The science behind torch on membrane waterproofing

Published 09 Sep 2016

2 mins read

Updated 20th August 2019

Unless you’re in the business, torch on membrane waterproofing probably isn’t something that you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. It may not even be something that you know about. But it’s more than likely something that you’ve enjoyed its benefits, as it is one of the pre-eminent ways to waterproof (often large and industrial) buildings.

Torch on Membrane

So what is torch on membrane waterproofing, and how does it work? Let’s take a look.

Torch on membrane waterproofing is what it says on the packet – a membrane, applied to a surface with a torch, which waterproofs the area. Perfect for low-angled roofs or concrete rooftops that tend to pool water, it can also be used in applications as wide in variety as the inside of planter boxes and as waterproof insulation in a water tank.

The membrane itself is flexible, almost spongy. It is made primarily of bitumen, a crude oil based hydrocarbon, which is then modified with asphalt. This asphalt most often takes the form of either Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS), a rubber modified asphalt, or Atactic Polypropylene Plastic (APP), a plastic modified asphalt. This mix is then reinforced with a layer of polyester to give it structural integrity.

Both varieties of membrane are heat activated, and this is where torch on membrane waterproofing has a huge advantage over traditional waterproofing methods. The membranes can be joined together, through heating their edges and bonding them, like puzzle pieces, to cover whatever shape, material and size area you have.

The two types of membrane each have their own advantages and disadvantages. APP tends to be easily heated with a torch, making for quick installation, but is less flexible and hardwearing. SBS, on the other hand, has greater flexibility and a longer lifespan, but does take longer to heat, and therefore install.

The process of torch on membrane installation is entirely non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and perfectly quiet, and the resulting waterproofing is non-biodegradable and non-water soluble. It’s so waterproof, in fact, that it can comfortably be installed in places that will be fully submerged, such as in tanks and underground. The installation procedure is non-invasive and doesn’t affect the structure of the building whatsoever.

In short, torch on membrane is as complete a waterproofing solution as there is. To find out more, talk to the team at Titan Waterproofing on 1300 761 219.

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