Bituminous waterproofing systems are designed to protect residential and commercial buildings. Bitumen is a mixed substance made up of organic liquids that are highly sticky and viscous, and are waterproof.
Roofing felt componentsEdit
Bituminous membranes are made up of more than one product:
Bitumen - Mixed with a filler (limestone or sand) component such as sand. Polymers are added to the bitumen such as APP (atactic polypropylene) a plastic additive that gives rigidity and tear resistance, or SBS (styrene butadiene styrene)a rubber additive that gives more elastic benefits.
Base Products - Polyester, fibre glass, rag fibre (hessian), and paper. These products are bought in roll format and are pulled through the bitumen mixes on huge rollers. The base product becomes saturated in huge tanks by the tar like bitumen substance, creating rolls of waterproof material.
Mineral - The small granules are added to the top of the felt, decreasing the products fire vulnerability.
Thin, transparent film - This product is added to the base of the felt during manufacturing on all torch-on products. This stops the felt from sticking to itself when rolled up during the packaging process.
Bituminous roofing products are perfect for the waterproofing of roofs on buildings as they move with the structure as they are not too rigid, and they do not absorb water. Bitumen is a hydrocarbon and is created naturally from crude oil. It is a useful carbon store and does not generate greenhouse gases. The membranes are therefore a sustainable way of storing carbon on the Earth's surface.
There are many other advantages of using bitumen waterproofing products:
- As well as protecting buildings, bituminous roofing products can be in harmony with their environmental surroundings as different mineral finishes can be applied to the top surfaces. Green roofs are also becoming more popular as the carbon footprint issues become more apparent.
- The products have an extremely long life span, with most membranes having BS (British Standards) marks against each product name.
- The fumes given off during installation are not harmful to human health and there is low noise pollution during application.
- Bituminous membranes protect insulation and can reflect harmful sun rays. New products also contain photovoltaic cells that can produce solar energy.
- Bitumen is not water soluble, non-biodegradable, not classified as carcinogenic and does not release harmful toxins.
- Bituminous Membranes Article 
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