Single-Ply Roofing

Single-ply roofing systems are a highly cost-effective way to waterproof your roof, increase protection, and reduce cooling costs.

There are multiple types of single-ply roofing options but they all share the same basic principles. First, a rubberized or elasticized sheet of material is rolled across the existing pre-prepared roofing system. The nature of these sheets leads to them being well known as “membrane” or “single-ply membrane” roofing.

The sheets are attached to the existing substrate either (a) chemically, using industrial adhesives; (b) mechanically using fasteners; or (c) ballasted with gravel, though this is less common.

Depending on the type of system, the seams are then either chemically glued together or heat-welded together to form a single layer.

Single-Ply Options

There are three primary single-ply roofing options to consider.

EPDM. An acronym for ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, EPDM is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane, known for its high levels of durability. It can be attached to the existing substrate chemically, mechanically or ballasted and is a popular option for low-slope roofing applications. Previously only available in black, modern demand for better energy efficiency has led to the development of a white option.

PVC. Polyvinyl chloride is a plasticized single-ply membrane option. PVC is surprisingly strong, with a breaking strength at least 350 pounds per square inch, which is far above the minimum breaking strength required by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), which is 200 pounds per square inch. Good for flat and low-slope applications, PVC offers the benefit of heat-sealing the seams, rather than simply using chemical adhesives.

TPO. Thermoplastic Polyolefin, better known as TPO, is a cost-effective option for flat or low-slope roofing applications. More flexible than PVC, TPO is installed over insulating cover board with either adhesives or mechanical fasteners. The seams may be chemically glued, or heat welded together. TPO is Class-A fire rated and extremely reflective.

One of our favorite TPO products is Flexion®. Naturally fire-resistant, this membrane is based on a unique proprietary chemical composition and is fortified with DuPont® and Elvaloy® for improved lifespan, toughness, and flexibility.  With up to a 25-year warranty, Flexion can be coated and the warranty becomes extended.

Single-Ply Roofing Benefits

Though different single-ply membranes offer different benefits, they all have some in common.

Cost-effective. Single-ply options are a cost-effective way to improve the condition of your roof and help it last longer.

Waterproofing. The chemical compositions are all highly water-resistant and improve building protection.

Weather Resistant. Single-ply roofing systems stand up well to most inclement weather, assuming the installation was done correctly and the system has been maintained.

Chemical/UV Resistance. Some single-ply options are highly resistant to chemicals, fungi development, UV radiation and other environmental contaminants.

For more information on single-ply roofing systems, or to schedule a consultation to discuss which would work best in your application, please call our experts at 502-777-1844 and request a consultation.