Cover Boards Help Maintain Sure Footing Against Rooftop Traffic Damage

Published | 10-21-2020

What’s the Big Deal?

From the moment the construction team begins assembling your building’s roof system, the potential for damage from foot traffic begins. Simply put, the weight of any human footfall puts stress on the roofing materials—especially on the more delicate ones like insulation.

Then, consider anytime someone’s back on the roof to inspect or repair after a damaging event (like a storm) or to do routine roof inspections. Add the weight of an HVAC or solar paneling…and the maintenance and repairs that come with it. Or a green roof space like a patio social area or rooftop garden, and envision the number of visitors who will be walking around on a regular basis.

Regardless of what your particular roofing scenario looks like, it will involve some degree of regular foot traffic. Which means you’re in for some real potential damage if you don’t set up the structure to deflect the continuous impact from the start.

The stress of ongoing weight on the roof deck can create punctures in the roof membrane, which left unchecked can leave openings for water to seep through. Water intrusion to the insulating material below can decrease its R value (thermal resistance to conductive heat flow) and affect the building’s energy efficiency and internal climate control. And water trapped in the insulation material can quickly become a nasty breeding ground for mold and spores, potentially damaging the structural integrity and creating unhealthy indoor air quality for tenants within.

Request a Sample of High Performance Cover Board Today.

Repairing these materials can prove costly, and re-roofing may become necessary. Before you know it, general building maintenance and use can end up working against the value of your property investment.

How Can a Cover Board Help?

Simply adding a rigid roof board in the cover board position can help to greatly mitigate these risks of damage—also helping to save you unnecessary costs for repair. Regardless of the property, a well-designed commercial roof will include a cover board in the assembly. This solid substrate situates between the roof membrane and insulation, creating a protective barrier of durability and strength.

The material you choose also comes into play. The right cover board made from high-performance gypsum can hold up to 900 pounds per square inch of compressive strength—far surpassing the roughly 80-120 psi of prevalent foam board alternatives. This extra strength comes in handy when dealing with the relentless weight rooftop visitors carry underfoot.

Made of strong gypsum and fiberglass mat, DensDeck® Prime Roof Boards give the roof deck added foundational support. This helps the assembly hold up to the building tenants’ needs above and below for the duration of the roof’s life, avoiding unnecessary re-roofing and repairs before their time.

You’re in the driver’s seat to determine just how serious your property’s foot traffic situation may be. Learn more about how DensDeck® Prime can help at

Have A Roofing Expert Contact Me

Want to learn more about cover boards? Have a new roof construction project? Need assistance on a roof remodel?


Want to learn more about cover boards? Have a new roof construction project? Need assistance on a roof remodel?