As part of RC’s coverage of the 2018 Commercial Roofing Report, experts with sponsor company SOPREMA USA said the industry is focused on developing products and application methods to help roofing contractors become more efficient and profitable in the wake of a worsening workforce problem.

Specifically, researchers with SOPREMA USA developed a handful of products that help roofing contractors do their jobs. A few examples include:

  • Pre-assembled multi-ply boards, such as SOPRASMART BOARD 180. It features a high-performance panel of an SBS-modified bitumen base membrane factory laminated onto a SOPRABOARD asphaltic coverboard with reinforcement by a tough, dimensionally stable non-woven polyester mat. Because these various layers come preassembled, there is less labor required on the jobsite and there is more consistency of application, as lamination of the multiple plies is factory-controlled.
  • Elastomeric STPE-based moisture-curing polymeric adhesives, such as COLPLY® EF. It can be applied to “green” concrete that has not reached the 75 percent relative humidity level usually required for application of a waterproofing membrane. The utilization of a moisture cured polymeric adhesive takes the challenge of a high relative humidity substrate (green concrete, Lightweight Structural Concrete, and Light Weight Insulating Concrete) and harnesses the moisture to facilitate a greater bond. This is a game changer for the industry. This can hurry along the time line on any roof being installed over a concrete deck and ensure a quality bond, with none of the issues that we typically see with adhering over concrete.  In addition, a solution like this allows for venting of vapor pressure and migration of trapped moisture from lightweight insulating concrete, which has been growing in popularity in construction as an alternative to tapered insulation. This functionality is extremely important as it allows an SBS-modified bitumen waterproofing membrane to be applied to concrete without risk of adhesion issues months earlier than otherwise possible in some cases, significantly expediting construction schedules.
  • Liquid-applied protective roofing products, such as PMMA-based ALSAN® membranes. They’ve been popular on the east and west coasts of the U.S., but are now finding wider-spread adoption across the country. These materials can partner with other roofing materials to economically extend the life of rooftops substantially (up to 80 or 90 years in some cases) by adding weathering resistance. Awareness is also improving around the fact that liquid-applied PMMA membranes, such as ALSAN® RS, are generally great solutions for addressing complicated geometries in waterproofing applications, making roofing systems monolithic in nature by creating nearly impenetrable seams.

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