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The Unrecognized Benefits of Air Barriers and Vapour Retarders in Low Slope Roofing
February 24, 2022 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
The use of vapor retarders and air barriers in low slope roofing is more common in heating dominant climates such as the northern part of the United States and in Canada. As expected, their use contributes to lowering the air leakage through the roof assembly. But the benefits obtained with this family of products goes beyond this simple fact.
Results of recent research will be presented to demonstrate that the use of vapor retarders and air barriers also provide improvements in moisture management of low slope roofs, especially in assemblies where the roof membrane is mechanically attached, and further enhance energy performance due to the reduction of air intrusion into the roof assembly. Limiting the amount of moisture accumulation also have a positive impact on the dimensional stability of insulation used in these assemblies.
Increased use of vapor retarders and air barriers in all types of low slope membrane roofing assemblies also demonstrated benefits applicable in all climate zones. When positioned properly in the roof assembly, vapor retarders and air barriers can improve wind uplift resistance.
- Demonstrate the impact on air leakage through the roof assembly of the use of a deck level air barrier.
- Understand the benefits of a vapor retarder & air barrier on moisture management, wind uplift and thermal performance of low-slope roofing assemblies.
- Recognize how vapor retarders & air barriers help solving current roofing industry challenges.
- Identify additional functions vapor retarders & air barriers can play in low-slope roofing.
Jean-François Côté, Ph.D.
Jean-François Côté holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Université de Sherbrooke and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from INRS-Université du Québec obtained in 1998. He joined Soprema in 1999 as a research chemist where he worked on the development of adhesives and sealants used in roofing and civil engineering. From 2009 to 2015, he was Director of Strategic Development for Soprema, coordinating the activities of the Canadian R&D and technical departments of the organization. In his current role, he represents Soprema on technical committees of industry associations (ARMA, PIMA, CIMAC) and is actively engaged in various North American standards development organizations (CSA, ASTM, ULC).
Mr. Côté is a registered chemist in the province of Québec (OCQ), is chair of the CSA A123 technical committee on Bituminous Roofing Materials, and is vice-chair of the ASTM D08 Committee on Roofing and Waterproofing.