Victoria Ramwell of Kemper System explains how liquid waterproofing solutions offer the long-term solutions that education buildings need for flat roofs, and the key considerations for specifiers

hether as part of a refurbishment or new build, waterproofing flat roofs on educational buildings

Flat-out waterproofing success W

requires a highly durable, long-term solution. Ensuring the roof remains trouble- free for years to come is essential to keep occupiers in a safe and comfortable environment, and reduce future maintenance and costs.

Cold-applied liquid waterproofing solutions can tick all of these boxes, but also offer additional benefits for specifiers and end users alike.

The versatility of liquid systems means that most can be applied to roofs as well as balconies and walkways. They can also be used within a built-up roof system such as a green roof, making them ideal for educational establishments seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Quick curing times ensure the installation process is efficient, minimises disruption and helps keep the wider construction programme on track. As liquids are often roller applied with minimal equipment needed onsite, roof areas with lots of plant installed such as air conditioning units can also be easily waterproofed, as can more complex detailing.

For refurbishment projects, liquid waterproofing offers one of the safest solutions for educational sites which sometimes have to remain operational throughout the work. Quick to apply and with solvent-free options available, schools and universities can carry on as normal without having to worry about nuisance odours or fire risks.

The versatility of liquid systems means that most can be applied to roofs as well as balconies and walkways


Specification considerations Liquids are the fastest growing sector of the flat roofing market, so there’s a vast range of products to choose from, but not all perform in the same way. This means specifiers must thoroughly research which system is most suitable for the application.

Consider the characteristics that will be needed to comply with Building Regulations and meet performance requirements such as the compatibility of the surfaces to be waterproofed, ability to withstand substrate movement, and resistance to damage from anticipated load levels or trafficking. The manufacturer’s third-party accreditation, such as a BBA certificate, can assist with this process, but specifiers must thoroughly read the details in this document to check the liquid has been appropriately tested and is suitable for the application.

It is also important to establish whether a wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry liquid waterproofing system would be appropriate. When specified from a manufacturer with third-party accreditation, it should offer a durable waterproofing solution, but there are key differences to consider before specifying either one.

For example, when applying any liquid waterproofing product, it is often very difficult to achieve a consistent rate of coverage. This means that although the average membrane thickness may be as required, when the system begins to cure it could still be thin in parts, creating weak spots.

Specifying a wet-on-wet system with a reinforcement fleece makes it easier to obtain a consistent depth and coverage as the liquid system completely saturates the reinforcement layer. The resin then cures to form a single, fleece reinforced, chemically bonded


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