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STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS Waterproofing inverted roofs


Sarah Spink, CEO of the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA) provides specification advice on waterproofing inverted roofs, which are increasingly popular


offering many benefits. From a design perspective, inverted roofs enable additional space to be created on top of buildings that can be used for a variety of purposes such as a terrace for residents or a green roof to improve environmental performance. Another major benefit is that an inverted roof – also known as a ‘protected membrane’, or ‘upside down’ roof – is constructed with the insulation on top of the waterproofing covering. Insulation boards are loose-laid on top of the membrane and then weighted down with paving slabs or gravel ballast. This protects the waterproofing membrane from extreme weather as well as UV degradation.


T Liquid benefits


Most inverted roofs are installed on concrete decks, and a range of waterproofing systems can be used. Specifying a liquid-applied waterproofing system can, however, offer many advantages compared to other waterproofing methods. Liquid technologies result in seamless and flexible membranes that fully bond directly to the substrate, providing excellent waterproofing performance with toughness, flexibility and adhesion over a wide range of temperatures.


They are also quick and easy to install, especially around any detailing, and root resistant grades are available, specifically designed for use on green roofs. Correctly installed and maintained, liquids can guarantee that a roof remains watertight for more than 25 years. Some liquids such as hot melt monolithic systems, which are frequently used for inverted roofs, even have a British Board of Agrement (BBA) certified life expectancy of ‘the life of the structure it is applied to’, providing clients with reduced building maintenance, peace of mind, and whole life cost benefits.


ADF SEPTEMBER 2019


he popularity of inverted roofs continues to grow with the construction of these systems


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Specification considerations In the last decade, the liquids sector has grown rapidly, which has attracted more manufacturers into the market. It is important for specifiers to select products, which have independent accreditations such as BBA, BDA and ETA certificates, and that also have the ISO 9001 standard. Trusted trade associations such as the


LRWA can also provide guidance and technical support to ensure the most appropriate product choice.


The importance of U-values Another key consideration for specifiers – and something the LRWA continues to


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