and contract throughout a day, causing it to degrade quickly. The other was that asphalt requires weight on top of it to hold it down because it is not attached to a building. Membrane roofing systems contain materials that resist expansion and contraction, and, because these membranes either lack seams or have strong seams, what expansion and contraction do occur does not create leaks and breaks at these seams. Also, they are directly attached to the top of a building and this eliminates the need for added weight.
If you’re building a new roof, or require repairs to a current one, contact Le Fong Waterproofing on 1300 761 219 to enquire about whether torch on membrane would be suitable for your needs.