Membrane Formula Changes – New and Improved or Inconsistent and Unproven

In the world we live in today, we want everything we buy to be the latest and greatest. Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, car, appliance, or even a kid’s toy, the newest products are what everyone wants and talks about. Even a model of just about any product above a year or two old can be sold for steep discounts in favor of clearing space for upcoming models. However, with most construction products, especially flat commercial roofing products, the opposite is typically true. Why? Probably the biggest reason, in my opinion, is that unlike most consumer items, construction products are something that you will likely live with for decades. Even something as major as a car is typically replaced every 5 to 10 years. Compare that to a flat roof system, which is typically warranted from 15 to 30 years. As a result, product failure or shortcoming is something that you may have to live with for a long time, especially if it isn’t backed up by a strong warranty. This means that for many people who are experienced in construction, they don’t want to be the guinea pig with something that will last such a long time and comes with such a high price tag. Another reason that consistency prevails in the construction industry is that oftentimes, manufacturers will release a new product to […]

Ponding Water – How Much is Too Much

Ponding water on flat roof systems is one of the most misunderstood topics. Opinions range from, “It’s a flat roof, it’s meant to hold water,” to, “No water should ever sit on a flat roof for more than 24 hours.” The truth is in the middle. As a general rule of thumb, most single-ply manufacturers require 80% of water to be off of a roof within 48 hours of a rain event. So, if there are a few places throughout the roof that have some ponding water after this 48-hour point, it is within the design of the roof system. On most coating systems, ponding water is less flexible. Requirements vary, but generally, if ponding water exists, coating warranties either exempt these areas or require a more expensive and more heavy-duty flashing grade coating to be used. Asphalt roof systems tend to be in the middle. The 80% rule within 48 hours of a rain event still applies, but they typically prefer ponding to be as limited as possible. So what can be done to reduce ponding water? There are a few options: Consider a full or partial tear off, even if only 1 roof exists. Ponding water can be created from wet or damaged insulation, and so removing and replacing these areas can help. Consider a tapered roof system. Tapered insulation has a slight […]