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Roof Decks

A roof deck refers to a decking structure built on top of an existing roof. They are typically spaces that are found on both commercial and residential buildings utilized as landscape zones. If your home boasts a low slope roof with sufficient structural support or a dormer that can accommodate it, consider a roof deck or balcony as a way to gain territorial views and additional outdoor living space. The extra outdoor space, which can soften the hard edges of city living, adds significantly to the value of a home. The most common roof decks systems in use in the commercial industry are: * Steel light-gauge, cold-rolled sections, welded or screwed to bar joists * Wood sheathing sawed lumber, plywood or oriented strand board * Concrete poured-in-place or precast * Gypsum precast or poured-in-place. * Cementitious wood fiber. * Composite decks of lightweight insulating concrete on corrugated steel or form boards. * Thermoset compacted asphalt fills. Roof Deck Construction Building a deck over a flat roof is very similar to building a deck over a concrete patio. These floors are often referred to as floating, as they are not secured in place as a stand-alone structure. They are merely placed on top of another structure. First, you must make sure the roof is strong enough to support 55 lbs per square foot.  Next, you will need to install a watertight EPMD rubber membrane over the top of the roof deck for protection against water infiltration in place of roofing materials. Then install sleepers on top of the roof surface.  This provides the surface for you to attach the decking.  There are proprietary pedestal systems that provide a very stable, level and serviceable deck over a roof membrane, though they are relatively expensive compared to conventional methods. In whatever manner a deck is constructed over a roof, maintenance for cleaning and repairs of the membrane below is recommended. Deck panels should be built that can be lifted with minimal effort or damage. The roof below should be cleaned and inspected at whatever intervals is found necessary for each deck. For example, a deck located under pine trees will need much more maintenance to clean out debris than a rooftop deck above a high-rise. Proper waterproofing for a roof deck is necessary and is done by installing an EPDM membrane and flashing around deck supports and rail penetrations. This helps prevent damage to roofs that may cause severe leaking and drainage problems. Other decking materials that are currently in use are products made with recycled plastic. The durability of recycled plastic decking products is a bonus on roofs, where extreme weather can considerably shorten the lifespan of other products.

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