Building a deck is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while also creating a functional extension of a home that provides a place to relax and entertain while enjoying nature.
Decks are exposed to the weather day in and day out, which can lead to common issues that can reduce the lifespan of the deck, and the need for waterproof roof deck flooring to protect the deck itself as well as the underlying support system.
Common Weather Concerns for Rooftop Decking
Sunlight contains three different types of radiation — ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared radiation. Visible and near-infrared radiation can have an effect on rooftop decking, but it is the ultraviolet radiation that can cause roof decking to fade, warp, or crack over time. If the decking material cracks, it leaves space for moisture to infiltrate the decking material and underlying structure.
Rooftop decks are exposed to moisture on a regular basis whether from rain, dew, snow, or ice. Moisture can damage the surface of the rooftop deck and seep under the rooftop decking to damage the roof deck itself. This can lead to larger issues like mold and mildew, rot, and structural damage. Choosing a waterproof rooftop deck material and ensuring proper drainage can help mitigate moisture concerns.
Some decking materials, even waterproof roof deck flooring, can become slippery when exposed to moisture. Rain and dew or even spills can create a slippery surface that is dangerous to walk on.
If rooftop decking sustains an impact from debris, hail, or other materials, it can crack or break, which can lead to an unsafe walking surface and potentially allow water to seep through the cracks and create issues with the underlayment and roof deck.
Rooftop Deck Material Options
Porcelain pavers are highly durable and can mimic the look of wood or stone. You can achieve the look of a higher maintenance material while benefiting from the low maintenance needs of porcelain. Even though porcelain is a durable material, it can crack, and leave places for water to seep through to the underlayment and possibly the roof deck itself.
Porcelain pavers are also very heavy and may need structural reinforcements to support their weight. They also require a pedestal installation system which is complex and time-consuming and should be done by a qualified contractor. Special tools are also needed when cutting porcelain pavers to size.
Concrete is an affordable paver option that is durable and long-lasting. This traditional paver material can be used on a rooftop deck, but like porcelain, it is heavy and may require structural reinforcement to hold the dead load of concrete.
This material also typically uses a pedestal installation system and requires special tools and knowledge to cut it to size. Cracks may develop in concrete pavers over time and as a result of impact or freeze/thaw cycles, potentially leading to damage to the underlayment and roof deck.
Interlocking Wood Deck Tiles
Interlocking wood deck tiles are typically made with ipe or another type of hardwood that can stand up to exterior conditions, including water and UV light. Often, this type of rooftop decking will be prestained and presealed, but it will likely need to be restrained and resealed over the course of its life, which adds cost and maintenance to the project.
Wood tiles can also warp and crack over time, which allows water to reach the underlayment and roof deck and cause water damage. One advantage of interlocking wood tiles is that they are easy to install, but often they are not a permanent solution since they can be removed or repositioned when needed.
Composite pavers are made from recycled rubber and plastics and provide a highly durable and sustainable solution for creating a waterproof rooftop deck. They are lightweight, which reduces the need for additional structural support. This also makes them easier to transport and move to the installation location. They are also easy to install and can be cut with common household tools. Their high impact-resistance along with their resistance to freeze/thaw cycles reduces the likelihood that they will crack and leave the underlying roof structure vulnerable to moisture concerns.
The Best Waterproof Roof Deck Flooring
The best waterproof deck flooring needs to be able to withstand not only water and moisture, but must also stand up to UV radiation and impact in order to protect the rooftop deck over time. Aspire’s composite pavers are the perfect solution for waterproof roof deck flooring:
Quick and easy installation - Aspire’s patented installation grid system allows for installation in 40% of the time it takes to install traditional pavers like concrete and porcelain. Simply lay the grids on the surface and place the pavers in the desired pattern.
Grids act as drainage mats - Our installation grids act as installation mats, but we also recommend installing a drainage mat below the grid to facilitate drainage.
Sustainable - Made with 95% post-consumer recycled materials, they help divert waste from landfills and are recyclable at the end of their life.
Stain, crack, and scratch resistant - Our pavers stand up to moisture, UV radiation, and impacts so you won’t have to worry about stains, cracks, or scratches, and you can spend more time enjoying your rooftop deck space.
Lifetime limited warranty - Aspire Pavers come with a 20-year limited warranty and a lifetime no crack guarantee in residential applications.
Endless design possibilities - Using four color choices and three size options from Aspire, you can create an endless number of designs for a completely customized rooftop deck.
Contact the experts at Aspire today to discuss options for waterproof roof deck flooring.