The importance of roofs
Roofs are an essential component of buildings, protecting them from precipitation and mitigating temperatures in extreme weather situations. But because of their importance, they are at the same time their most fragile point. Read on to learn more about the importance of roofing.
More than any other component of a building, the roofs need to be in excellent condition. It is in the roofs that we find the main origins of pathologies of buildings. It is not surprising, therefore, that the vast majority of complaints that come to condominium management companies are related to the roof. This is especially true for flat roofs, as they make their rain-water tightness function almost exclusively dependent on the waterproofing system.
Due to the poor performance of many membranes, the wrong idea was created that the last floors of buildings with flat roofs should not be inhabited, because sooner or later the roof would let water into the interior of the apartment. Here the question is simply the quality of the membrane and its application. The right membrane with the right application ensures long-term efficacy and safety. This is why we have become the exclusive Portuguese applicator for Koster TPO membranes, which we consider the best waterproofing solution on the market for flat roofing. Learn more here.
With waterproofing guaranteed, flat roofs have several advantages, such as being visitable and playing a relevant role on a city scale, presenting one of the greatest achievements of urban space and a positive relationship with climate and nature.
If a roof lets the rain come in, its primary function of protecting interior spaces is failing. The consequences of this condition can be severe and its repair becomes a priority.
Pathology in a building has the same meaning as a disease in a living organism. The big difference is that a living organism, in most cases, has the ability to heal and regenerate itself, while a building with a pathology needs human intervention. Without this intervention, the passage of time will not help regeneration but will contribute to the worsening of the pathology, endangering the very existence of the building.
Frequent origins of pathologies associated with flat roofs
The first flat roofs to be built did not have some of their essential components up to their requirements, causing often difficult resolution infiltration problems. Fortunately, in recent decades there has been a great technological development in the area of waterproofing materials, with companies like Koster at the forefront of this development.
When the symptom of infiltration from the roof manifests, the first task is to diagnose its origin. This implies understanding exactly which location needs intervention. This is a complex job that requires hiring experienced professionals. The fact that water appears at a point on the ceiling or wall inside the apartment does not mean that the condition is immediately above that place.
When looking for the causes of a condition in a flat roof, one should start by investigating the weak points of expansion joints, sill trim, water drainage points of the roof, or joints between flat surfaces with flat surfaces. vertical.
In the case of flat roofs with garden areas, plant roots may be another cause of infiltration if the waterproofing system is not designed for this purpose. In this case, the planning of the green areas and the species to be used is also very important.
Once the cause of the infiltration has been identified, it can be repaired using materials and techniques compatible with pre-existing systems.
Kostër’s TPO waterproofing membranes, because they are environmentally friendly, guarantee extreme durability even when exposed, are certified for landscaped roofing, among other unique technical features, are the ideal solution for covering roofs and treating their fragile. spots.
How to determine if your roof needs an intervention?
For an urban dweller of a building, it is important to be able to detect the need for roof intervention as early as possible. To do this, you must realize that a cover becomes dysfunctional whenever it does not respond simultaneously to the following functions:
- Offer shelter from precipitation and inclement weather;
- Mitigate the effect of temperature extremes – when it is hot, the cover needs to absorb much of that impact, reducing the temperature that is transmitted to the interior; when it is cold, you need to contribute efficiently so as not to let the heat from the interior escape.
In addition to the aforementioned functions and, more recently, as roofs have become visitable, a roof becomes dysfunctional from the perspective of the user when it does not respond to the following functions:
- Permanent access to the visitable roof;
- Sufficient comfort to use the roof during the mild climate season.
Finally, roofs contribute to urban resilience, which in the medium term will be quantified and will become an obligation that needs to be met in interventions:
- Delay the runoff of rainfall for the urban systems that collect it;
- Harness rainwater for non-potable uses;
- Mitigate the heat island effect.
It is very important to bear in mind that, whatever the reason for intervening in an existing roof, this intervention is a window of opportunity that should not be given back within 50 years. For this reason, it is essential to work with professionals with in-depth knowledge of the field and several years of experience who are able to ensure that all essential roof functions are performed safely and effectively in the long term.
If you suspect your roof may suffer from one or more conditions, please contact us.
We are technically specialized to perform these services and present effective solutions that stand out in the market. See here our reference works.
Article based on the book “Efficient Roofs – 3 I Guide for Building Environmental Energy Rehabilitation” by Adene – Energy Agency