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3 must-haves for green roof waterproofing systems

From energy savings to enhanced tenant experiences to higher property values, green roofs offer several benefits that are driving their adoption. A recent industry report predicts that green roof assemblies – also known as vegetated roof assemblies – will grow by 17% globally from 2020 to 2027*.

Supporting all that growth, literally and figuratively, are the waterproofing systems in those green roof assemblies. Selecting the right waterproofing solution is a crucial part of designing a leak-free green roof. Logistics and weather conditions often indicate which installation method – hot-applied or cold-applied – is best for a given project. But however it’s installed, the waterproofing system for a green roof must meet 3 requirements:

Long-term performance
The lifespan of a green roof waterproofing membrane can span 30-50 years, so long-term performance and leak prevention is essential. The goal is to avoid repairs entirely, since servicing a waterproofing membrane involves the costly and disruptive process of removing the vegetated system above it.

Selecting a waterproofing system that will stand the test of time will help prevent expensive repairs for years to come, both for vegetated roof assembly itself and for the building beneath it. Fortunately, there are several cold fluid and hot applied systems with a track record of success that are fully supported by the manufacturer.

Robust durability
A green roof holds a thriving ecosystem above the waterproofing system for the duration of its service life. It must remain watertight despite constant, long-term exposure to moisture and the risk of penetrations from root systems. It demands a robust waterproofing solution, especially around flashings, as these areas are most likely to leak.

Certain cold fluid applied systems such as PUMA- and Polyurea-based membranes offer a strength advantage during green roof construction, as they can withstand heavy jobsite traffic with reduced risk of damage vs. traditional waterproofing systems. These cold applied systems provide an extra element of protection during the installation of the overburden components of a green roof.

Fully adhered protection
Both cold fluid and hot fluid applied systems fully adhere to the substrate and form a uniform, monolithic waterproofing membrane. A monolithic membrane eliminates seams, reducing the risk of leaks. But if a leak occurs, a fully adhered, monolithic system will prevent the leak from migrating under the membrane and make it easier to find its source. Both can help reduce the severity and repair costs of leaks.

Need help getting started?
Henry advisers can help you weigh the pros and cons of cold fluid or hot applied system for your project and discuss proven options for each. Informed by 50+ years of Henry waterproofing system expertise, our trusted advisors can help you find the best waterproofing solution for your next project.


Schedule a meeting with your Henry advisor today!

Schedule a meeting with your Henry Advisor today