Roofs that hold
Growing investments in the construction industry will boost revenue for the roofing and waterproofing industry
With environmental issues gathering attention worldwide, it’s not surprising that several Indian roofing companies are creating roofs that will allow them to fit solar panels on top. The roofs here come in different shapes but they are built or made in exactly the same way as any other roof. Most of these are commonly found fitted in the metros in India, where interlocking concrete tiles are commonly found and installation of solar panels onto them is a straightforward process as they can be removed and reinserted easily. Here, one must realise that it is important that the roofing system integrators find installation ways for interlocking tiled roofs as an on-roof system, using roof brackets made of stainless steel or aluminium. Other types of roofs that see similar installations are made of plain tiles such as clay Rosemary or slate roofs.
Over the last couple of decades, the roofing industry innovations have resulted in customers getting a wide choice of materials and looks for the top finish. Most of the time, innovations address the issues raised by traditional materials, be it installation time, labour effort, durability, sound and temperature insulation, design flexibility and many more aspects.
Roofs are one of the largest surfaces of a building, thus they could cause a heavy impact on environment, besides being a kind of signature of the house or the building; it has to be aesthetic. But the comfort needed by end users is wider. A roof has to protect the daily life of the inhabitants when it rains or when the temperature increases. One company that has worked at its fibrous composition and corrugations thus enabling air to circulate is French company, Onduvilla. As a matter of fact, Onduline (also based out of India) has one of the best thermal coefficients and high sound absorption values (Rw = 28dB) for products of similar thickness. The company says the composite material is not only water repellent but also resistant to all type of corrosion relative cracking that is common with metallic roofing tiles. It also gives you an ideal alternative to concrete and clay tiles, as well as metallic tiles and shingles. The promoters add that it is a unique and complete system that’s well suited for renovations or new buildings and perfect for all standard roofing structures, including wooden and metallic battens and wooden and concrete decks. With their light and flexible materials, the tiles fit seamlessly with all types of diverse roof shapes and sizes, including light and uneven roof structures.
There has been much advancement in metal roofs. Eons ago when metal roofs were more popular, they were made from copper or tin. Then in the 19th century came materials like galvanised iron then aluminum and now steel. The materials, besides being a revolutionary step for fast completion of buildings and offering recycling benefits, were adopted as they were lighter, low maintenance and cost less. Even today, these are some of the primary reasons for their popularity.
Modern technology has added precision, safety, insulation, lifetime looks and textures to up the style quotient. Besides, if considers the reduction in labour effort and material used, it is an added bonus. With standard factory produced sheets and accessories, repair and replacement now no longer means obvious patchwork on the exterior. Metal roofs also add value to a property in being fire retardant and scoring for green architecture.
Aluminium sheets as roofs are an option that is available in various sizes, thicknesses and vibrant colours. Jindal Aluminium has introduced Jindal Forever roofing sheets that are durable, rust proof, easy to install, maintenance free and have high resale value in comparison with all other competing products.
Check for leaks
There’s a reason for the pithy saying “A roof over your head”. Besides the gratitude, in today’s day when you talk of roofs, it could also imply to remember to thank the Almighty for a roof that does not leak. And if it does, there is always the advanced technologies in waterproofing that one can bank on.
Over the last few years, manufacturers have been launching new, durable and sustainable products that focus on environment, safety, and health considerations. With green and sustainability being the core of every business segment, the waterproofing industry is also following the same path.
Dr Sanjay Bahadur, global CEO, construction chemical division, Pidilite Industries, says, “Constant innovation is the key at Dr Fixit. From merely offering waterproofing solutions, we realised the need for an insulation product too and waterproofing +insulation. In the last one year, we have introduced revolutionary product lines in the area of waterproofing+insulation like Newcoat coool for roof and Raincoat coool for external walls that is paving the way forward for dual benefit coatings.”
There are various methods of waterproofing and the most common conventional method is the Hessian based tar felt. But bitumen is not a material that can hold fast and since it has a life of up to five years, this, though popular, doesn’t find acceptance in residential properties in metros. Bitumen disintegrates on coming to contact with both UV radiation and some chemicals in the subsoil water. Also Hessian being organic in nature is subject to decay within a short time, resulting in decrease in tensile strength and life of tar felt. More often than not, the workmen laying the bitumen layer are known to create imperfect laying of tar layers (which requires use of light rollers after laying but rarely done by the contractors) that results in air pockets which in turn cause cracks on the surface over a period of time.
To take waterproofing to the next level as far as high-end projects are concerned, Pidilite has developed solutions, Dr Fixit LEC (Low Energy Consumption) and Dr Fixit Blue Seal, which are the two most effective innovations for sustainable construction. These products enhance the lifecycle of the building providing better insulation and reducing heat. “It also reduces overall energy consumption and hence carbon footprint of the building. Additionally, unlike other conventional raw materials, these products help in reducing thermal stress on a structure and eliminate leakages that result in expansion of steel used in the core of walls and pillars, says Bahadur.
No matter what the roofing style or requirements may be, there are waterproofing solutions for all of them. Most companies not only have best products for every surface area, but also provide guidance from professional consultants on right application methods and detailing.