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Torch-on membrane waterproofing is a type of building waterproofing solution composed of bitumen and a variety of modified polymers. When applied to the surface of a structure, it prevents moisture and liquid from seeping through — which when ignored, can negatively impact the integrity of a building over time.

This type of waterproofing in building construction is a sheet membrane system that offers a highly effective waterproofing solution for roofing and other surfaces that experience ponding (when water collects on a flat surface), as it doesn’t get damaged nor allow seepage to occur. It is also resistant to chemicals, toxic vapors, and other dangerous elements.

There are two types of torch-on waterproof membranes:
Atactic Polypropylene Plastic modified asphalt (APP) – The asphalt in APP is processed with an elastic-plastic, designed to tolerate high temperatures, making it the perfect choice for those who are looking at an enhanced sun and UV radiation protection. In terms of application, APP melts easily when heated with a torch, compared to SBS sheets.
Styrene Butadiene Styrene or SBS – This type is made of rubber-modified asphalt making it more elastic than APP. It offers more flexibility in cold temperatures and handles fluctuating weather, temperature, and even contraction and expansion stresses well.

If you are unsure which is best (there are definitely advantages to choosing the right one) consult with an expert building waterproofing service provider to ensure that the waterproof membrane can withstand the test of time.


A torch-on membrane system is viable for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It is specifically used to waterproof flat roofs, balconies and even planter-boxes, where water pooling typically occurs. On top of that, they are also good for below-grade and basement applications because they provide a high-quality and durable, watertight layer that makes these usually unchecked areas impermeable—truly perfect for low maintenance and hard-to-reach locations like your tanking and underground spaces.
In Australia, the application of torch-on membranes is often to the following:

  • Flat roofs;
  • Terraces and balconies;
  • Basements;
  • Tanks and tank linings;
  • Underground car parks;
  • Structure foundation and slabs;
  • Walls and joints found in below-grade structures; and
  • Or used as an agent to repair cracks, roofs, and other structural leaks.

Pros & Cons of Torch On Membrane


  • Torch-on membrane waterproofing is ideal for environments requiring full water immersion, such as sealing flower boxes and gutters, and is effective in sub-oil applications.
  • It contributes to green roofing practices, helping to diminish carbon emissions.
  • The system is highly effective at making roofs and balconies resistant to water, while maintaining sustainability.
  • Known for its durability, torch-on membrane waterproofing is recognised globally for its high-quality standards.
  • The fumes produced during installation are environmentally safe.
  • The application process is relatively quiet, minimizing disruption to daily activities in the vicinity.
  • It provides thermal insulation, protecting against harmful UV rays, and incorporates photovoltaic cells that can be utilised for solar energy conversion.
  • The materials used are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-biodegradable, and non-water soluble, enhancing its environmental friendliness.


  • The initial cost of installation can be high compared to other waterproofing methods.
  • Requires professional installation due to the complexities involved with the use of torches and hot materials, which can pose safety risks.
  • Limited application in areas with a high risk of fire because the installation process involves open flames.
  • Over time, the membrane may require maintenance or repairs, especially if improperly installed.
  • Not suitable for all roofing materials, as the high heat used during installation can damage sensitive substrates.


Waterproofing a building is crucial to its lifespan and safety. Moisture, after all, can do a lot of damage to a structure. Depending on where the leak is, it can cause damage to internal spaces or electrical elements, but from a health perspective, leaking can also lead to the formation of mould and bacteria, which are harmful to anyone working or living inside a property. Over time, dampness can lead to corrosion, which will compromise the structural integrity and safety of a building.
Torch-on membranes waterproofing systems offer a wide range of benefits:

  • They are efficient and effective for various purposes, even for sub-oil applications. In fact, they can be used in full water immersion and if correctly applied, you can expect no leakage issues at all. On top of that, they can also be used to seal gutters and flower boxes. Qualified building waterproofing contractors will agree that torch-on membranes are one of the most hard-wearing waterproofing solutions available today.
  • Torch-on membranes are great for insulation purposes. Their presence, on the roof, for instance, adds another layer of the sheet that will help regulate a structure’s temperature. Aside from that, they (particularly APP) help protect the surface from the harmful rays of the sun. Some newer membranes contain photovoltaic cells, which can be harnessed to store solar energy.
  • Torch-on waterproof membranes are a sustainable roofing solution. Not only will they protect the roof from the effects of rain and cold weather, but they also help reduce a building’s carbon footprint.
  • Another reason why they are popular among contractors is the fact that they last an extended period of time and generally meet global waterproofing standards. Consider them as a good investment that will pay off in the form of a sustainable and longer-lasting building.


Not anyone can install torch-on membranes. An inexperienced contractor will not lay them straight, or allow the correct turnups or overlaps required to ensure a securely bonded and watertight solution. We’ve been installing torch on membranes for years and have a team of applicators with years of experience in the application of torch-on membranes, in building waterproofing, and in the remedial industry in general.
If you are looking for a team who can help you with your waterproofing needs, trust a company that has a proven record when it comes to torch-on membrane design, installation, and repair. Drop us a line via our contact page and we will come out and have a chat to explain how we can help.