Moving on Up…to the Rooftop

What goes better with summer than outdoor rooftops? Whether you lie out on the roof of your apartment building on the weekends catching sunrays, head to the nearest rooftop bar after work, or dine in a restaurant that has opened its outdoor seating and check out the skyline, you will be heading up to the roof at one point this season. With the weather warm and daylight hours extended, why not move on up?

While you’re socializing on the top of the next bar or restaurant, take a closer look at the structure holding you—what needs to go into the building of the roof in order to support the added weight? As rooftop experts who have helped install our fair share of rooftop gardens and outdoor decking, we can tell you that the integrity of the roof is of utmost importance if it’s going to be opened to the public. Before any decking can be placed, the actual roof needs to inspected extensively—it needs to be determined that the roofing structure can hold a patio, so that once the deck is in place, it doesn’t need to be continuously dismantled for repairs or replacements to the actual roof, which can get costly.

During the installation process, maintaining the integrity of the roof is essential. Rooftop decks are installed either on top of the roofing or are built on supports that go through the roofing and are secured to the structural deck below. Of course, it depends on what type of structure will be built in determining the support structure. Just building a patio on a condo building? Then it’s sufficient to install pavers or roof decking over a protection membrane on top of the existing roof. For restaurants and bars, where the weight is going to be much higher, you need to install supports to the structural deck of the roofing framework and building for added support. Since the concept of a roof is to keep moisture out of the building, it’s important that the rooftop patio protects the interior of the building first and foremost. That’s why when supports are installed down to the structural deck, those supports are properly flashed in to the roofing membrane, ensuring the insulation isn’t compromised by weight.

In order for you to enjoy time on some rooftop this summer, roofing contractors everywhere ensure that the outdoor patios are fit for use. While it’s still summer, move on up to a rooftop and remember what support is underneath!

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