COMMERCIAL Single Ply Roofing

Single Ply roofing is different from built up roofing because it is designed to be installed in one layer.

Single ply roofs provide considerable flexibility and resistance to UV radiation. They normally have a black or white finish that is glued directly over roof insulation material.

Types of Single Ply Roofing Membranes

The types of membranes used in single ply roofing are categorized into two groups: thermosets and thermoplasics.

Thermoset membranes are made from synthetic rubber polymers like Noprene. They are ideal for large single ply roof areas because their manufactured size allows the installer to reduce the number of seems. Many thermoset membranes also include a carbon black or titanium dioxide additive that increases the UV protection of the single ply roof.

Thermoplastic single ply membranes are commonly made of PVC or TPO, which are plastic-based matrials. They cab be hot-air welded together and are often manufactured with a polyester or fiber glass reinforcement layer that increases the strength and stabiility of the single ply roof.

Single Ply Roofing Installation Methods

Single ply roofing can be installed using several different methods. The most commonly preferred method is a ballasted installation, which is used when the single ply roof design can hold the additional load of gravel or other material that covers this type of single ply roofing application. However, ballasted roofs do not work well for roofs that have a substantial slope.

Alternatively, steel or wood roofs are often ideal for mechanically fastened single ply roof membranes, as they can be used on all types of slopes. Steel and wood roofs are also the preferred option in locations that are prone to hurricanes or similar harsh weather.

Finally, an adhesive single ply roof provides another option, and involves attaching the single ply memberane with the manufacturer’s recommended adhesive. The types of adhesives used for this single ply roof vary from asphalt to solve-based and water-based adhesives. Adhesive single ply roofs provide a smooth finish surface that can be colored to suit the needs of the project.

Pros and Cons of Single Ply Roofing

Single ply roofing comes with many benefits, including:

  • Resistance to acid rain conditions
  • Performs well under dramatic weather conditions
  • A variety of grades of protection are available depending on need and project budget.
  • Single ply roofs are generally light weight
  • Excellent reflective properties
  • Easy installation

The down sides of single ply roofing including:

  • Thin single ply surfaces are more easily punctured
  • Relatively short lifespan
  • Seems can become compromised
  • Can be susceptible to water retention problems.

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