On average, the Chicago, Illinois, area gets about 38 inches of rain and 35 inches of snow each year.

With so much precipitation to contend with, waterproofing your roof is a must. You can’t afford to have the building you manage shut down due to major water damage.

But if you’re not a roofing professional, you most likely don’t know what kinds of things are important to consider when waterproofing a roof.

In this post, we’ll go over a few of the things you and your roofing professional need to consider when waterproofing your roof.

Keep reading to learn more.

The Existing Roofing Material

When choosing between different waterproofing products for roofs, the first thing you’ll need to consider is the existing roof materials. The waterproofing solution that you choose will need to be compatible with those materials. 

Some materials don’t work well together and can even lead to expensive damage to the roof. For example, you cannot put urethane over acrylic elastomeric material as it can re-emulsify the acrylic. Additionally, you can’t use most waterproof materials over a silicone roof because silicone will stop the waterproofing membrane from adhering properly.

The Condition of the Roof

Applying a new waterproof layer on a commercial roof should not be seen as a way to fix any damage that has already happened. Instead, as a way to help prevent damage from happening.

Before waterproofing your roof, it should be inspected thoroughly, especially if it’s an older building. Any existing water damage, structural issues, or other serious signs of deterioration should be handled before the roof is waterproofed.

The Shape of the Roof

The roof’s shape, or geometry, will need to be considered when waterproofing. Roofs with non-standard shapes can be more difficult to waterproof with sheet membranes. This is because the different angles can cause the membrane to fold or crease, negatively impacting the effectiveness of the membrane.

Liquid membranes are a much better option for uniquely shaped roofs as they can take on any shape and fill in weird angles without issue.

The Slope of the Roof

While most commercial roofs look flat to the naked eye, many actually have a slight slope. This helps to keep the water from pooling and stagnating in one place. 

But when you have a poorly designed flat roof, you’ll need to be strategic when it comes to waterproofing. If your roof has a problem with pooling water, you may need to add more drainage before waterproofing.

You’ll also need to be careful when choosing the type of waterproofing material used. Because pooled, stagnant water can cause some materials to deteriorate much quicker than others.

What to Consider Before Waterproofing a Roof

Having a waterproof roof is important to help protect the structural integrity of your commercial building. But it’s also important to consider these things before waterproofing a roof.

If you’re looking for professional roofing services in the Chicago area, contact us today for a free estimate.


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