Beyond the product: how to adapt waterproof solutions to construction site needs


Emma Potter

Roofing: construction site needs

What could be some specific construction site needs for renovations or construction of new roofs?

  • Safety: it is essential to ensure a safe environment for operators and workers. This may require implementing specific safety procedures, installing safeguards, placing appropriate signage and training staff in the safe use of equipment and materials.
  • Presence of numerous structures and systems: accessibility should always be guaranteed on the roof, very often the available space is limited and operators are forced into incorrect postures.
  • Sensitive areas in coverage: the use of open flame and the development of high temperatures could damage, for example, photovoltaic systems and various machinery. It is necessary to provide staff with adequate training on safety, operating procedures and preventive measures specific to each construction site.
  • Intended use of the building: generating heat increases the risk both when working outside on the roof and inside the building. An active assembly line indoors or the storage of dangerous or flammable goods could trigger unsafe situations.
  • Location of the construction site: the historic centers of cities rather than inaccessible mountain areas reduce the possibility of storing large quantities of material on the roof and do not facilitate construction site logistics (cranes, operating machines, transport on the roof).
  • Type of building: working in condominiums or within inhabited contexts requires considerable attention and care. Common areas usually favor the absence of noise, smoke, odor during work, respect for deadlines and speed in work.
  • Surfaces to be waterproofed: large roofs require waterproof systems that reduce possible installation errors to a minimum and that have timely and immediate control of any problems during work.

What are the waterproof technologies and systems to prefer based on specific construction site needs?

Applied products waterproofing liquids (second UNI 11928-1):

  • ideal for working in confined spaces or where other technologies are less convenient. Roller or brush application: even the most inaccessible and complex spots are meticulously coated;
  • no mechanical fixing: water does not find weak points of entry, in total adherence to the support;
  • cold application: no fire risk, no odor and noise;
  • continuous covering: without joints or gluing, limiting critical points and overlaps;
  • easy repairability of systems;
  • usable in sensitive and poorly ventilated areas: kindergartens, schools, hospitals;
  • to be used in addition to more traditional systems, such as completing particular areas or points.

Some products that meet these characteristics can be: single or two-component polyurethane resins, polyester based resins, PMMA methyl methacrylate based resins.

Single layer flexible membranes for waterproofing (according to UNI EN 13956):

  • used above all in the industrial sector on large surfaces, the formats of the rolls or large sheets facilitate and reduce installation problems to a minimum;
  • hot or cold air application: no open flame on the roof;
  • versatility of installation systems with numerous application methods: exposed or under ballast, green roofs and driveway floors;
  • they stand out for their high mechanical characteristics such as dimensional stability, mechanical resistance and resistance to UV rays which ensure durability and resilience of the roofs;
  • lightness of installation and stackability with other systems, this allows you to avoid having to remove and dispose of the old waterproof systems present on the roof;
  • high fire resistance with specific BRoof certifications;
  • wide range of prefabricated accessories that avoid the creation of parts and details on site.

Some products that meet these characteristics can be: PVC membranes, TPO and FPO, EPDM membranes.