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Products specializes in supplying roofing products for the Western Canadian and
Pacific Northwest region.
Showrooms Index Page
Concrete Roof Tiles
Peel & Stick Low Slope / Flat Roof Membranes
Caulking & Coatings
Tile Look Metal
Peel & Stick Underlayment
Presidential TL Ultimate
Landmark TL Ultimate
High Definition Shingles
Country Mansion Shingle
Eagle Concrete Roof Tiles
MCA Clay Tiles
Clay Shake Tiles
Lightweight Clay Tiles
Roof AquaGuard UDLX
Roofer Safety Equipment
Balcony Roof Windows
True Comfort Attic Insulation
Blown in Attic Insulation
Fiberglass Insulation Blowing
Savvy Interior Design
Fire Chat Tables
Timber Frame Shelters
Tiki Hut Shelters
Flat Roof Solutions
Variety of solutions to waterproof low slope and flat roof projects
All roofing materials that
are built for normal slope and steep slopes are considered water-shedding
devices. They are not "WATER-PROOFING" as many people are under the
impression that they are, but they usually are not.
For low slopes
and flat roofs the roofing solution MUST BE Waterproof.
Contact our knowledgeable staff on what
waterproofing solutions are right for your home or building, in the region your roof is
being installed in.
604-585-9955, or 604-420-9000 email:
The following types and styles of waterproofing
are typical for the West-coast region of BC, each with their own benefits,
purposes, and normal applications. This list is not designed in a specific
Tar & Gravel
Modified Asphalt Membranes
Self Adhered Modified Membranes
Peel and Stick Membranes
EPDM Rubber Membranes
Liquid Rubber Coatings - roll on applications
Liquid Rubber Coatings - Spray on
Asphalt Emulsion Coatings
We consider Low Slopes as 2:12 slope or less.
Most of the above systems can also be used on slopes exceeding this slope, but
are usually not selected above 4:12 slope (at that slope and above other
water-shedding solutions are more often selected).
Flat roofs should never be dead flat. They should
provide a positive slope to the drain locations, or roof edge perimeters.
Ponding conditions should be avoided in the rainier climates, as excessive water
from rainy periods or melting snow situations can put the structure at risk of
collapse from to much weight. Ponding conditions also stress the roof system and
membranes, which can lead to premature failure, roof leaks, degradation of the
membrane, discolouring of the roofing, as well as leading to further sagging of
the structure ( especially wood frame buildings).
The reality of older roofs is that many are flat,
without positive slope to the drains, and many have ponding conditions. Most
manufacturers of all the above mentioned systems prefer, want, or demand
positive slope to the drainage locations, so please be aware that roofs that are
being re-roofed that do not retro fit in additional slope elements may not have
a warranty, and may not perform to intended life durations the consumer or
building owner is expecting.
Cheap bids do not allow for slope changes as a
rule. Ponding conditions can be cured and flat roofs can have slopes created,
but the specification and the bid must provide for this extra but necessary
The cures are many, but they include adding a
layer of EPS style foam insulation which we call "Sloped Insulation". Besides
adding a little energy efficiency, R Value, noise reduction, this EPS sloped
insulation can be kitted for each building. A site measurement is taken, and a
variety of thicknesses and tapered insulation is code numbered and delivered to
the site, ready to be assembled similar to an easy jig saw puzzle. The roof
system is then installed over this sloped insulation, and will now have positive
slope to the drains or perimeters.
So now that you know that you CAN improve the
roof system performance by adding a little positive slope, the current reality
is that most roofers and most buyers of the roofing system are simply recovering
the existing structure without improvement of slope or drainage. Buyer beware in
our rainforest climate. I am not trying to be alarmist, I simply want everyone
to know that the manufacturers of roofing membranes that are meant for flat
roofs all expect positive slope to drains or perimeters for their roofing
materials to be able to perform as expected. Plus their warranties usually
require such slope or drainage, or they are voided.
If you want to have confidence in the flat
roofing system, add slope. Otherwise, build the system better than the minimum
standard so it has a better chance to be reliable during all our rainy, stormy,
and generally wet conditions.
In fact, architects and designers are doing
a disservice by designing so many multi-family and commercial / industrial
buildings with flat roofs in our Pacific Northwest and Southwest BC climate
region. The designs they draw up are to meet height restrictions, to meet cost
considerations, or for design preference, but flat roofs are better suited for
the climate of the desert states, and perhaps California.
Such building designers should create slope to
their roofs, so that the roofs can "SHED" water. The same membranes can be used
as earlier listed, but the additional element of slope will direct water-flow
off the building. Our buildings need to defend against the onslaught of our
rainforest weather, and the defense will be far more reliable and durable with
better slope designed in.
A brief overview of flat roofing solutions.
Tar and Gravel: Not very popular
anymore. The original solution of choice in our region. The roofer would put
down a nail down layer (s), usually 15# asphalt felt paper, and then "mop"
hot asphalt and typically two more layers of the felt again. An additional
hot asphalt layer was coated on top, while throwing in "pea gravel" over the
top surface. The gravel served as a ballast, as a UV protection for the
asphalt, and for the "look" in the case of low slope roofs.
Problem: Too many
variables. What is the quality of the felt, how many layers, how was it
fastened, how much asphalt is used per layer, quality of the asphalt, what
is the temperature of the asphalt at the point where it is being mopped in,
what is the moisture content, what type of felt, etc? Basically the roofer
is trying to manufacture a "membrane" up on the roof by assembling layers of
materials in a less than controlled environment. How many layers did you
"really get"? Is the asphalt as good as it used to be? Is there a warranty
on the materials? Other problems include severe and even deadly
burning hazards for workers, very bad odours during application, very hot
unpleasant working conditions for the roofers, generally a very messy system
to work with. In our region there are very few "asphalt kettles" left
to be put to work, as roofers have generally gone on to more modern day
One of the most popular roofing systems for the last twenty years in our
region. Originally designed in Europe, it has been used in BC since the
The original membranes were mostly APP
Modified Membranes. The plasticized modifier in the asphalt combined with a
polyester fabric reinforcement was a great improvement over typical asphalt
felt papers. Although the European Design called for two full layers to be
"Torch Welded" together and bonded to a nailed "base" sheet, many roofers
put the product on as a "single ply" system. One ply was "torch-applied" to
a thin fiberglass base sheet, and a number of roof failures occurred due to
misapplication, poor workmanship, and misunderstanding. The APP version is
more often used today in warmer states. It was a good membrane but it needed
more layers and thicker base sheets to make it a more durable solution for
The next phase for Torch-On was to use
SBS Modified Membranes. Styrene Butidene Styrene is essentially a rubberized
modifier added to the asphalt, and can be bonded together at a lower
temperature than the APP versions. SBS Torch-On is generally either
fiberglass reinforced or polyester reinforced rolled roofing membranes. The
first element of a good system is to use a thick strong base sheet (normally
fiberglass reinforced), which is normally nailed or mechanically
fastened to the substrate. Then a minimum of one layer of "mid-Ply" is
bonded to the base sheet (two mid plies are better but not often enough
used). This mid ply is typically a polyester reinforced membrane that is
either hot mopped on, "self-Adhered" peel and stuck on, or the more typical
"Torched On" and welded to the previous layer (as well as to each 3" overlap
on itself). All the stripping is then added to flash in vents, pipes,
drains, and perimeters, prior to the adding the final layer which is called
the cap sheet. This layer usually has a Granular Finish, it is usually a 4mm
thickness polyester reinforced roll that is also "torched on" to the
previous layer, as well as to each of its overlaps.
Benefit: Versus tar and gravel, the membranes
of torch on are built by manufacturers in controlled factory conditions.
They are usually much better quality raw materials than "tar" and "felt" and
gravel. They may come with a warranty statement that the rolls were produced
as intended, and may be warranted for between ten to twenty years depending
on number of layers, thicknesses, or qualification of the applicator.
Problem: An extreme fire hazard during the
application phase. A large often 350,000 BTU torch is used to attempt to
fuse the layers and joints together. Even detail torches use at least
100,000 BTU flames when the roofer is working around vents, walls, and site
penetrations. If the roofer does not properly bond the layers together, the
roof system will fail, so the use of the open flame is critical. But this
same open flame is where the problem lies, especially during re-roofing
projects, renovations, and retro-fit applications. Sometimes it is
carelessness on the part of the applicator that causes fires to occur, but
sometimes older buildings just have materials in the structure, near
perimeters, or under roof penetrations that are ready to ignite with the
smallest of flames introduced to them. During the application phase there is
a risk of fire, insurance must be carried, precautions need to be in place,
and building owners do not always understand the risk they are taking when
allowing a "Torch-On System" to be installed on their properties.
Problem: The Insurance ISSUE. Many roofers do
not have VALID insurance to cover them if a fire were to break out on
someone's property during a torch-on application. We understand that there
may be as few as 25% of the roofers who do apply torch-on in our region that
actually do have any valid insurance to protect the roofer or the building
owner in the event of a fire. Those that do have current and valid insurance
to cover such problems must pay a very high price each year for the
insurance, and not every company will qualify for it even if they can afford
it. Five years ago the insurance companies in Canada realized they were
collecting only $2 million in premiums, but paying out at least $9 million
in claims each year. So the premiums suddenly went up, many roofers could no
longer qualify or afford such insurance, and for those that did pay it the
cost of doing the roofs suddenly went way up, and so did the end selling
prices for the jobs. Currently there are some contractors who continue to
install Torch on but they carry insurance from offshore Insurance Companies
(Southeast Asia and India for example). If a fire were to occur, would those
Insurance Companies come forward with the funds to repair or replace the
building that burnt down? Would they pay for damage to property, or injury,
or worse? Would the building owner's insurance cover the rebuilding cost if
the contractor can't pay up? Another problem is the non insured roofing
contractors who "claim" they are insured, and may state this in writing, but
having liability insurance or WCB insurance does not mean they have valid
insurance for the fire issue. When it comes to insurance BUYER BEWARE ( with
big or small companies), and please do due diligence on qualifications,
insurance, and types and styles of roofing systems.
Problem: Too often roofers install the
"minimum" amount of layers. Sometimes they install less, but no where near
enough do they offer to include more layers, or thicker layers.
Mitigation of the Fire Issue: The Insurance
questions still need to be dealt with, but one can mitigate the fire hazard
by making the "mid-ply" a Peel & Stick Self Adhered membrane application.
After the base sheets are mechanically fastened to the substrate and
structure, the mid plies need not be torch applied. BY using self adhering
membranes, most of the fire hazard can be reduced by encapsulating the
building in modified membranes completely prior to applying the last layer,
the "torch-on cap sheet.
Self Adhered Membranes:
An advancement of the Torch-On membranes. Similar in nature to "Torch-On
membranes, these are SBS Modified Asphalt membranes that do not require open
flame to adhere layers together. This is the solution to the fire hazard of
"torch applied systems". They are mostly made by the same companies who
build the torch applied systems, as an answer to the insurance and fire
hazard concerns. A mechanically attached base sheet, preferably a good
quality thick base such as Hal Perma-Board, is first installed. Following
this is a "self adhering" mid-ply which has its film release paper removed
to allow it to "stick" and adhere to the previous layer as well as itself. A
second ply of mid-ply is added for ultimate protection (or the first mid ply
is lapped on the half way mark of each roll). Following the mid plies is the
"cap" sheet, which is adhered to the previous layers as well as to its
overlap areas. No flame was necessary to build a good roof. The cap sheet
has granules imbedded in it just like the torch on. The system works usually
with a little warmth in the air (should be above 10 degrees Celsius and
rising), and by having the applicator run a 70 lb roller over the membrane
to assure a good bond, after he has installed each layer.
Benefit: No Fire Hazard, less worry. No
specialty insurance for "hot roofing applications" needed.
Benefit: Looks just like torch on, all the
layers are built in controlled factory conditions, and the application has
less variables than torch on (such as how much heat was used to torch the
layers, was it "fully" torched, was there enough "bleed out")
Problem: The components for self adhered cost
more than "torch-on". The roofers would rather purchase the cheaper torch on
even though the self adhered system can install a little faster, and it does
not have the fire hazard. Typically a self adhered system costs about $1
more per square foot for materials than torch on ( 3 ply versus 3 ply).
Problem: A seasonal product in our area. The
mean daily temperature does not allow for many days of use between November
until the middle of March. Once it is installed it does not matter, but the
application temperature is important for a proper bond to occur.
A rubber sheet membrane used for built in gutters as well as to cover small
or large buildings. It must only be installed by professionals who are
factory trained. Typically a 45 mil membrane, EPDM is either loose laid down
over insulation panels (and then ballasted down with heavy round rocks), or
it is fully adhered ( and sometime mechanically fastened) to the substrate
or over insulation panels. The EPDM rubber is relatively inexpensive, and it
may come in very large rolls. Often it would take a large crew of men or
mechanical equipment to unroll and manipulate the materials. It is the joint
work, and the penetrations which are critical in this system, and the joint
compounds, adhesives, and cover flashings are quite expensive and need to be
installed with great care and attention to detail. Rare are there roofs with
no joints or penetrations, or mechanical equipment on flat roofs, so such
detail work is very important when considering an EPDM roof system.
Benefits: The sheets can come in many sizes,
some as large as 50 feet by 100 feet, and often 15 feet to 30 feet in width
(x 100 ft). Large sections of roofs can be covered in one piece. The sheets
do not cost too much ( but the accessory products can add up fast).
Problems: No back up line of defense. If the
first layer fails, water will get in the building.
Problems: Its the details
that count, and its just as often that its the details that fail. Without
proper joint work, and good adhesive and cover strip practices, this roof
can be prone to leak. A pin hole will never "self seal" and there is no room
for error in this roof system.
Problems: The popular ballasted system is
completely covered in rocks, so any leak can be very difficult to find the
source and repair.
These are especially useful for re-roofing, renovations, and recover
applications. There are two types... a roll on coating out of a pail, as
well as a professionally applied spray on version that requires specialized
pump sprayers. We carry a new innovation called Perma-Dri, which is a liquid
rubber coating that will become a monolithic membrane with no joints to
worry about. Rather than trying to manipulate larger cumbersome rolls (often
requiring cranes) the product can simply be painted on, or better yet the
pros can spray it on in very short order. This rubber emulsion creates a
seamless roof, and one can have it put on fairly thin ( similar thickness to
EPDM), or increase it many times if one desires the extra protection. The
spray on version dries almost instantly once applied, while the roll on
version will take a couple days to cure fully. But, it can rain on it
shortly after application with no ill affects, so this product is excellent
for climate region. Perma-Dri saves the expense of tearing off and disposing
of old roofing materials. As long as the old roof is in decent shape, once
the gravel (if any) is removed, and the roof is cleaned and prepped, a
complete covering of PermaDri liquid rubber coating will create a durable
long lasting new roof membrane. It can also be coated with White or Grey
Elastomeric coating to better reflect the suns heat and create a "Cool Roof"
Energy Star compliant roof. Or add a designer colour to create some
architectural flare to the look of the roof on the building. The Elastomeric
coating can be green, red, blue, or whatever colour suits your
imagination as it can be custom blended.
Benefit: A modern new way to cover old roofs.
It can cover old EPDM, Torch-On, Tar & Gravel (once the gravel is removed),
and many other roof surfaces. It can also recoat over old metal roofs,
foundations, underground parking, concrete slabs, water towers, and many
Benefit: Avoids capital expenditure on
complete new roof. This recoating system is a maintenance expense and can
have great tax advantages compared to a complete re-roof.
Benefit: Saves disposal costs, and as such is
Benefit: Not expensive to install. Very
efficient for those who are qualified dealers and have invested in the pump
spraying machinery. The roll on coatings are also very easy to install.
Benefit: A monolithic rubber membrane which
is seamless has significantly reduced the element of workmanship error or
omissions, and can thus be counted upon as a very durable solution.
Benefit: When combined with fabric, it can be
used as a pond liner, viaduct waterproofing, and many other useful
waterproofing coating purposes. Imagine, being able to spray out a single
monolithic waterproofing over the irregular surface and edges of ponds... no
joints, no worries.
Problem: The materials are more costly than
torch-on membranes ( although the labour will be significantly less), and
are similar in cost to self adhered membranes.
The roof SYSTEM is not the place to cheap out, or
cut the budget. It is meant to protect your home, your contents, and your family
for decades to come, and you are hoping to be able to count on it being an
adequate and dependable defender against the weather and the elements. As a flat
roofing system DOES NOT have the added benefit of being a water-shedding
element, it needs to be waterproof, and it needs to be very, very dependable.
Copyright 2011 All Weather Products