Creating a beautiful rooftop deck, balcony or patio can be a stunning addition to any building, but it can also pose several issues. How do you ensure the decking is level? How do you make sure it allows for adequate water drainage beneath the pavers? And how do you make sure it is solid and stable?
One way that contractors are solving this problem is through a pedestal system. Three main systems used today are: the Rubber riser for tight low profile situations, the BlackJack OneStep solution for mid height situations, and the BlackJack system using a screw jack for higher profile heights. The BlackJack screw jack system uses the Versijack product for pedestals. All of these systems create an elevated, firm surface on rooftops, roof terraces, balconies, patios and plaza decks, however the Blackjack pedestal system is ideal for creating a level raised paver slab on both even and uneven surfaces. Wood decking can also be used with the special Joist Holder adapter, since it would also provide drainage underneath, and would be ideal in situations covering ductwork and piping.
What do BlackJack pedestals do?
BlackJack pedestals using the Versijack system are height-adjustable, and can support pavers or decking at heights of anywhere from 74mm to 1016mm to create a firm, level surface. They are manufactured from recycled materials that meet RoHS requirements. The pedestals and components are lightweight and easy to install, yet durable and strong. With the purchase of the slope adapter, you can adjust the roof from 0-5 degrees to provide a slat top surface once the paving slabs are laid.
How do they work?
BlackJack Pedestals use the Versijack system and its three main components: a base, extender coupling, and a top. The large, flat base sits on the surface, while the extender couplings are utilized when a larger space below is needed to go over obstacles. The top cap is screwed onto the base. If height is required, then an extender coupling is added between the top and the base. More couplers can be added for extra height but not to exceed the maximum height. The Cross Tab is snapped into the top of the cap to provide even spacing. These are included in the BlackJack system, but are normally an extra on the standard Versijack system. Slope correctors can be added to the top of the pedestal for accurate adjustments. A pedestal is required at every intersection of pavers, including between each paver on an outside edge of a project. The quantity required depends on the size of the paver slab and the shape of the area to be covered.
The BlackJack pedestal systems feature easy screw adjustments and offer high compressive strength. An added benefit is that the raised surface allows services such as electrical and plumbing to be hidden, yet are still accessible for maintenance. This system improves both heat and sound insulation by creating a void below the pavers. It also allows for rapid surface drainage and a reduction in efflorescence and algae growth.
The BlackJack OneStep system is a lower profile system that is only piece, and is adjustable from 24-45mm in height. There are also two heights of extenders for the system. The first extender is 20mm in height, and the second is 40mm. These are placed under the OneStep pedestal, and can be used in combination to build a height of 105mm. This is a lower price solution that can withstand the weight of 5618 pounds (25kN).
The Rubber Shim is a third option for very low profile situations. It is a 150mmx150mmx12.5mm rubber pad that can be used in tighter situations to allow drainage under the paving slab. This product is for an application where the paving slabs are installed tightly together. Most applications have a narrow space between the paving slabs, and these are called a Rubber CT Riser. For this we use the same product, but it also has a cross tee built into the rubber. The majority of decks and balconies use this type of system.
Pedestal systems are used primarily in commercial applications such as restaurants, hotels, convention centers, warehouses, and high-rises; but are also used in residential instances. It’s highly recommended to have a licensed contractor install the system to ensure that the warranty is valid for your roofing membrane, in case of damage by the installer on application due to carelessness. A careful individual would also be able to install these systems without any problems.