Area of active ponding on the roof

Why Low-Slope Roofs Fail

All buildings are capable of having an unlimited physical service life, but not an unlimited economic life. No other building system surpasses roofs as a source of litigation. Roofs may fail for either economic or technical reasons. Economic Reasons for Roof Failure When decisions are made on how to spend money on the construction of…

Low-Slope Roof Construction and Failure Assignment of Responsibilities

The complexities involved in adequately designing a roof for optimal long-term performance are reflected by the number of factors that a designer must consider, including: original construction and life-cycle (long-term) costs; energy conservation scheme; value of building’s interior contents; required long-term service life; basic roof components (deck, insulation, membrane, accessories); availability of qualified contractors/workers; environmental…

Low-Slope Roof Components

The following information is a general overview of basic and accessory low-slope roof components, their major design factors, functions, and common failures. The three main components of a low-slope roof are the structural deck, the thermal insulation, and the membrane. Other vital parts of a low-slope roof include the flashing and air retarders, although these…

The History of Low-Slope Roofs

Low-slope roofs were a late invention in building construction. This was mostly because steep-slope roofs exhibited superior water-shedding properties. Also, before industrialization, much of the manufacturing of goods was done in people’s homes by hand or with basic small machinery, so there wasn’t a need for larger buildings. But as the Industrial Revolution progressed, it…