What Types of Moisture Affect the Low-Slope Roofing System?

Roofing is one of the most significant aspects of any building. The materials required for the construction of the roof are thoroughly verified and tested by the roofing system designers because it is constantly exposed to the external elements which demand a more tactful and protective designing. There is a recent trend among construction engineers to opt for flat or low-slope roofing systems as they tend to last longer. But these roofing systems also need more vigilant engineering and craftsmanship as any small errors during the construction might lead to bigger problems such as leaks, moisture or condensation. Even though low-slope roofing systems are known to be very efficient in the prevention of damages from rain and snow, water, in the form of vapor, might pass into the roof cavity from the interior of the building and cause problems.

Roof moisture is a danger which can appear in many forms. Therefore, you need to know understand how moisture can occur:

Moisture Generated by the Occupants of the Building

Occupied buildings are always vulnerable to water and moisture. But, the level of damage actually depends on the occupancy level of the buildings. Residential buildings and other office premises generate a small amount of roof moisture whereas a greater amount of moisture is found in the commercial and construction buildings.

Small Amounts of Moisture Generated by Occupants

Warm air is always present in residential complexes, office buildings and warehouses. Warm air travels upward and carries moisture to the roofing system. This kind of roof moisture is very commonly seen in northern climates and causes condensation that affects both the membrane and the insulation of the roof construction.

Prevention Tips

  • It is best to use staggered joints in-between the two layers of insulation. This best prevents moisture from accumulating under the roof membrane.
  • High density Polios boards and cover boards are highly recommended if the roofing structure contains a single layer of insulation.
  • In case you choose to use water-based adhesive for the protection of the roof membrane, be careful to select the one which is suitable to your overall building structure.

Large Amounts of Moisture Generated by Occupants

Industrial sites such as paper mills, laundries and indoor swimming pools are highly susceptible to roof moisture and, therefore, precaution should be taken in order to prevent the accumulation of condensation. The ventilation system should be carefully monitored to avoid the moisture build up on the roof. There are also some effective ways through which commercial buildings can be protected from the dangers of roof moisture.

  • Some building designing professionals prefer using air and vapor barriers to prevent roof moisture from occurring. These barriers are efficient in the vapor management and increase the durability of your low-slope roofing system.
  • Seek the assistance a building science professional to assist you in understanding the requirements of your commercial building. Moreover, they can create the structure of the building envelope in a manner which would prevent condensation from affecting the integrity of your overall building construction.

Moisture Generated by Construction

Moisture can be troublesome even in buildings without any occupants. Constructional work can also create considerable amount of roof moisture on a low-slope roofing system and weaken the integrity of the roof. Moisture release during construction can be effectively handled by building designing professionals.

Prevention Tips

  • Concrete roof decks used to be the choice of building designers as they appear to be dry and strong. But the reliable “Plastic Sheet Test” often fails to determine the dryness level on the surface of the concrete roof decks. Therefore, these roof decks should be covered by vapor barriers and special care should be taken to see that such barriers are installed correctly.
  • If you have a building membrane which is completely water-adhesive, you need to check that it does not get re-liquefied in the presence of moisture.

Get the Best Roof Protection: Consult Us

We at TechniScan understand that a properly installed roofing system without any manufacturing or constructional defects provides great performance for many years. Hence, we try to provide our clients with a vast range of roof consulting services, such as surveys on roof condition, roof construction and design observation so that we can offer them the right solution to their roof moisture problems. Consult our field-trained architects today to discover the best protective roof management program for your building.

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