There are many different options out there for you when you’re looking for rooftop pipe supports. When put to the test, which is the best material to use – wood, rubber, or plastic? (Hint: it’s rubber.) Read the post below for our analysis of the three different options.
Option #1: Wood
Have you ever seen a wooden 2x4 after it’s been left out to the elements for months? Years? It doesn’t look pretty. Wood blocks deteriorate after being left exposed to regular weather conditions such as sunlight and rain, but if you live in an area where it gets extremely hot or cold, the deterioration is accelerated. By using wood blocks, you will need to replace the blocks more often than if you were to use a sounder material.
Does this [picture on the left] look like it’s supporting that pipe properly? As a building manager, contractor, member of the general public, I’d be very concerned that the pipe support is about to give out at any minute. Additionally, using wood blocks looks like a “placeholder” to most people. Do you really want your work to look unfinished? Didn’t think so.
Some people prefer to use wood blocks because the up-front costs are lower. Sure, this may be the case but in the long run you will be spending way more money. Not only will you have to replace the blocks more often because of the wear and tear resulting from the elements, but wooden blocks are not designed to distribute weight properly. If you are using wood blocks to support heavy pipes, they may end up damaging the roof itself. Isn’t it just easier to use a more durable product?
Option #2: Plastic
As with wood, plastic is not the most durable material when left to weather the elements. It cracks, warps, and breaks when exposed to extreme weather conditions (extreme cold and heat). And what is probably the most important point of all: plastic is not legally allowed on roofs in certain states or territories where it gets really hot (like Nevada) because plastic is not designed to withstand extreme heat. Do we need to go on?
If you’re still reading, I guess you need more convincing. No worries, I can keep going on about why plastic blocks are not the best solution.
A plastic block is light enough to be picked up by the wind – this is a pain in the ass when it comes to installation. If you are laying down the pipe supports for the person installing the pipes, plastic supports can and will be picked up and blown around in wind. No, it doesn’t take tornado-level winds, I’m talking the amount of wind it takes to fly a kite.
Not only is the risk of breakage higher with plastic rooftop pipe supports, but they are also very light which means that they float. If there is heavy rainfall or after the snow melts and there are puddles left on the roof, the water lifts the plastic block and it floats down towards the roof drain.
Think about it this way: you know the scene at the beginning of Stephen King’s IT where little Georgie is chasing his boat down towards the storm drain? Think of Georgie’s boat as the plastic support block. He catches up to the boat, but it does not end well for anyone. So the moral of the story here is that if it floats towards a drain, you. do. not. want. it.
Option #3: Rubber
Not going to lie, we saved the best for last.
Rubber roof support blocks can do basically everything that wood or plastic blocks can’t.
- Rubber roof blocks withstand the elements better and do not deteriorate from prolonged exposure to wind, snow, or rain. And in speaking about the C-Port blocks, they are made from 100% recycled rubber so you’re doing your part to help the environment
- Concerned that C-Ports will also melt like plastic blocks in hot weather? They won’t because they are made from vulcanized rubber. We did a whole blog post about it if you want more details
- Our CXP weighs about 5lbs so there won’t be the issue of the blocks blowing around in the wind or floating when there are puddles of water on the roofs
One thing that deters people from using the recycled rubber block is the perceived cost of the product. Honestly, rubber blocks cost no more than your average plastic rooftop pipe support block but will outlast it and is an infinitely better option than wood. The quality of our pipe support blocks is far superior than any wood block (let’s be honest, that’s a pretty low bar) or a plastic support block. Plus rubber is allowed on roofs across all of the USA – unlike other materials.
Do you want more information on our C-Ports? Curious about pricing? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you out with whatever questions you have.