One of the most important steps in the roofing job is protecting the roofing materials against damage from moisture while being stored at the job site. Moisture may be present in the form of rain, frost, snow, humidity, or dew. Moisture can be picked up from the ground or from the roof. For this reason, always place the materials on raised platforms and vapour proof ground sheets. Roofing materials often come from the supplier shrink-wrapped or covered with plastic shrouds. This is for their temporary protection while in transit only. It is not meant to be for long term protection on the job site. The following general rules should be followed for storing and protecting materials on the site:
- Stand all roll goods on end, and store them on a clean surface to keep the ends of the rolls free from foreign matter.
- Store all cartons, insulation, and drums of asphalt on raised, level platforms, and cover them with waterproof tarpaulins. NOTE: Accumulated moisture in asphalt drums can foam when heated in a kettle and possibly injure a worker.
- Store all materials in a dry place, inside if possible. If materials must be stored outside, place them on raised platforms, and cover them with waterproof tarpaulins.
- Store solvents, emulsions, and coatings in a heated, dry place, to keep from freezing. Always check labels to see that they have not passed their recommended shelf-life.
- Keep lids tightly sealed on all emulsions, cut back adhesives, and flashing cements to keep combustible vapours from escaping.
- Unload and handle all materials with care. Dropping roll materials, insulation, and other materials can cause damage. Always remove damaged or wet materials from the site and replace with new.
- If materials are received in a damaged condition, report this information to the supervisor.
- Roll materials, especially coated rolls, should be stored at temperatures above freezing (4.4°C [40ºF]) for 24 hours prior to use.
- Ensure that all tarps or weatherproof sheets are tied and secured with weights to prevent them from blowing off.