Hot spray applied waterproofing vs. bitumen sheets

Posted by Eric Boullenois - 20 December, 2019

Bitumen has been a well-known waterproofing material for centuries; the bitumen sheets now available represent the final stage of evolution of this material. Bitumen is also extremely popular accounting for an estimated 80% or more of the materials used in waterproofing flat roofs. What are bitumen sheets and what are their main pros and cons? How do hot spray applied waterproofing membranes perform against in comparison with bitumen sheets? I will be answering these questions in this article.

Prefabricated sheets

Roof_bodyimage_bitumenBitumen sheets, and by extension prefabricated sheets made from other materials such as PVC or EPDM, are often applied to standard flat roofs. To date, these sheets have been the preferred solution in a conservative market because they allow an effective solution in terms of quality and price per square metre which is hard to beat in the case of roofs with simple geometric shapes. Although prefabricated systems have certain advantages, the fact that each piece needs to be joined manually to the next piece and all details such as chimneys and ventilation pipes also need to be manually sealed, means that application errors are possible. Even if joints are made properly, they represent the weak point in the system, they can easily be damaged and cause leakage.

Hot spray applied waterproofing membranes

Roof_bodyimage_hotsprayHot spray applied waterproofing membranes are the ideal solution to this problem! A liquid system can be applied to flat surface quickly and easily, even in the case of steep slopes. These products can be sprayed onto any substrate and harden in only a few seconds, avoiding any sliding of the material. This is extremely important to meet the demands and aspirations of architectural design. New building designs and aesthetic approaches are continually being adopted especially for public buildings, as people want to spend their time in buildings that look good and make them feel good. Reliable waterproofing cannot be applied to such unusual and complex shapes using prefabricated sheets and traditional solutions. Hot spray applied waterproofing solutions instead form a seamless skin on the structure, ensuring effective overall protection.

The pros and cons of hot spray applied systems vs prefabricated sheets are outlined in the table below.

HSS vs bitumen sheets_Pros and cons

In conclusion hot spray applied systems have proved to be extremely versatile and suitable for applications where high resistance and very good crack-bridging properties are required, supporting architects and designers whether they are shaping and creating the buildings of the future or working on renovation projects.

To discover the benefits of how MasterSeal Roof, our hot spray applied systems range for roofing applications, please read the article Is one single solution for all types of roofs possible?

Topics: Expert Insights

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