Thursday, June 1, 2017

Factors to Consider for Flooring Installed over Rubber Roof Membranes

What Makes Flooring Safe for Installation Over Rubber Roofing Membranes?

By Julia Nass

What are Rubber Roofing Membranes?

Greatmats rubber rooftop tiles
Rubber roofing membrane is used on flat or nearly-flat roofs in order to prevent leaks and move water. Compared to asphalt and gravel roofing, roofing membrane has proven itself to be an advancement for roofing systems. Without seams, or with seams as strong as its entire body, roofing membrane remains leak and crack free throughout the entirety of its lifespan. If breakage does occur, rubber membrane can more easily be repaired than asphalt and gravel.

Rooftop Patios and Roofing Membranes

Places where rubber roofing membrane is used, such as on flat roofs or roof-top patios, are often turned into awesome patio areas. Elevated patio spaces can provide a luxurious outdoor sanctuary that rests above the chaos of the city and or the street. Creating a roof-top patio space is an excellent way to expand sought-after space in a home, condominium complex or apartment building.

Before moving forward with creating a patio space, it helps to know about the harm rubber roofing membrane can face from such a project. Rubber roofing membranes are easily penetrable and are subject to damage by a variety of things. Debris, such as tree branches or rocks, can tear up roofing membranes. Certain types of patio flooring can also puncture or damage roofing membranes. Furthermore, roofing membrane is also susceptible to damage from furniture, foot traffic and high heels. Take informed precautions in order to protect your roof from leaks and your rubber roofing membrane from damage, such as installing the right rooftop patio floor.

Rooftop Patio Flooring

Greatmats rooftop plastic perforated tiles
The right flooring is a key element in creating a fabulous roof top space. There exists a world of roof tiles and roof mats that can turn a drab roof into an al fresco paradise. Aesthetics and design aside, roof tiles or roof mats act as a protective barrier over rubber roofing membrane. Roof tiles act as a barrier between heavy or sharp objects and rubber roofing membrane, thereby protecting membranes from tears and holes and ultimately, roofs from leakage.

Safe Flooring Options

Many apartment and condo complexes will not allow flooring installations unless there is a no-damage guarantee. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options out there. The safest kind of rooftop flooring for rubber membranes include softer materials and lightweight options. However, you can also look for tiles that have enough base support to evenly distribute weight. That way, the underside of tiles will not dig into the membrane below. Here are a few examples:

Rubber Roof Tiles and Mats

Greatmats rubber rooftop patio tiles
Rubber is a long-lasting and durable roof flooring option that comes in mat, tile and roll form. Outdooor rubber tiles and mats are tough enough to withstand weather, patio furniture and foot traffic. They are also thick enough to protect any underlying roofing membrane from damage. Despite its durability, rubber is smooth and lightweight enough that it will not create any tears or holes in rubber roofing membrane.

Rubber roofing tiles are also a safe and affordable option. The grippy surface prevents slips and falls, even when wet. Rubber roof tiles and mats come in a variety of thicknesses, styles, and colors, so you can achieve an individualized look and feel for your patio.

Perforated PVC Tiles

Greatmats perforated rooftop tiles
Perforated roof tiles made of PVC are another quality, durable option for installing over rubber roofing membranes. Weighing around one pound per tile, they are an extremely lightweight option and will not damage underlying roofing membrane. The drain-through feature allow water to run through tiles instead of pooling and standing on top. PVC roof tiles come in a plethora of colors you can choose from to create a fun and bright environment.

Artificial Turf Tiles

Greatmats artificial turf rooftop tiles
Greatmats' artificial turf roof mats are another safe choice for installing over rubber roofing membrane. They are soft, cushiony, and comfortable to the touch. Don't let that fool you, however. Artificial turf tiles are waterproof, tough, and weather-resistant. They function well under furniture and provide a strong protective layer over any rooftop patio or deck.

What to Avoid

Remember to stay away from roof tiles or roof mats made with staples in the bottom. Staples will easily latch into rubber membrane and create holes and tears. Similarly, avoid patio tiles that have sharp edges or other protrusions that might puncture or tear the membrane.

Before Installation

Before installing flooring over rubber roofing membranes, make sure the membrane is in good shape. Check to make sure there aren't any tears or holes in the membrane. Thorough examination and proper maintenance of roofing membrane before installation will save you from potential leakage problems down the line. By installing flooring over quality, well-installed roofing membranes, it will contribute to the effectiveness of the membrane instead of acting as a bandaid to any roofing membrane problems. 
For more on this topic please review our Roof and Deck Tiles product page.