Lessons Learned From Examination of Membrane Roofs in Alaska

by Wayne Tobiasson, US Army Corps of Engineers, Cold, Regions Research & Engineering, Lab, Hanover, NH, USA,
Stewart Osgood, US Army Corps of Engineers, Cold, Regions Research & Engineering, Lab, Hanover, NH, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering

Abstract: During 1984 and 1985 airborne infrared roof moisture surveys were conducted of membrane roofs at Army installations in Alaska. Many of these roofs were also visually inspected and cored to verify infrared findings. Numerous areas of wet insulation were found but often they were small enough and the surrounding roofing system was in good enough condition to warrant removal and replacement of just the wet areas. Essentially all moisture entered from the exterior through flaws in the membrane and flashings. Numerous flaws were detected at the ends of metal flashing components. Providing a membrane with internal drains and a slope of 1/4 in. /ft or more greatly improves its performance. However, membrane slippage in warm weather can be a problem for steeply sloped bituminous membranes, even in Alaska. Some 'cold regions' appurtenances such as membrane control joints and insulation breather vents appear to do more harm than good.

Subject Headings: Membranes | Roofs | Building insulation | Moisture | Cold regions | Cold region construction | Slopes | Drainage | North America | Alaska | United States

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