Waterproof Decking for a Flat Roof Deck

Roof deck above a garage

Waterproof Decking for a Flat Roof Deck

We all know there are different types of roof decking material (asphalt, wood, metal, etc.), but there’s one type of waterproof flat roof deck material that’s just a bit different than the rest: waterproof vinyl for roof decking.

Although it’s a waterproof roof PVC membrane, Tufdek vinyl has extra qualities: it’s durable, long-lasting, and walkable. That means that not only does it act as a roof for the underlying structure, it also acts as a walkable deck membrane. Here’s how a Tufdek™ waterproof flat roof deck stands out.

Waterproof Flat Roof Decks: A Bit Different

What’s the difference between a regular roof and a flat roof deck, and why does it require different roof decking materials?

The key is in the word flat. When a roof is flat (it actually will have a very slight slope) water is going to spend a lot more time in one place – giving it more time to find a way underneath the roof surface and into the building’s structure. So rather than a roofing material (like shingles) that simply lets water run down it, you need a roof decking material that offers a completely waterproof barrier. Hence, why waterproof vinyl decking is popular. As a multi-ply roof PVC membrane, the waterproof flat roof deck will hold up to the rigors of continued exposure to water, heat, wind, foot traffic, etc.

Why Not Other Options for Waterproof Decking?

Sure, there are other options when it comes to roof deck waterproofing, but none of them tend to work well if you want a true waterproof seal, or want to use your roof as an outdoor living space. Here are a few other options and why they typically won’t work:

  • Asphaltic Tar: Yikes! Talk about hot and smelly – not the best solution if you want to enjoy a nice day on your roof deck. The materials used are also heavy and can clog up your gutters and drains.
  • Torch on/ Modified Bitumen: Again, probably not the best option for the same reasons above. If you did want to convert your flat roof to this surface you would need to add a finishing product on top, for an additional cost, rather than just covering with PVC vinyl decking in one go.
  • Built Up Roof (gravel): This option looks ok (gravel on top) but probably isn’t very comfortable to walk on and can be pretty heavy.
  • Spray On Coating (silicone): This is a pretty expensive option used primarily in commercial applications. Although it offers great waterproofing since it’s seamless, it’s not meant to be walked on and doesn’t look that attractive (usually plain white or grey).

If you already have one of these types of roofs, you *could* potentially cover the existing roof with PVC vinyl decking (on top of a flat, hard surface). However, you’re much better off taking the roof down and starting over with a high-quality vinyl roof decking material that will give you a waterproof flat roof deck you can immediately enjoy. See our post on the principles behind vinyl roof deck construction.

How Vinyl Waterproof Decking Benefits Roof Decks

There are a few things that make roof PVC membrane decking different in regards to roof decks. First, it’s designed to be waterproof and walkable – whereas most other flat roof decking materials are not. Some of Tufdek’s vinyl decking products also incorporate CoolStep™ technology so you don’t burn your feet (and can also potentially lower your cooling bills in the summer).

When installed professionally, a vinyl roof deck surface incorporates into the structure of your home, condo, or commercial development. This method means that you get waterproofing from end to end – not just on the surface. By incorporating the vinyl surface into the structure you’re leaving virtually no room for future water damage when the vinyl decking is properly installed.

Vinyl Decking Looks Great on Roof Decks!

Previous options for roof decks were pretty drab in flat greys, whites, and beige. Luckily, today’s printing technology allows you a variety of color choices so you can create an enjoyable outdoor living space. Whether you prefer the look of stone or wood, there is likely a type of vinyl surface that will suit your style and your space. Once installed, your PVC vinyl decking will require very little maintenance and could last you 10-20 years or more! This is a great way to help increase your home’s resale value.

How is the Guarantee for A Tufdek Waterproof Flat Roof Deck?

Tufdek uses the internationally renowned testing agency, Intertek (Warnock Hersey) to conduct independent quarterly audits to ensure our high manufacturing standards.

If you’re familiar with the saying “the proof is in the pudding” then you’ll like our take on it: “The proof is in the warranty!” While you’re welcome to shop around, you’ll find that when it comes to flat roof waterproofing products, the warranty on Tufdek™ PVC vinyl decking is one of the best in the business. If you’re looking to maximize peace of mind when it comes to your roof deck, check out our vinyl surface warranties.

The next step is to get a Tufdek™ certified contractor to come and take a look at your roof deck to see if a vinyl waterproof flat roof deck is in your future. We hope you enjoy it (never mind, we know you will!).

To learn more about Tufdek products or to speak with a vinyl decking expert about roof deck waterproofing, please call us toll free at 1-877-860-9333


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