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Roof waterproofing: what is the best method?

corksol spray roof coating

A quality roofing system not only protects everything inside your property but it can also extend the life of the building. Making sure your roof is waterproof is critical to this, or you risk the deterioration of your roof's structure and expensive water damage. So, how do you choose the right roof waterproofing system for your property? In this blog, we look at three different techniques and ask, what's the best method of sealing a flat roof?


Roof waterproofing - what are the options?

The three most popular ways of waterproofing a standard roof are to use:

  1. Liquid-based coatings
  2. Reinforced membranes
  3. Spray cork (Corksol)

Before we compare these techniques, we'll explore each of them in a little more detail.


Liquid based coatings 

Traditional bitumen-based liquid coating was once the most popular way of waterproofing flat roofs, but today, there are many more options. Reinforced fibreglass coatings and more recently, liquid-based polyurethane coatings, are now widely used.

Liquid-based coatings can be used on new or refurbished roofs, and applied over most roof coverings, including felt, asphalt, and concrete. They are usually painted or rolled on, but some can be sprayed on for quick and easy application on large surfaces.

When it comes to roof waterproofing, liquid coatings are effective at keeping out water and they can withstand extreme changes in temperature. The cured finish of a liquid coating is flexible enough to expand and contract without tearing or cracking.

What's more, because it encapsulates whatever material is underneath it, liquid coatings can be safely used to cover asbestos without disturbing the dangerous fibres.


Reinforced membranes

It's common to see flat roofs covered in layers of membrane (usually bitumen), which have been sealed at the joints using a hot melt process to keep the roof watertight. Increasingly though, home builders and roofing contractors are turning to single ply - a polymer that comes in large sheets either rolled or folded, depending on the type.

Single ply is usually between 1.1 and 2mm thick, and as the name suggests it's laid in a single layer. Unlike traditional rolls of bitumen, single ply is usually fastened down using adhesion methods, ballasting, or mechanical fastening, so no naked flame is required.

Most membranes are used alongside a layer of insulation to keep the room beneath it warm during cold weather. This is a cost-effective way of preventing heat escaping, which is not only good for the environment but it also benefits the bill-payer.


CorkSol Spray Roof CoatingSpray cork (Corksol)

Spray cork is a type of waterproof roof sealant that is suitable for both pitched and flat roofs. It's applied in a thin, even layer, and can be sprayed over most roof materials.

Just like foam, cork has a cellular structure, which makes it a great material for roof waterproofing and an effective sound barrier. And because cork is durable and flexible, it won't split or crack when it's exposed to extreme changes in temperature.

Unlike paint-on sealants, spray cork is popular with property owners because it is quick to apply and effective immediately. So, whether it's a commercial or residential property, life doesn't have to stop while your roof is being given some much-needed TLC.

But what really sets Corksol's SprayCork apart is its green credentials. This product is not only made from a sustainable material - cork - but it's a natural insulator. In fact, it can keep up to seven or eight times more heat in than most other roof coatings.


Which roof waterproofing method is best?

So, which method is best? Well, it might come down to the type of roof you have and what you want to achieve. Some of the considerations, you'll need to make include:

  • Will it be visible and how important is kerb appeal to you?
  • How big is the area you need to cover – a small porch or an industrial-sized unit?
  • Are you likely to be making any modifications to your roof in the future?
  • How important is it that the product is environmentally friendly?

If what the roof looks like is important to your project, then a single ply coating or spray cork is the best material for the job. Corksol's SprayCork comes in 30 different colours, and its finish can transform an ugly-looking roof into something much more appealing.

For large structures, we wouldn't recommend using a paint-on liquid coating, because it takes too long to apply, but if you're looking for a material that you can use to cover a small shed roof, then bitumen-based paint is ideal. Consider your choice of material carefully - bitumen is considered by some to be bad for the environment. If this is important to you, try an alternative liquid-based paint, such as polyurethane.

When it comes to roof waterproofing, most projects are too big or complex for even enthusiastic DIY-ers. If you're enlisting the help of a roofing contractor, ask them for advice - their industry knowledge and experience cannot be underestimated.

Why not use our Free Online Cork Render Calculator here?


Picking the right contractor for the job

If you're interested in finding out more about a spray cork roof, then we can help.

Total Trades has been approved by Corksol to use its SprayCork products, and we have years of experience in roof waterproofing in Doncaster, Scunthorpe and the surrounding areas. We understand that picking a contractor to work on your home or business isn't easy but you can rest assured that with Total Trades, you are in good hands.

We have over 50 reviews on Check-a-Trade (including 10 for workmanship) and our customers describe us as reliable, professional, and knowledgeable. We’re passionate about making sure all our quotes are clear and easy to understand, so if you choose to work with us, you’ll know exactly how your money is being spent.

SprayCork is guaranteed for 15 years, but you can expect your roofing to last much longer, making it one of the most cost-effective roof waterproofing products on the market. Give your roof the attention it deserves before it's too late – contact Total Trades or request a quote using our online calculator.


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