What products and materials are incompatible with single ply flat roof membranes?

Single ply flat roofing membranes are typically incompatible with other hydrocarbon-based materials, including bitumen-based based products, solvents, paints, and other rubber-based products.

Ensuring chemical compatibility between the single ply waterproofing and other components is vital to the success of a single ply flat roofing system.

Using a roofing system with a manufacturer-backed guarantee is a source of confidence that products have been tested together and are compatible.

As different single ply membranes are manufactured from different polymers, seeking confirmation from the manufacturer about chemical compatibility with specific materials or products is the most appropriate course of action.

How can chemical incompatibility be overcome?

This confirmation is especially important in refurbishment projects, where materials in an existing roof construction may present compatibility issues that would not be present in a new-build project.

If specifying a particular waterproofing type that is compatible cannot be done, then a potential option is to use a separating layer to act as a barrier. A more comprehensive list of common materials that may cause compatibility issues is as follows:

  • Bituminous products, membranes, tapes, and solutions.
  • Solvents and paints.
  • Extruded and expanded polystyrene (EPS and XPS) insulation. (In a warm roof construction)
  • Liquid detailing/repair products.
  • Certain silicone and mastic sealants.
  • Rubber-based products (EPDM seals, rooftop plant mounting protection pads).
  • Other plastic membranes.
  • Petrol, diesel, and grease.

For more information about chemical compatibility with IKO Armourplan and IKO Spectraplan single ply membranes, contact our technical services team. IKOtex separation fleece layer, or a IKO Spectraplan SG fleece-backed membrane, can be used to provide a barrier between some of the items mentioned above.

For more information, please contact IKO Polymeric’s Technical Team.

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