Roofing Basics – Low Slope Roof Decks Part 1: A review of 4 essential characteristics.

In this video you will learn 4 essential characteristics of low slope roof decks including the structural support of both live and dead loads, fire resistance, dimensional stability, and roofing substrate.

The design professional is responsible for designing the low slope roof deck to achieve each of these functions.

Structural Support: A deck transfers live and dead loads to supporting framing members. Environmental loads such as wind, snow, ice, and rain are live loads. Dead loads are stationary loads such as topside and underside mechanical equipment, the weight of the deck itself, and the weight of the roofing system.

A roof deck should carry live and dead loads without significant deflection.

Fire resistance: A roof deck should be fire resistant to the degree required by the building code based on building type, use, and occupancy. The greater the degree of fire resistance, the more time the deck will support the live and dead roof loads and provide time for occupants to escape the building.

Dimensional Stability: A roof deck needs to be dimensionally stable and not be adversely affected by cyclical thermal or moisture induced movement. Thermal cycles are expansion and contraction; moisture cycles are swelling or shrinking due to wetting and drying.

Roofing Substrate: The low slope roof deck should be smooth, straight, free of irregularities and dry.

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Disclaimers: I share established and recognized building envelope knowledge in an effort to further the knowledge of practitioners of all levels regarding the building envelope. Now I just hope someone cares enough about the future of design and construction to care. :)

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