February 20, 2024
If you are wondering if you can build a deck on a TPO roof, the answer to such a question is simply yes. A deck built on top of a TPO roof is quite similar to a deck built on top of a concrete patio. Because they are not anchored in place as a stand-alone structure, these decks are commonly referred to as “floating.” They’re just placed on top of something else.
To begin the installation, ensure that the roof is capable of supporting 55 pounds per square foot. In place of roofing materials, you will need to install a waterproof EPDM rubber membrane over the top of the roof deck to prevent water infiltration. Then, on top of the roof surface, you need to add sleepers to it.
This will give you a surface to connect the decking to. There are unique pedestal systems available that produce a very sturdy, level, and serviceable deck over a roof membrane. However, they are more costly than conventional approaches.
The following TPO membrane installation instructions are recommended to ensure that your roof deck is entirely watertight and will endure a long time:
- Only use an 80 mil membrane because thinner membranes are more prone to ripping.
Only high-density insulation should be used beneath the membrane. Use hard foam instead of soft foam.
It’s optimal if both the insulation and the TPO membrane are completely enclosed.
Outside the roof perimeter, install all railing posts to avoid unwanted penetrations and any leaks. This is significant since leaks on roof decks are frequently caused by railings and walls.
When overlapping seams, we recommend doubly welding all seems to minimize and eliminate roof leaks caused by seam failure. It’s a lot easier to take a little extra time to execute a decent weld than it is to remove the entire deck to detect a single leak.
All penetrations should be flashed and caulked to prevent leaks. If a door extends out onto the roof deck, it must be adequately flashed at the threshold. Sealants should be avoided because they will shortly fail.
The Importance of Waterproofing a Deck on a TPO Roof
Even without decks, TPO roofs are prone to leaking due to design flaws, poor materials, and poor installation. Roof decks frequently cause further damage to roofs, resulting in more severe leaking and drainage issues.
Installing an EPDM membrane and flashing around deck supports and rail penetrations is required for proper roof deck waterproofing. EPDM boots that fit over the openings are commonly used to do this.
Here are some of the most typical issues that homeowners face when their decks aren’t properly waterproofed:
- Leaks – These are most commonly found in the waterproofing material rather than the deck itself. Ponded water, which is common on roof decks, has nowhere else to go but inside your home. Water will permeate through a low-quality membrane, such as EPDM rubber.
- Structural damage – Water steadily seeps into the homes over time, destroying the framework, beams, and studs. The worst part about this damage is that it can go unnoticed for years, costing a lot of money to repair once it is discovered.
- Interior Damage – If your roof deck leaks, you’ll need to repair both the roof and the interior damage, which can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 depending on the severity of the leak.
- Mold – Mold is not only costly to remove, but it can also pose major health risks to everyone in your home, particularly those who already have respiratory problems.
Wrapping it up, taking care of these problems is not only time-consuming and unpleasant but also costly, with repairs costing several thousand dollars. Spending a little more money on a high-quality TPO membrane and a licensed, competent roofer makes a lot more sense than having to remedy problems later.