Bituminous waterproofing systems are designed to protect residential and commercial buildings. Bitumen is a mixed substance made up of organic liquids that are highly sticky and viscous, and are waterproof.
Bituminous membranes are made up of more than one product:
Bitumen: Mixed with a filler component such as limestone or sand. Polymers are added to the bitumen such as APP (atactic polypropylene) a plastic additive that gives rigidity and tear resistance, or SBS (styrene butadiene styrene) a rubber additive that gives more elastic benefits.
Base Products: Polyester, fibre glass, rag fibre (hessian), and paper. These products are bought in roll format and are pulled through the bitumen mixes on huge rollers. The base product becomes saturated in huge tanks by the tar like bitumen substance, creating rolls of waterproof material.
Mineral: (Optional) Small granules are added to the top of the felt, decreasing the products fire vulnerability.
Base Products: This product is added to the base of the felt during manufacturing on all torch-on products. This stops the felt from sticking to itself when rolled up during the packaging process.
Bituminous roofing products are used for waterproofing roofs on buildings.
- Benefits include that they move with the structure and do not absorb water. Bitumen is a hydrocarbon and is created naturally from crude oil.
- The products have an extremely long life span, with most membranes having BS (British Standards) marks against each product name.
- The fumes given off during installation are not harmful to human health and there is low noise pollution during application.
- Bituminous membranes protect insulation and can reflect harmful sun rays. New products also contain photovoltaic cells that can produce solar energy.
- Bitumen is not water soluble, non-biodegradable, not classified as carcinogenic and does not release harmful toxins.