Increasing the life-span of an existing, but deteriorating bituminous membrane on a flat roof, whilst at the same time adding extra protection to the system has never been easier to do. The use of the most innovative solutions such as solvent free adhesive sealants, levelling pastes, water-base bituminous membranes and reflective liquid membranes, is undoubtedly the winning strategy to obtain guaranteed and long-lasting results.The term ‘environmental sustainability’ has a vast quantity of meanings, and the construction sector is no different in looking for opportunities to improve on this. For example, when maintaining flat roofs that have originally been waterproofed with bituminous membranes, we can now give new life to the membrane using advanced technology and therefore avoid throwing away the original covering. Not only does this give new life to the structure, but can prevent future issues, saving money and avoiding damaging the environment.
Older bituminous sheets can be restored, as well as being protected for the future. New waterproofing products can not only carry out immediate repairs but can offer long-term protection from water and humidity. A main cause of the deterioration of a flat roof can be thermal shock, otherwise known as freeze-thaw cycles, which can also be caused by wind and UV rays. Over time, the consequences of these natural events can affect the stability of the waterproofing layer, thus causing cracks in the structure and damage to the building.
Poor surface maintenance, especially on the vulnerable parts of the flat roof system can be extremely damaging to the flat roof over time. Welding joints are particularly exposed to damage and corrosion below the bituminous sheets if ponding water is allowed to remain. Acidic elements corrode the bituminous coating, and the weld can detach leaving space for cracks and holes to cause severe damage.
This is why regular maintenance is required to intervene before major damage is done. For example, when it is necessary to restore and maintain the slopes of a bituminous substrate, for both the cases of a bitumen-polymer membrane and a slated roof, we would recommend to use a water-based levelling bituminous paste which is one-component and ready-to-use.These are solutions with high added value that can also be used to connect and waterproof adjoining vertical sections with the flat roof and also on corners. For these overlapping sections, the use of a bituminous and polymer based adhesive sealant is highly recommended.
The quality of these advanced modern repairing waterproofing systems offers both the contractor and the end client the guarantee and warranty of a long lasting solution. The water-based products, without any harmful solvents, are formulated to ensure the best performance as well as protecting human health and the environment.
And since we can never do enough to protect the environment, a great solution would be to use a water-based liquid containing special fillers and additives that are designed to build a considerable barrier against infrared rays from the sun. This product not only gives effective reflectivity from the sun, but prevents issues from water, even ponding water.
Today it is possible to plan the maintenance of a flat roof, carrying out all the actions needed to limit the energy costs involved in ‘cooling buildings’. This is especially valuable in the warmer months using reflective liquid products that will work for many years to come.