The Days Of Wood
Before non-penetrating rooftop pipe supports were common among the construction industry, there was wood. Contractors would run to (hopefully) the nearest hardware store, Pick up some pressure treated 4x4’s, transport them back to the job site, cut them to the required lengths and paint the ends. This was common for decades. Often having to go back onto the roof to fix the rotten supports years later. However, as we know from past mistakes, this is not the most efficient way to support equipment anymore. Now there are supports made out of various materials. Wood has been banned in many territories from being used as rooftop supports due to its glaring weaknesses.Figure 1: A traditional non-penetrating wood rooftop pipe support. A common sight among older rooftops.
As wood is being phased out across various Countries, we need to consider the qualities that have made it obsolete:
- Inability to successfully deal with the climate
- Twisting and contorting under equipment and pipes
- Floating “down stream” with heavy rainfalls
- Generally short lifespan
- Expensive choice once you factor in labor
Now that there are more advanced systems and products, the industry is evolving into relying on a quick install to lower the overall cost and a tough product that can hold up under all conditions. Once you understand the qualities and traits that your roof require, you can come to an informed decision, which will likely not require wood supporting any pipes.