Single-Ply Roof Meaning
A single ply roofing system is a membrane roof typically seen on flat or low slope roofing systems. These are installed with fewer seams than typical systems in order to prevent damage from water and other environmental factors. There is a large choice of materials when looking at single-ply roofing membrane and the design is intended for them to be single-ply installation. This allows more flexibility and when it comes to UV radiation, it has strong resistance, unlike other roofing materials. Color choices are typically black or white finish and can be installed by fastening, gluing, install directly over existing or new roof insulation material.
Single-ply for roofing membranes are categorized by two groups:
- Thermosets – compounded membranes from synthetic rubber polymers
- Thermoplastics – made from polymers of CSPE, EPDM, and Neoprene
- Modified Bitumen – a type of roofing asphalt mixed with fiberglass or polyester,
Because of the size, thermosets membranes are manufactured, they are perfect for large area roofs where single-ply roofing is to be installed. They can also be reduced so that seams are minimal.
The thermoset black membranes made from EPDM have the added component of carbon black to increase its protection against UV rays. For the membranes made from a white substance, titanium dioxide is added by the manufacturer to increase its UV reflection protection.
What Is The Best Type of Roofing Material For a Flat Roof?
When it comes to flat roofs and single-ply roofing, metal is the most common and popular material, specifically aluminum. As a roofing material, metal is durable and will last 30 to 35 years in most climates. Metal also reflects the UV rays, which helps in lowering energy bills, especially in southern areas where the summer sun is strong.
Metal roofing is eco-friendly and can extend the life expectancy of a single-ply roofing system while providing a visual appeal to the exterior of a building. This is a low maintenance required material if installed with impeccable skills by an experienced roofing contractor.
Metal for single-ply roofing does have some negatives that should be considered when choosing a material for a flat roof. A metal roof must be removed totally before new roofing material is installed. If a metal roof is not coated and maintained, they do rust, and replacement may be needed sooner than anticipated. If that happens, your metal roof will need to be replaced.
What Is Single-Ply Membrane Made Of?
Single-ply roofing membrane is a flexible material and common in commercial roofing systems. This synthetic polymer is a thick membrane, typically ranging between just over 1mm to a bit over 2mm thickness. Some single-ply roofing membranes are homogenous, and others have a glass fiber reinforcement while others have a polyester reinforcement. The type of single-ply membrane to use may vary depending on how it needs to be supplied.
To waterproof a single-ply roofing membrane installation, the joints are sealed to make a continuous waterproofing roof. With insulation combined with nonstop support, this is a durable roofing system. The different types of membranes available for single-ply roofing are:
Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer is a flexible material naturally that is made stable by adding carbon black. Tape bonding with a unique primer or other adhesive is used for jointing this product and it is well-matched for bitumen.
Polyvinyl chloride is a flexible PVC form because of its heavier molecular weightiness of plasticizers. This makes welding it by heat or a solvent possible, depending on the product, but if a fleece-backed is not incorporated, bitumen cannot be used directly with it.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin is the polyolefins group, a group that is made of elastomers, a basic property, that can be treated as thermoplastics which are highly resistant to UV and Ozone exposure. This flat single-ply roofing material moisture resistant and heat welding the laps will not produce any fumes and/or smoke. Because the welding can be done in a wide range of temperatures, make this a perfect material for different climates.
Is EPDM a Single-Ply Membrane?
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, abbreviated as EPDM, is a single-ply roofing membrane made of a synthetic rubber compound that allows it flexibility, making it a popular choice for commercial roofing since the 1960s. This product can be installed on top of the insulation, but when compared to Thermoplastic Polyolefin, there are slight differences that can affect the structure.
Which Is Better TPO Or EPDM?
Flat roofs are common on commercial structures because of the amount of surface to be covered. Most flat roofs have a life span of being leak-free for up to 7 years. When it comes to single-ply roofing materials for commercial structures, the choice between EPDM and TPO has rapidly changed to TPO as it gains popularity. Roofing experts are expecting TPO to become industry preferred soon because of the many advantages it offers. The main reason being the energy efficiency TPO offers. EPDM is a dark surface that absorbs heat and TPO reflects the sun, making TPO roofing easier on commercial air conditioning systems.
Another plus of TPO versus EPDM is the material is puncture resistance by as much as three times stronger, thus making it more durable, leak-free product in rain. When TPO roofing is installed, the seams are welded, strengthening the durability, but also can make installation complicated if an electrical source is not nearby during installation. Because of this, repairs on a TPO single-ply roofing system can be challenging compared to repairs on an EPDM single-ply roofing system. TPO may be a questionable material if the HVAC or plumbing for the building is on the rooftop due weight of the systems and wear they can cause.
How Long Does Single-Ply Roofing Last?
As we have discussed so far, single-ply roofing membranes are made of synthetic materials that are manufactured and compounded to make flexible sheets. There are three kinds of these single-ply roofing materials:
- Modified bitumens
By being prefabricated sheets, quality is guaranteed as is their durability, flexibility, and strength when compared to other roofing materials. Installation is more efficient with these three materials for commercial structures because of their versatility as well.
For longevity of a flat single-ply roofing system, the application most common is to glue down the membrane, including the flashings and seams. The material itself is typically warrantied for an average of 40 years, which does not include the seams, and the life expectancy of an EPDM roof system is anywhere between 22 years and 35 years.
The biggest two factors in choosing the best material for a single-ply roofing system is budget and life expectancy. Choosing a material that will have the longest life expectancy will be more costly to have installed, but with proper maintenance, the structure shouldn’t need re-roofing or resurfacing for years. For single ply roofing in La Porte & Baytown, TX, dial 832-815-9463 for 12 Stones Roofing.