Tech Today

Moisture in concrete roof decks

Lately, NRCA has experienced an increase in reports of moisture-related problems with low-slope membrane roof systems applied to newly poured, normal-weight or lightweight structural concrete roof decks.

In the reported instances, significant amounts of water have been found within roof systems within several months to up to three years after construction. In most of the situations reported, it was determined the roof membrane was watertight and not the source of moisture infiltration. Nevertheless, NRCA has some recommendations for avoiding such problems.

Concrete decks

When mixed, poured and formed, normal-weight and lightweight structural concrete contain significant amounts of water. As concrete cures and hardens, it consumes large amounts of this water through hydration and evaporation. For example, a 4-inch-thick concrete slab will release about 1 quart of water for each square foot of surface area.