Choosing a flat roof
Flat roofs are typical on commercial structures, but why single ply roofing? With this single-ply roofing, What materials are used for flat roofs? Of course, a flat roof is not 100% flat. All flat roofs have a slight roof pitch between one-fourth to half-inch per foot so that water can drain.
The good news for these flat roof is the single ply roofing choices in materials are more than just the hot-mopped built-up roofing. Here, we have a review for the categories that are the most common types of single-ply roofing:
- EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
- TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin)
Each is popular as a single-ply membrane, yet they each have differences that make them different from each other.
What is the best material for flat roofs?
When evaluating the different commercial single-ply roofing material types, things to consider are the lifespan, the price, and the maintenance of each option. PVC roofing is the preferred choice for many projects, considered to be the best flat single-ply roofing material today.
PVC roofing is more expensive than TPO single-ply roofing material or any other, but it has a range of benefits for the price. The first benefit of PVC roofs is the reinforced membrane that makes it impact resistant and crack resistant. These facts mean what will shorten the lifespan of other single ply roofing materials, doesn’t PVC. PVC roofing offers low maintenance too, and usually, roofing contractors provide a twenty-year warranty when they do the installation. The white color of PVC makes it reflective, and that aids in lowering energy costs for cooling the building.
What is single-ply TPO roofing?
Thermoplastic Polyolefin, TPO for short, is a single–ply roofing membrane that has gained popularity for commercial single-ply roofing systems. TPO membranes are made of a single layer of synthetics and scrims reinforcing that is manufactured in sheets in three widths: Ten, Twelve, and Twenty feet. These sheets are rolled up and delivered to the job site. TPO single-ply roofing material is UV ray reflective and has a 40% presence in the commercial roofing market today, quickly gaining on PVC single-ply roofing material.
Which is better EPDM or TPO?
When comparing EPDM vs TPO, both are excellent roofing systems that protect a commercial building and its contents. Which one to choose can be dependent on the geographic location and consideration of hailstorms, heat, rainstorms, and other external factors like installing solar panels. Both of these single-ply roofing systems are mechanically-fastened, an excellent choice in cold-weather regions, and both can be fully-adhered, giving them durability. Fast facts about EPDM and TPO flat single ply roofing materials:
- Historical: TPO 20 years vs EPDM 60 years
- UV Rays: TPO reflects vs EPDM retain the heat
- Attached: TPO chemically vs EPDM mechanically
- Seam Fusion: TPO hot air gun vs EPDM seam tape
- Color Choices: TPO multiple vs EPDM black only
- Lifespan: TPO 15 to 20 years vs EPDM 25 to 30 years
How long does single ply roofing last?
Because single-ply roofing membranes used on commercial structures are compounded synthetic materials into flexible pre-fabricated sheets, quality consistency is guaranteed. They are durable, flexible, and strong, making them the better choice of any of the traditional roofing materials.
Because they have versatile attachment methods, this makes for a more efficient installation for the commercial roofing contractor that knows how to single ply roofing installation correctly. With proactive inspections and maintenance by the building owner or maintenance team, you can expect lifespan for these roofing materials:
PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride Flat Single Ply Roofing
- PVC is a thermoplastic membrane that utilizes scrim reinforcing between the two layers of equal thickness. The top ply contains cool roof pigments and UV stabilizers, along with other components that extend the membrane’s lifespan. The bottom ply includes ingredients that provide a constant weld of the bottom and top layers and fillers. The material is warrantied up to 25 years for commercial buildings, and the PVC single-ply roof system has a life expectancy of thirty years or more.
TPO – Thermoplastic Olefin Flat Single Ply Roofing
- TPO is a thermoplastic membrane that utilizes scrim reinforcing between the two layers with a 35/65 % thickness for the top layer and bottom layer both. The top layer contains cool roof pigments and UV stabilizers and other components that extend the lifespan of the membrane. The bottom layer includes ingredients that provide consistent weld to the layers and fillers. Material is warrantied for up to twenty-five years, and the TPO flat roofing system has a life expectancy of up to thirty years.
EPDM – Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Rubber Flat Single Ply Roofing
- EPDM Rubber is a black, rubber-like membrane that is not reinforced and commonly applied fully adhered with glue, including the flashings and seams. The material is warrantied for 40 years, and the EPDM flat single-ply roofing system is warrantied for up to 35 years. If roof leaks prove to be from ponding water that causes the seams to fail, the warranty is void.
Roofing a commercial building’s flat roof may seem simple from somebody that has never dealt with industrial roofing. Some many components and factors need to be considered when choosing—finding a commercial roofing contractor that is experienced in all single ply roofing materials so they can assist you in selecting the right one. Call 832-246-7884 today if you need help choosing between EPDM and TPO.