October 2003
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The not-so-new self-adhered roof membrane

The not-so-new self-adhered roof membrane 3.2 stars3.2 stars3.2 stars3.2 stars3.2 stars

by Dick Baxter
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In the rush to provide environmentally friendly, nontoxic, odorless, colorless, tasteless, benign, harmless, cheap, super-reflective energy-efficient roof membrane materials, self-adhered bituminous and nonbituminous roof membranes are being reintroduced to the roofing marketplace. The concept is not new; the first self-adhered roof membrane systems date back almost 30 years. There have been some relatively modest improvements and modifications to old formulations, but the basic self-adhered roof membrane properties remain essentially the same—they stick to their substrates without extraneous adhesives.

The material

Original self-adhered roof membrane systems were produced from asphalts altered with polymer modifiers. Plastic films were applied to top surfaces of the membranes and parting sheets to the bottoms. As a material roll was set in place, the release/parting paper on the bottom side of the sheet was removed to expose the sticky bottom side of the membrane. To ensure continuous contact of the sticky bottom side with the substrate, lawn rollers were used to press the membrane into place. Various surfacings were used to protect the ultraviolet- (UV-) sensitive waterproofing material from exposure.

The "new" self-adhered roof membrane systems come in two varieties—bituminous and polymeric. Various surfacing materials or UV stabilizers are factory-included and replace the original plastic films and field-applied surfacings. But parting sheets remain on the bottom sides of the sheets to be removed in the field. As a material roll is set in place, the release/parting paper on the bottom side of the sheet is removed to expose the sticky bottom side of the membrane. To ensure continuous contact of the sticky bottom side with the substrate, rollers are recommended to press the membrane into place. Various surfacings/stabilizers are being used to protect the UV-sensitive waterproofing material from exposure....



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