Single Ply Roofing

Over the past 30 years, the use of single ply roofing membranes (also commonly referred to as TPO or PVC) for use on commercial buildings has grown considerably. This is because of their competitive price, relative ease of installation, and flexibility. Four basic elements compose single ply roofing:

  • An adhesive that fuses the layers together
  • Flashing
  • Single ply membrane usually made of rubber or plastic
  • An insulation layer

Perhaps the greatest advantage of using single ply roofing is the amount of energy that you can save. If the single ply roofing is properly coated, it will reflect heat, which means a significant reduction in energy use.

The main types of single ply

  • Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) – EPDM both feels and looks like an inner tube. When EPDM is stretched out, it bounces right back. When used and maintained properly, EPDM can last upwards of 40 years.
  • Poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) – Because of the formulation of PVC, it is impact resistant and extremely durable. PVC is workable and has excellent resistance to industrial pollutants and harsh chemicals. It also has tremendous weathering characteristics.
  • Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) – TPO offers a polyester reinforcement that helps strengthen the bonds and comes with a fire-resistant membrane. The membrane is not only resistant to fire, but also to punctures, grease, and chemicals. If there is high traffic on rooftop areas, TPO is a great alternative.

Other advantages to single ply roofing

  • Durable – Not only is it impact resistant, but it can also overcome the tough challenges that the southwest has to offer. Chemical residue, thermal shocks, high winds, and intensive UV rays, single ply can handle it all.
  • Lightweight – The thin layers used in single ply roofing are easy to install and lightweight.
  • Flexible – It is possible to allow for unconventional roof designs with single ply roofing materials.
  • Long life expectancy – If properly installed, the materials could last upwards of 40 years, making the investment worthwhile.
  • Inexpensive – The fact that it can be installed in wet weather and because there is no heavy equipment necessary, means that the ease of installation allows commercial owners to save on both labor costs and materials.
  • Retardant – The adhesive and layers help eliminate the dangers of smoke pollution and fire.

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