The science behind torch on membrane waterproofing

Published 20 Nov 2019

2 mins read

Updated 20th November 2019

The science behind torch on membrane waterproofing
The science behind torch on membrane waterproofing

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.

Many buildings utilise this technology without anyone noticing because it is seamless and effective.

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

What is torch on membrane?

Torch on membrane, as the name describes, is a membrane that’s applied to a surface with a torch, which waterproofs the area.

This is perfect for low-angled roofs or concrete rooftops that tend to pool water. It can also be used for applications as wide in variety as the inside of planter boxes and as waterproof insulation in water tanks.

Torch on membrane

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 of the area you have.

This means that the membrane can be custom fitted to various spaces. By using heat, it allows for stronger bonding as opposed to other waterproofing methods.


The two types of membrane each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

APP tends to be easily heated with a torch, allowing 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, to 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 areas.

The installation procedure is non-invasive and doesn’t affect the structure of the building whatsoever.

Rooftops, balconies and terraces are all suitable locations for torch on membrane waterproofing.

But, because of its ability to be fully submerged, it can also be applied to water features and planter boxes.

Torch on membrane waterproofing

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.

We have over 40 years of experience in torch on membrane installation and no job is too small, big or difficult for us to handle.

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