For more than a century, the commercial roofing industry has used a variety of fastening techniques and methods to secure roof coverings and insulation to decks. Materials historically were affixed to building substrates with hot coal-tar or asphalt-based materials or held in place with pavers or stone ballast.
Driven by FM Global, mechanical fastening began to evolve during the early 1980s as an approved method for attaching insulation and single-ply or low-slope roof coverings because of asphalt-based products' contribution to fire. Although not always the best option for all deck types, mechanical fastening remains the dominant method for securing insulation and roof membranes to steel and wood decks. However, adhesive fastening offers roofing contractors, designers and building owners an alternative when it comes to installing insulation on various deck and building types.
Mechanical fastening limits
Often, mechanical fasteners are not the best option for attaching insulation to concrete, gypsum or cementitious wood fiber roof decks. Most concrete—lightweight and structural—and gypsum decks must be pre-drilled to accept most roofing fasteners. Pre-drilling is time-consuming and labor-intensive, requiring roofing workers to spend a larger percentage of their time installing fasteners.