3 Types Of Single-Ply Roofing

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3 Types Of Single-Ply Roofing

If you have a flat or low-slope commercial roof, then single-ply roofing may be the best option when the time comes to replace your old roof system. The main benefits of single-ply options are that they go on quickly with few seams and minimal chances for leaks. Thus, they provide a quick and dependable, as well as cost-effective, solution when you need a new roof on your building. 


EPDM stands for ethylene, propylene, and diene monomer, which is simply a type of waterproof synthetic rubber. The single-ply membrane comes in wide rolls. It's either white or black in color, although white is typically preferred because it reflects heat and creates a more energy-efficient building.

The membrane can be fully adhered to the roof subdeck, with the seams sealed to prevent leaks. In areas with wind concerns, mechanical installation, which includes bolting down the membrane and then flashing over any seams, can be more secure. 

The main benefits of EPDM are that it resists UV damage, it's cost-effective, and it is unaffected by extreme cold. It is more puncture prone than other single-ply options, though, so it is not suitable on roofs that see a lot of foot traffic or in areas where blowing debris is a concern.

2. TPO

TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is a thermoplastic membrane that is extremely waterproof and dependable. Its rolls aren't usually as wide as EPDM, which means there may be more seams present.

Unlike EPDM, which simply has overlapped or sealed seams, TPO seams are welded together after a mechanical or adhesive installation is completed. This method effectively melts the seams together so that there is little chance of a leak.

This single-ply material is valued for its extreme UV resistance, which makes it an excellent choice in hot, sunny climates. It's more durable than EPDM, but it does take a bit longer to install. 

3. PVC

Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a plastic polymer membrane. It comes in narrow rolls compared to both EPDM and TPO, which will mean that there are more seams if you have a large building roof. 

PVC is suitable for both mechanical and adhesive installation. Seams can be sealed or welded, with welding providing superior leak protection. Due to the narrow size, it's typically reserved for use on small buildings. 

It does provide increased protection from fire and other damage, such as wind, due to its high durability. It's also highly reflective, which can keep a building cool. Other than size, the main drawback is that it is often the most costly choice. 

Contact a single-ply roofing contractor to learn more. 

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Roofing the Day Away Can you imagine hammering away at shingles from dawn until dusk? If this sounds like fun, then you may have a future in the roofing industry. If this does not sound fun at all, then you're going to be someone who calls a roofing company and leave the work to the professionals. There's nothing wrong with that. Roofing is hard and dangerous; it's definitely not for everyone. In fact, we don't climb up on the roof ourselves. We do, however, write about roofing on this blog. We consider that to be a small service we can do for homeowners who are interested in roofing and want to know more.