What Is a Single Ply Roofing System?

A Single Ply Roofing Roll.

What Is Single Ply Membrane Made of?

If you are in the market for a new commercial roof, you might consider single ply roofing. Single ply roofs are flexible, prefabricated roof membranes that are made up of plastic materials. There are two single ply roofing categories, ‚Äčthermosets and thermoplastics. Thermoset single ply roofs are made from synthetic rubber polymers; EPDM roofs are considered thermoset single ply roofs. Thermoplastic single ply roofs are made of plastic materials; PVC and TPO roofing are thermoplastic single ply roofs. There are three types of single ply roofs, which are EPDM, PVC, and TPO roofing. To determine which of single ply roof would work for you and your building, its important to know more about them.

EPDM Roofing

A lot of people ask, “Is EPDM a single ply membrane?” and the answer is yes. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) roofing is a thermoset single ply roof. Things that commercial property owners like about EPDM roofs is that they are durable, with the ability to resist severe weather conditions and UV rays. They are usually a black membrane, which means they are great for colder climates as they can melt snow and absorb heat and make buildings warmer. So is EPDM roofing any good? It can be if you want to protect your roof against UV rays and severe weather.

PVC Roofing

If you are looking for a flexible single ply roof for your building, then you can’t go wrong with PVC roofing. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofs are highly reflective, which means they are able to reflect the sun from the roof, protecting your roof against UV rays, as well as lower the inside temperatures of your building. Its a very resistant surface, with the ability to resist chemicals, grease, and oil; due to resisting these types of substances, PVC roofing is a great option for restaurants.

TPO Roofing

In regards to single ply roofing, TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) roofs are one of the most popular flat roof choices. This is because its easy to install and its cost-effective, so you don’t have to pay a ton for a good quality roof and have to wait a long time for it to be installed. It is also a reflective roofing system, so it saves money on energy bills and it is resistant to chemicals and other pollutants. Another great thing is that is can stand up to harsh weather as the material is puncture-resistant.

Single Ply Roofing Pros and Cons

If you interested in single ply roofing for your building but you are still on the fence, it might help to know what the advantages and disadvantages. Knowing what types of benefits you will get from this roof, as well as the drawbacks of this roof, will help you make a more educated decision about whether you want this roof for your building’s roof.

Single Ply Roofing Pros

  • Long-Lasting: Something that is always asked about single ply roofs is, “How long does single ply roofing last?” they can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.
  • Cost-Effective: Another question that is asked is, “How much does single ply roofing cost?” Its actually one of the more affordable commercial roofing materials, and it cheaper to install than most roofs.
  • Lightweight: This is actually important because it means the roof membrane isn’t adding extra weight to your building.
  • Reflective: Because of the reflective material, it can protect your roof against UV damage and lower the temperatures of your building’s interior.

Single Ply Roofing Cons

  • Penetrations: Penetrations or roofing accessories like HVAC systems, skylights, or vents can get in the way of installing this type of roof.
  • Seam Leaks: There is a chance that the seams might be vulnerable to leaks. Single ply roofing seams are sealed, but water can still get through.
  • Punctures: Because they are very flexible roofing systems, they can be punctured by various things.
  • UV Rays: Single ply roofs are very reflective but over time, the adhesive to seal the seams can start to deteriorate.

Single Ply Roofing Vs Built Up

Having a flat roof on your commercial building means that you have a ton of options. Single ply roofs are a great choice for flat roofs, but materials like built up roofing are also considered by many. Built up roofs are pretty low-maintenance, they are reflective, waterproof, and seamless. However, they can take a long time to install, they have a high installation cost, and they can add extra weight to buildings. Single ply roofs on the other hand are lightweight, they don’t take a long time to install, and they aren’t expensive. They are also reflective, resistant to chemicals, hail, fire, and other environmental and weather issues. It is totally up to you which roofing system you choose, but its best to talk to a roofer before making a decision.

Single Ply Roofing Installation

A Man Installing a Single Ply Roof.

Single Ply Roofing Contractors

If you are wanting single ply roofing for your Pittsburgh, PA building, then call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing for the best commercial roofing in the area. Just like you wouldn’t call anyone but a plumber to install a tankless water heater, you shouldn’t call anyone but a licensed and reliable roofing contractor to install single ply roofing. We can be those licensed and reliable roofers, so contact us at 412-256-8050 to make an appointment!