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The pros and cons of torch on membrane waterproofing

Waterproofing flat roofs can be a tricky business. Instead of the instant water wicking that occurs on sloped roofs, flat roofs are far less efficient at getting rid of excess moisture and have a tendency to pool water when they begin to age. Torch on membrane seeks to minimise the damage caused by this problem.

Torch-on membrane waterproofing is the process of using a mixture of polymers and bitumen to create an impenetrable barrier to moisture, which is welded into place with the use of the torch. There are many advantages that come with the use of torch-on membranes, although there are a few disadvantages as well. Let’s have a quick look at these pros and cons to help you judge whether a torch on the solution is right for you.


The pros of torch-on membranes are many and varied, and include:

  • Torch-on membranes offer a green roofing solution that can lower you carbon footprint
  • They have an extremely long lifespan and are proven to last
  • The application process is quick and clean, with minimal noise and no harmful fumes created
  • Torch-on membranes can protect from the sun and wind as well as rain, creating a weatherproof barrier
  • Torch-on membranes are non-carcinogenic, non-toxic, non-water soluble and non-bio-degradable
  • They will protect a building while not affecting the aesthetics, as a variety of neutral finishes are available
  • They can be used in full water immersion applications, such as sub-soil, box gutters and flower beds


While there are many pros, torch-on membranes do have some minor cons, such as:

  • While the long term costs of torch on membranes – such as maintenance, repair and replacement – are minimal, the initial cost can be high in comparison to other methods
  • A professional contractor will need to take care of your torch on membrane installation – you can’t do it yourself

In the end, however, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. If you’re looking for a long-term, safe and cost-effective waterproofing solution, you could do far worse than choosing the torch-on membrane option.

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