Friday, October 7th, 2022

Terrace Waterproofing Along With Thermal Comfort: A New Trend

Rajeev Gupta
Business Head
ECMAS Construction Chemicals Pvt. Ltd.


An effective waterproofing solution ensures durability of the structure by controlling water seepages. Eco-friendly and high-performance proofing solutions are essential for multi-level applications in a building, terrace water proofing is particularly important and is considered a priority as the roof is always exposed to harsh climatic conditions and weather changes.

Waterproofing of flat terraces are extremely challenging as the water cannot run off the structure quickly, and will move slowly or pool above the surface, leading to leakages.

A wide range of products are available in the market, of different qualities ranging from basic ones to premium and advanced materials. Each of them catered to the specific requirement.

Alongside water proofing, managing thermal comfort of the occupants is to be considered keeping in mind the well-being of the people and also to cut down on energy requirements.

Constructing energy efficient buildings will show a significant contribution to protecting the environment. It ensures reduction in the power bills, contributing to saving of fossil fuels. High levels of comfort are obtained through the effective utilization of sunlight, ventilation, and other modern methods of construction.

Thermal comfor t can be provided to the occupants, at a diminished levels of power usage by adopting strategic planning of building designs, and effective use of heat insulation materials in the construction.

Why Is Thermal Insulation Required For Buildings?

In countries with extreme climatic conditions more than 65% of the energy consumption goes on air conditioning to maintain soothing indoor temperatures. This poses a great challenge to architects and designers to conduct major analytical studies, to make maximum utilization of natural resources like lighting, ventilation, along performance oriented thermal insulation materials limiting of the U-value for roofs and external walls in the buildings. Use of high-quality insulation materials, has proved to be result giving in controlling the heat transfer through the walls. Premium quality insulation material reduces the rate of heat transfer from outside to inside during hot summer and the reverse during cold winters.

The quantum of heat transfer through roofs and walls ranges between 60-70%. This heat shall be removed by air-conditioning. Therefore, the use of insulation materials for roofs and walls is very essential for energy conservation as it helps in:

  1. Reducing the energy consumption required for cooling and heating.
  2. Reducing the capacity of air-conditioning equipment and hence reducing capital cost.
  3. Reducing thermal stresses (thermal expansion and contraction with temperature changes).
  4. Maintaining comfortable indoor thermal environment.

With the increasing emphasis on sustainability and sturdiness along with the introduction of recent ECBC codes, the concept of terrace waterproofing together with thermal insulation is becoming a replacement trend, especially in commercial buildings and high-end residential buildings. Although it may require higher initial costs, but overall life cycle costs are much lower because the payback is achieved within few years (generally 5-7 years).

Key Selection Criteria For A Good Thermal Insulation Material For Roofs:

– Low Thermal Conductivity
– Dimensional Stability
– Higher Compressive Strength
– Negligible Water Absorption and Low Vapour Permeability
– Fire Resistance


Recent Trends In Roof Waterproofing

Roof Waterproofing Along With Thermal Insulation

A high-performance roofing system is achieved by combining waterproofing alongside thermal insulation. It includes a highly impermeable and sturdy waterproofing membrane that guards against extreme climatic conditions, irregular temperature variations, rain, and suitable thermal insulation material.

 Generally, insulating materials like spray applied PUF insulation, XPS, or EPS insulation boards are applied in a controlled thickness (as recommended by the consultants) on the well-prepared, clean substrate followed by liquid applied waterproofing membrane like spray-applied Polyurethane or Polyurea membrane or sheet membrane-like TPO or vice-versa and with or without protection screed. A typical system that is being employed at a prestigious project site, is shown 


Green Roof Solutions

Garden roof systems are the specialized roofing solutions that are designed for supporting roof gardening. Green roofs provide a variety of benefits in an urban context starting with giving an aesthetic appeal to the unused roof. The plants and soil protect the roofing membrane from being exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays, extreme climatic conditions and physical damage, thereby increasing the durability and life span of the roof and roofing material. Green roofs contribute to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions, by means of direct shading of the roof, evapotranspiration and improved insulation values.


A typical Green Roof System Includes The Following:

– Durable Waterproof Membrane (ECMACOAT FLEX PU 40 or ECMACOAT FLEX PUR 10)
– Root Barrier
– Drainage Layer
– Filtration Media (Geo-textile Mat)
– Growing Media or Soil (50-100mm in depth)
– Vegetation layer (Low growing, stress tolerant alpine and herb species)

The components act together to provide a suitable environment that supports plant growth while not compromising the waterproofing function of the roofing membrane.

Cool Roof Solutions

Dark-colored roofs absorb the Sun’s energy and get hotter as the day progresses. The roof surface can become superheated up to 80°C on a 35°C normal day, and therefore, the temperature of rooms below becomes unbearable leading to the increase in air-conditioning costs. Hot buildings also increase the Urban Heat Island effect.

The best method is to stop the roof space from heating up in the first place by reflecting heat away from the roof surface. A cool roof is a one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a typical roof. Cool roofs are often made from a highly reflective sort of paint or a sheet membrane.

ECMAGUARD THERMOCOAT is a cool roof coating with high SRI (roof’s ability to reject solar heat) and low thermal conductivity, is capable of reflecting large portion of ultraviolet, infrared and visible light and offering a list of benefits to the building occupants as mentioned below:
– Reduces indoor temperature by 5-10oC (improved thermal comfort)
– Reduces roof surface temperature by 15-400 C
– Reduces air-conditioning costs – Helps reduce heat islands
– Can be applied over a variety of roof surfaces


High Performance Waterproofing

Although, multiple choices are available to the building owners and designers fitting into their technical requirements and budgets. Some common solutions are Cementitious coatings, liquid applied Acrylic coatings, Polyurethane and Polyurea membranes, Bituminous sheet membranes, TPO membranes, etc. but liquid applied pure Polyurethane and Polyurea membranes from ECMAS have become increasingly popular thanks to their long-term heavy-duty performance and optimal costs. ECMAS offers a multiple choice of high-performance PU and Polyurea membrane which are ideal for waterproofing huge terraces, green roofs, and podiums.


Non- exposure grade pure Polyurethane membrane (ECMACOAT FLEX PU 40); Exposure and trafficable grade pure Polyurethane membrane (ECMACOAT FLEX PU 60); Hybrid Polyurea membranes (ECMACOAT FLEX PUR 10 and PUR 20) are popular high-performance, liquid applied waterproofing solutions offered by ECMAS.

Insulation Materials: Roofs are often insulated either over the deck or under the deck. Generally, over-deck insulation is preferred to avoid the absorption and retention of warmth by the concrete surfaces. Commonly used roof insulation materials include Expanded Polystyrene boards, Extruded Polystyrene boards, Spray applied PUF Insulation, Foam Concrete, Exposure grade liquid membranes with high SRI; etc. ECMAS is a leading player offering high-performance thermal insulation products like ECMAFLEX PUF 40 which is a two-component, polyurethane resin (PUR) based, seamless, fully bonded, closed-cell rigid foam to be applied with a specially designed spraying machine. It provides high-performance thermal insulation for terraces, green roofs, walls, etc.

ECMASHIELD TPO is the eco-friendly sheet membrane system, a perfect solution for both heat shielding and waterproofing roofs.

Thanks to its high SRI values with high emissivity — it reflects over 90% of the sun’s heat, thus insulating the roof below. This exceptionally durable and versatile membrane does not allow water to percolate below, thereby waterproofing at the same time. ECMASHIELD TPO membrane is efficient, eco-friendly, and straightforward to put in solution for many projects (old or new construction, terraces of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings).


The advancements in construction technology, have led to a growing trend for high-rise constructions. These constructions look out for modern methods for increasing sustainability and energy saving options. Demand for high performance waterproofing and insulation systems has grown exponentially. Green roof and cool roof solutions are the talk of the town today providing quantitative benefits to the building owners and better comfort levels to the occupants. This is accelerating the demand for better insulation products such as spray applied PUF insulation, XPS boards, high albedo solar reflective coatings, high performance waterproofing solutions to support the latest trends.

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