Reinforced Bitumen Membranes
Reinforced bitumen membranes (RBM) is the ideal choice for both new build and refurbishment projects. RBM performs excellently over all types of roof decks and insulations. It is also referred to as SBS bitumen roofing. It was most commonly known as r felt roofing although the technology used in RBM is vastly different to the old Felt Roofs we still refer to.
In the past, roofing felt used to be made by saturating a rag fibre with bitumen. The strength of this material was low and the bitumen became brittle with age and needed to be protected from the sun by the use of stone chippings . This type of felt roofing used to be laid in three layers and bonded in hot bitumen.
Later improvements were made by using glass fibre and polyester reinforcements in place of the rag. These generally performed better but the bitumen still became brittle and they were no match for lighter building designs which required materials with flexibility and elasticity.
High value insulations beneath the waterproofing put more strain on these materials and so the development of modified bitumen by incorporating synthetic rubber (SBS) in the manufacturer, came about.
Next generation Reinforced Bitumen Membranes
Today's new generation of Reinforced Bitumen Roofing membranes are completely different and perform excellently. They are designed to meet the requirements of lightweight construction and the ever increasing thickness of insulation which brings very high temperatures to the roof surface.
The reinforcements are still mainly glass fibre and polyester but the bitumen compound used is a highly developed synthetic rubber material. This material is called Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS). This rubber ensures that the bitumen does not become brittle with age. Also, it provides a high degree of elasticity, even at sub zero temperatures. These high performing materials have excellent properties and the rapid aging and early failure of old style felt roofing, is now a thing of the past.
- Materials with up to 15% SBS rubber content are tough, robust and long lasting. These materials will suit all types of construction including lightweight buildings.
- These materials are often know as ‘Torch-On’, however, newer methods of application include self adhesive and mechanical fixings. Laps are sealed with electric hot air welding.
- These materials do need to be laid by experienced, trained fixers.
- Mells Roofing has fully trained and qualified fixers as required by the Manufacturers.
- Under controlled conditions, insurance backed guarantees of 20 to 25 years are readily available although the life expectancy of a well laid, properly designed system should perform, trouble free, for 40 plus years.
Old style Felt roofing
Felt roofing with standard unmodified bitumen or with a very low percentage of rubber content, is unfortunately still available but is only suitable for garden sheds and similar roofs. DIY warehouse stores and builders merchants usually sell this type of material. Many people refer to this as 'Shed Felt'. In the modern era of flat roofing, this material is unsuitable for anything else. This type of ‘roofing felt’ should not be confused with the modern RBM membranes with SBS rubber modified bitumen and strong reinforcements.
Reinforced Bitumen Membranes for; Southend, Chelmsford, Maldon, Rochford, Rayleigh, Shoeburyness, Leigh on Sea, Westcliff, Canvey, Braintree, Basildon, Brentwood, Burnham on Crouch, Epping, Ongar, Colchester, Witham and Tiptree