When storing roofing materials prior to install, it is important to remember most roofing materials are not designed to be stored in cold or inclement weather conditions; especially when ambient temperatures dip below 40°F. Membranes, adhesives, equipment, and contractors will perform differently in colder or inclement weather - so planning and considering how the inclement weather will impact material storage, installation time, and quality is critical.
: Storing roofing membrane at the job site during warm months is straightforward: keep the rolls off the ground (on pallets), and protect them from moisture by using breathable, waterproof tarpaulins. In inclement weather, temperatures could grow colder - the dew point and temperature come closer together; increasing the potential for condensation and frost forming on materials; and storms/winds become more frequent. Keep roofing materials warm and dry by storing them inside a conditioned space or in a heated job trailer. Keeping materials warm and dry will reduce the risk of moisture being introduced into the roof system during construction, and minimize the possibility of deficiencies in the completed roof system. In addition, material rolls will become more rigid as they get colder, requiring additional time to kick out and relax the membrane before installing. In wet or windy conditions, make sure the roof membrane rolls are covered with a breathable-waterproof tarp and that the tarpaulins are secured to prevent wind damage and/or displacement such as with a pallet or bands. Please note that flashings must be heated prior to application, regardless of the season. When these products are heated until warm to the touch, they will be much easier to install, particularly when flashing corners and irregular shapes.
: When dealing with membrane adhesives, there are generally two main categories to consider: solvent-based and waterborne adhesives. Recently, the use of waterborne adhesives has been growing steadily because of low-odor and VOC code requirements. Both types of adhesives have similar manufacturer recommendations for storage temperature, typically between 60° and 80°F. Adhesives, primers, or pressure-sensitive products can be stored at temperatures below 60°F, but must be restored to between 60°-80°F prior to application for best results. When ambient temperatures are expected to fall below 40°F for an extended period, a heated enclosure or hot box is strongly recommended for jobsite storage. This applies to pressure-sensitive products as well.
: Polyisocyanurate or polystyrene insulation is typically shipped protected by a plastic wrap, plastic bag, or both. This factory packaging is intended for handling the polyisocyanurate in the manufacturing plant and during transit; it should not be relied upon as protection at jobsites or other outdoor storage locations, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.
To ensure insulation is properly protected in inclement weather, follow these steps:
- Store bundles flat and upright with the bottom of the bundles elevated (2” or more) above a finished surface -preferably gravel, pavement, or concrete - rather than on dirt or grass.
- Slit the bundle packaging vertically down the center of the two short sides to prevent moisture accumulation within the package.
- Completely cover the bundle with a waterproof tarp and secure to prevent wind damage and/or displacement, such as a pallet.
Following these steps as outlined above will increase the success and longevity of the roofing materials. For more information about storage of materials in inclement weather, please contact John Greko.