Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing System – Seam Cleaning, Weathering, and Dirt


Membrane abuse can destroy the roof. Abuse of roofing membranes can cause punctures or deterioration of the roofing components which in turn may lead to premature roof failure. Further membrane abuse may lead to premature roof failure due to punctures leading to unwanted leaks, and deteriorated roof components that may fail prematurely.

This most often occurs in the highest traffic areas which can cause wears to the membrane. Vandalism and prone areas can cause punctures. Hail storms can cause several punctures in the membranes. High winds can cause stress membranes and cause major damage. Rapid fluctuations in temperature and extreme temperature can cause rapid expansion and contraction, stressing the membrane, and may also soften the roofing components during high temperatures.

You can control the membrane abuse by installing a thicker membrane or by installing multiple ply systems. Installing higher compressive strength insulations on the roof. Using concrete pavers or insulated pavers. Also, cover the boards over the insulation to aid impact resistance.

Many wonder if the seams’ need to be cleaned before welding. When deposits form on the roof’s surface, the ability to form a good weld is affected. Contamination of roofing materials results from normal weathering, environmental debris, chemicals, and adhesives. When you consider weathering, normal weathering can also affect the membranes weldability.

Type’s of weathering contamination include any airborne debris and dust, clean the membrane exposed for 12 hours or more by wiping the seam area with Everguard Cleaner. For any oxidation problems, remove the oxidation with the Everguard cleaner and a mildly abrasive scrub pad. Follow by wiping the surface with a white cloth and Everguard cleaner. Naptha will also work every well as a cleaner or pre-weld preparation cleaner.

Dirt and debris is also a problem for the weldability and seam performance. When any contamination from dirt and debris occurs, wipe it off and clean it with formula 409 or a similar cleaner and a mildly abrasive scrub pad. Wipe with a white cloth moistened with the Everguard cleaner. Finally oil, grease and chemicals can degrade the membrane and affect seam performance. Adhesives applied in weld areas will prevent proper welding. Make sure to keep any adhesives away from the seam areas by at least 3″.

When a contaminated area occurs isolate the roof area so that the membrane can be replaced and will not affect the adjacent membranes. Pressure wash the roof on a more frequent schedule, install a sacrificial membrane layer and use grease traps to contain spillage but make certain to maintain them on a regular basis.


Source by Joseph Vann Hamby Sr.