Single Ply Roofing
Single ply roofing systems have been used on flat roofs or low-slope roofs for more than 30 years. The strength, durability and flexibility of the product makes single ply roofing one of the most useful roofing systems for commercial and industrial buildings.
Synthetic roofing membranes are applied in sections that are sealed together to prevent water from invading your roof. These sections can be cold sealed or heat sealed, depending upon the type of single ply roofing used.
What is single ply roofing?
Single ply roofing is a membrane roofing system for flat or nearly flat roofs. The solid composition of the membrane helps prevent leaks and helps drain water off the roof. Membrane roofs are most commonly made from synthetic rubber, thermoplastic or modified bitumen. Single ply roofs are most commonly used for commercial applications, and have become more common in residential applications.
The three most common types of single ply roofing include:
- Synthetic Rubber (EPDM) – Consisting of large, flat pieces of synthetic rubber or similar materials, this single ply roofing system is bonded together with chemicals at the seams to form one continuous membrane.
- Thermoplastic Membrane (TPO) – Similar to synthetic rubber, but the seams are typically heat-fused (welded) to form a continuous membrane. The ‘lap’ seams can also be fused with solvents instead of heat.
- Modified Bitumen – This type of roofing is an evolution of asphalt roofing. It is Made from asphalt and a variety of rubber modifiers and solvents, modified bitumen single ply roofing systems can be heat sealed or cold applied. Self-adhesive membranes also are available.
How is single ply roofing applied?
Single ply roofing membranes can be installed fully adhered to your roof. The membranes can be held down with ballast or mechanically attached. On occasion, a combination of attachment methods are used to secure a roof system. The attachment method is largely dependent upon the status of the surface of the roof. Single ply roofing does not require surfacing.
Fully adhered single ply roofing systems are fully dependent on the substrate too which the membrane is attached to support the roof. Mechanical attachment systems can be more costly than fully adhered systems due to the labor involved. Ballasted systems, which sometimes are more affordable than fully adhered systems, are applied over a loosely laid roof.
Using a foam adhesive to install a single ply roof system is a high performance roof system that will withstand high winds and eliminate the thousands of fasteners required to install conventional roofing systems to obtain a similar wind uplift performance. The elimination of mechanical fasteners increases the square feet per hour of installed system and reduces the potential for leaks due to a fastener.
If possible, foam adhesive is our choice. The elimination of mechanical fasteners increases the square feet per hour of installed system and reduces the potential for leaks due to a fastener. Foam adhesive helps reduce thermal shorts and energy (R value) loss. Foam adhesive provides superior adhesion of board stock type roofing insulation and cover boards to roof decks.
What are the advantages of single ply roofing?
These three application types of single ply roofing show distinct advantages over the previously more common flat roofing method of asphalt and gravel.
When installed correctly, single ply membrane roofing have seams as strong as the body. This eliminates much of the leakage concerns associated with asphalt and gravel applications, where it can be difficult to locate the source of a leak.
Repairs for asphalt and gravel roofs can be hard, mainly because it is difficult to locate the exact point of a leak. Leaks in single ply roofing systems are easier to locate and easier to patch than asphalt and gravel roofs.
Plus, the gravel is gone. Originally employed to protect the asphalt from degradation by reflecting uv rays, gravel also was employed to weigh down the roofing system. Single ply roofing membranes now reflect much more sun than gravel ever could. With single ply roofing systems, the added weight of the gravel is replaced by self-adhesive roofing, adhesive foam or mechanical attachments.
Also, because these membranes either lack seams or have strong seams, normal expansion and contraction is less likely to result in leaks. Single ply roofing systems are also attached directly to the top of a building, which eliminates the need for excess weight above.
The Single-Ply Roof Membrane
Our fully adhered roof systems meet or exceeded all major fire and wind code requirements in south Florida. These certifications reinforce our leadership in providing the consistent, watertight integrity that building owners expect.
We are proud to be a charter partner of the ENERGY STAR® Roof Products Program. The ENERGY STAR label indicates to building owners and managers that the white vinyl roof membrane can save them money on cooling costs due to its high reflectivity (reflects 88% of the sun’s energy).
We are a charter member of the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) and a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). We participate in all major technical committees in the roofing industry, plus the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM).