Peak Roofing Basics: Single-ply Membrane
I’m back with Part 2 of my riveting series about membrane roofing. I doubt I’m going to be contacted about doing a Netflix special on the topic but I do want to provide current and prospective commercial roofing clients helpful information on selecting a roof. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read Part 1, “Peak Roofing Basics: Multi-ply Membrane” from last week where I provided my thoughts and insights on multi-ply membrane roofing.
At Peak Roofing & Construction we primarily install and repair single ply membrane. Not because we don’t like multi-ply, but single ply dominates the market. Single ply membrane became available in the late 1980s when Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) was invented. However, EPDM had issues with long-term UV stability and was replaced with Thermal Plastic Olefin (TPO.) TPO now dominates the market although there is a Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) product alternative which is a higher quality, but at a moderately higher price.
Advantages of single-ply membrane
At the top of the list of advantages is affordability. Single-ply membrane is substantially cheaper than multi-ply because there are fewer materials and requires less labor to install. For those concerned about utility costs, single ply is typically white in color and provides excellent reflective qualities. As a result, it reduces solar heat gain which translates into lower cooling costs. In Texas, this is obviously a big deal to commercial owners. Not as significant but still important is that membrane flashing on single ply is vastly superior to multi-ply. The same material used for roofing is also used for flashing around penetrations like vent pipes and equipment platforms so you have a better seal.
Disadvantages of single-ply membrane
There is one big disadvantage of Single-ply and it’s in the name…a single layer of protection. If the layer gets damaged, you are open to water infiltration into the building. This is important especially when we have a large hail storm like the ones that hit Frisco, Plano, and Dallas two years ago. The good news is single ply membrane can typically be repaired as long as the damage isn’t widespread. For TPO roofs, another disadvantage is the material is flammable. Because of this, if a building has a wood structure, I would recommend using a PVC membrane. It performs as well or better than TPO and is flame resistant. In fact, we have a customer that is an architect in Irving and who no longer specs TPO material at all because of this.
At Peak Roofing & Construction we look at each project’s unique situation before making a recommendation. Our foremen and crews are well versed in multiple types of roofing materials and proper installation techniques. We guarantee the workmanship on every roof we do so our customers know their project is in good hands. Call us today for a free consultation.
About Peak Roofing & Construction
Peak Roofing & Construction is family-owned, with 30-years of experience. Bonded, insured and accredited, we provide roofing, gutter, fence, window and exterior facelift services. Guaranteed. Call (972) 335-7325 in Dallas-Fort Worth (residential & commercial) or 281-290-7325 in Houston (commercial roofing).