Matchmaking in roofing is a lot like dating — chemistry matters. Matching your needs up with the ideal roofing membrane for the task means looking at how the membrane is made and what it’s likely to face in the years of work protecting your building.
ASTM D6754 Standard Specification for Ketone Ethylene Ester (KEE) Based Sheet Roofing was adopted and published in 2002. The standard offered an alternative to PVC thermoplastic roofing membranes that had been established under the ASTM D4434 Standard Specification for Poly (Vinyl Chloride) Sheet Roofing.
There’s a lot of emphasis put on the physical properties of a single-ply membrane. This is true even though they seldom directly reflect the overall performance or design service life of the sheet. And all too often these properties are used as a weapon for competitive evaluation or marketing propaganda. But where do these physical properties and their subsequent standardization come from?
I’ve done and seen more than my fair share of welding over the past 40 years. And in that time the materials and welding technology have changed significantly. There were also a number of lessons learned along the way. For the old-timers out there, how many of you remember manufacturers saying these new thermoplastic materials could be welded “straight through water”?
Periodically I get asked if FiberTite is a Class A membrane. When this happens I have to carefully provide a simple answer to address the question and explain the answer thoroughly. It can be a bit confusing for most people, especially since there is a belief that Underwriters Laboratories is the only one who can classify a roof. This post takes a closer look at the differences between the roofing classes and will help dispel the confusion between them.
I admit that I am a bit biased when it comes to mechanically fastened versus adhered roofing systems. When I started with Seaman Corporation 32 years ago, mechanically fastened assemblies were favored in the industry. In contrast, over the past 15 years there has been an increase in specifying and installing adhered membrane roofing systems. This is not necessarily a negative, however, it is somewhat unexpected when you consider the history, understand the dynamics of the roof system’s actual performance, and compare it to the way performance is tested.
In 2011 Mr. Richard Fricklas, one of the roofing industry’s most respected experts published a short article titled “Alice in Warranty Land.” In the article, Mr. Fricklas outlined the misconceptions that the various stakeholders had with regard to commercial roofing warranties. Alice was confused to say the least. "How can this be?” cried Alice when confronted with the various expectations regarding exactly what is covered in the warranty.
FM Global (FM) has had a major influence in the design and installation of membrane roofing systems since the early 1970’s. As a major underwriter, FM offers insurance coverage, loss prevention information, risk management and product certification. Product certification is where the commercial roofing industry is often required to adapt as FM has evolved over the years.
The purpose of any roof system is to keep water out of and divert it away from the building. Seems like a simple enough task but it is far from easy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 40-years, it is that roofs leak. And they leak for numerous reasons and for the most part, the least of all are the materials. I have found the occasional arrow and bullet hole in the membrane but the following are the six most common causes of roof leaks.
Stormwater management is arguably one of the more beneficial aspects of installing green roofing systems, especially in metropolitan areas. When it rains, runoff flows directly into stormwater systems and nearby waterways. Excessive rainfall can result in strains on these systems which can lead to flooding. Green roofing systems however, absorb a certain amount of rainwater during a storm and then release it slowly, if at all, as to not overpower the city’s water infrastructure.