Single-Ply Membranes For Commercial Roofing Applications

Once you have built the roof structure, the next step is to decide which roofing material to use. When it comes to roofing materials for commercial applications, there is a plethora of options available for you. This blog mainly talks about single-ply membranes.

Single-ply membranes have gained tremendous popularity over the years because of their flexibility, competitive price, and ease of installation. They are essentially sheets of rubber and other synthetics that are chemically adhered to insulation or ballasted to create a protective layer on the commercial facility.

Single-ply membranes can be broadly divided into two main categories: ​Thermosets and Thermoplastics. Thermoset membranes are compounded from synthetic rubber polymers that are chemically cross-linked or vulcanized. The most commonly used thermoset membrane in commercial roofing applications is Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM), which is composed of two compounds: Ethylene and Propylene. EPDM membranes as a roofing material are known for their long-term weathering ability and perform exceptionally well when exposed to fluctuations in temperature, ultraviolet rays, and ozone.

Unlike thermosets, thermoplastics do not use adhesives and there is no chemical cross-linking. The seams on thermoplastic single-ply membranes are hot-air welded together to form cohesive laps. The two most commonly used thermoplastic membranes in commercial roofing applications are Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO). Both types are highly flexible, easy to install, and resistant to ultraviolet radiation. However, they are normally incompatible and cannot be used in combination with other single roofing systems.

PVC sheets contain plasticizers and stabilizers to impart flexibility and achieve other desired physical properties. TPO sheets, on the other hand, are a blend of polypropylene and ethylene propylene polymers, and are generally reinforced with polyester. Unlike TPO membranes, which require additives to increase fire resistance, PVC membranes are naturally fire-retardant and can be installed in a variety of ways. Introduction of peel-and-stick products has also made the installation of TPO membranes even simpler.

Other roofing materials that you can choose for commercial roofing applications include but are not limited to Modified Bitumen, BUR – Built-Up Roofing, Silicon Coatings, Acrylic Coatings, Standing Seam Metal Roof.

Looking for the best roofing contractor in Austin, Texas? Partner with Architecture Roof Systems for top-quality service and professional results.

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