The Top 5 Reasons Cover Boards are Necessary on Commercial Roofs

Guest Post by: CJ Sharp, DensDeck® Technical Manager

Georgia Pacific Gypsum

Cover Boards

Roofs are more important than ever. They support sustainability efforts, host the weight of major appliances and equipment, promote energy-efficiency and are the first line of defense from the elements. Because of this, cover boards are essential to getting the most out of a commercial roof system. Here’s how:

1.) Fire Resistance 

The right cover board can enhance a building’s ability to withstand and mitigate the effects of fire – especially if the insulation, decking or membrane is combustible. Make sure the cover board you use is UL Class A rated, and has met or exceeded American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E136 testing standards. Many commercial roof assemblies use a fiberglass mat gypsum panel as a thermal barrier against the deck and as a cover board under the membrane, which increases the total fire rating of the assembly.

2.) Insulation Protection 

As the most expensive component in the roof assembly, building owners are spending more money than ever on insulation as a key component in meeting a building’s energy goals. So the insulation needs to last. Rigid cover boards with good compressive strength resist impact loads, extending the life and performance of the insulation layer and the total assembly.

3.) Wind Uplift Protection 

Look for a cover board with enough strength to prevent wind uplift when installed between the membrane and insulation and that can keep metal fasteners from loosening during harsh conditions.

4.) Sound Resistance 

Effective cover boards can help attenuate outside noise and significantly raise the Sound Transmission Class (STC) of the roof assembly. Some have been proven via third-party testing to increase sound reduction.

5.) Strength and Durability

Cover boards are an effective means of protecting the membrane, insulation and decking from puncture, crushing and other effects caused by hail, foot traffic, HVAC and other equipment installation and maintenance that can take a toll on a roof.

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