Single Ply Commercial Roofing Systems

When it comes to choosing what roofing system is right for you, it’s important to understand what roofing system will work best to defend your building. Single Ply roofing systems offer a wide range of materials to select from, making it a practical choice for home and building owners across the country. If you’re considering a single ply roofing system, here are some basic facts you might be interested in learning:

Understanding Single Ply Membranes

As an industry, Single Ply Roofing recognizes three categories of single ply roofing membranes, though the two most common are referred to as thermosets and thermoplastics. At a glance, these membranes can be defined by the type of polymers and other materials from which they are made.

Types of Single Ply Membranes

Thermoset membranes are comprised of rubber polymers, the most prevalent being EPDM, which we often call “rubber roofing.”  These membranes are a great choice for large roofs that are heavily exposed to sunlight, as their manufacturing size is perfect for decreasing seams and they are known to protect against potentially-threatening sun damage, along with other harmful chemicals that frequently reside on roofs.

Predictably, thermoplastic membranes are formed from plastic polymers, usually either PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin). These polymers are made pliable by adding an element we call “plasticizers.” Thermoplastic membranes give roofs extra strength and security, as they are made with a reinforcement layer either composed of polyester or fiberglass.

Is Single Ply Roofing Right for you?

Knowing the basics about Single Ply membranes may allow you to better understand the composition of single ply roofing systems, but assessing its benefits and risks and applying them to your particular situation may further assist you in your roofing system selection process.

As stated previously, single ply roofing systems excel in protecting against harmful chemicals and UV rays. This is particularly helpful in areas that are affected by acid rain, which can cause early roof deterioration. Actually, single ply roofing systems are built to survive all kinds of severe changes in weather, as many cities are now exposed to. This roofing system also offers a diverse assortment of options that specialize in protecting against particular, specific threats. Additionally, single ply roofing systems are lightweight and, thus, easily installed.

Still, single ply roofing systems do pose some risks. While single ply roofing is an outstanding, sturdy defender of harsh weather conditions, chemical damage, and sun damage, its thin, light layers are sometimes easily punctured. This roofing system may also be more vulnerable to seam issues and water retention issues as well. Lastly, while single ply roofing systems are often the most affordable, it’s important to note that their lifespan is often relatively short in comparison to others.