PVC Roofing – The Complete Guide
For sixty years, the PVC roof has been standard on many types of commercial, industrial, and institutional structures.
Its widespread use is credited to its extended service life, resistance to extreme weather, and low setup and maintenance cost.
When a roof has been recently damaged or is getting close to its expected lifespan, a PVC roof installation offers several advantages.
These are factors to take into account while using PVC membrane roofing systems.
PVC Membrane Roofing: What Is It?
Single-ply PVC roofing membranes are used on PVC roofs, and they are constructed from two plies of vinyl that have been bonded together with a polyester reinforcing scrim in between.
White or bright colors are used for the PVC membrane roof because they reflect the sun’s rays and reduce heating and cooling costs.
PVC is most commonly associated with rigid plastic plumbing pipes. To those in the know, “PVC” is short for “polyvinyl chloride.”
Rigid and flexible forms of this synthetic polymer are both feasible
To protect a low-slope or flat roof for up to 30 years, a PVC roofing contractor will use flexible materials.
First, an insulation board is installed on top of the roof deck for a PVC roof.
ISO or EPS foam boards with an R-value between R4 and R6 per inch of insulation thickness are the most popular options.
This crucial PVC roofing component reduces energy losses and aids in maintaining lower utility expenses.
A PVC membrane roofing installation can be done in one of three methods. These include entirely adherent materials, mechanical fastening, or a PVC roof that has been induction welded
- Fully Adhered PVC Roofing: A powerful commercial adhesive is used to adhere the PVC membrane roofing material directly to the existing substrate. This technique is commonly used when fasteners cannot be securely fastened to the structure or when the owner prefers to have as few penetrations as possible in the roof deck.
- Mechanically Attached PVC Roofing: In order to keep the PVC membrane roofing components in place, heavy-duty screws and plates are used. Attached PVC roofs are the go-to in hurricane and tornado-prone regions because they are impervious to the damaging effects of strong winds.
- Induction Welded PVC Roofing: The PVC membrane covering above the metal plate locations will be heated during this operation. The materials adhere to the metal plate as a result of the electric pulses the induction welding instrument gives off, which heat it. A PVC roofing system that has been induction welded often requires fewer fasteners and requires less work than similar systems.
All three methods involve welding the edges of PVC membrane roofing sheets together to create a watertight seal.
PVC membrane roofing materials, in particular, are noticeably thinner than those used in other systems. Thicknesses of manufactured goods range from 40 mil (0.04 in) to 90 mil (0.09 in). Membrane thicknesses typically range from 60 mil to 90 mil
The majority of white PVC roofing materials are installed to deflect sunlight. You may also choose from a variety of other colors than black and white. Specialty materials may be made to resemble shingles, and fire safety is ensured in certified goods.
PVC Roof Membrane Varieties
Since the 1960s, this category of materials has been widely used for low-slope and flat-roof applications.
PVC roofing systems have become increasingly popular due to its low price, ease of installation, and resistance to severe weather. These are typical kinds used in the workforce.
PVC Roof Membrane, The Norm
Single-ply membranes are the norm for PVC roofing membranes.
Energy Star recognizes the superiority of PVC membrane roof materials for their ability to reflect heat and prevent water damage over the long term.
The two membrane layers of a typical PVC roofing system include polyester reinforcement in the center
Standard PVC may often be placed with screws or adhesives, and thanks to additives, it is more flexible.
KEE Membrane PVC Roof
Rigid components must be changed to make them more flexible throughout the manufacturing process of PVC roof membrane materials.
This can happen over time as the liquid plasticizers employed to make it thus dissipate. Ketone ethyl ester (KEE) was developed for this same reason.
KEE uses a polymer ingredient that is more concentrated than other liquid plasticizers in their PVC roofing membrane products.
A PVC KEE membrane basically extends the lifespan of a roof and keeps its flexibility for much longer
These PVC membrane roofing products reflect the sun’s rays well over time and can be used in conjunction with asphalt.
PVC Roof Fleece Back membrane
High-quality fleece components fastened to the underside of a PVC membrane roofing product provide further support for a flat or low-slope roof
Materials that include fleece may be rolled out directly on the roof, simplifying the installation process.
Using this method, you may get a strong PVC roofing layer with little effort
With fleece-backed goods, you may use either adhesives or fasteners to fix your PVC roof
Adhesive PVC roofing installation is popular for buildings in windy areas because of its durability.
Property owners and managers should know that standard and KEE items are available with fleece backing as an option.
Product selection for a PVC roof installation is heavily influenced by design considerations, structural considerations, and climate. If you have any queries or concerns, a professional that works with PVC roofing can help.
PVC Roofing System Components
The PVC membrane is just one component of the roof.
In order to properly build a PVC roof, many layers of materials must be used.
The following are examples of such.
- Roof Deck: The roof deck is the tough covering fastened to the roof’s rafters and other supports. It’s used as a base beneath other PVC roofing components.
- Insulation: Every PVC roof includes insulation, which is normally installed directly into the decking. The geographical climate and energy efficiency dictate the depth and composition.
- Fasteners and Plates: The membrane sheets are securely attached to the roof deck using fasteners and plates..
- Bonding Adhesives: Depending on the weather and other variables, adhesives can be the best choice for installing a PVC roof. Adhesives might occasionally be a good option in areas where windstorms are common.
It is important to note that if a ventilation pipe, HVAC system, or parapet goes through the roof, flashing and sealants are used.
To avoid moisture infiltration and water damage, a high-quality PVC roof installation requires skilled workers to correctly seal and flash around a parapet.
PVC Roofing System Benefits
Commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings with low-slope or flat roofs continue to use PVC roofing as a roofing material.
That’s because a PVC roof offers stakeholders and property owners long-lasting advantages like the ones listed below.
One of the solutions with the least labor-intensive costs is a PVC roofing system. The cost to property owners is decreased by minimizing the amount of labor hours required to meticulously install a PVC roof.
Simple PVC Roof Repair
PVC repair professionals can easily reach parts of a flat roof that have been damaged by hail, falling debris, or other severe weather.
Rapid reaction times and low costs in roofing emergencies can be achieved with readily available, simple-to-apply repair materials.
Resilient to the elements
The capacity of any roofing system to survive temperature changes and bad weather is one of the key tests of that system. A low-slope or flat PVC roof naturally resists strong winds. The surface area deflects strong winds when it is securely fastened by a skilled roofing contractor. PVC roof repairs may be completed rapidly to stop water seepage even when baseball-sized hail causes damage.
Maximize the use of energy
All of the PVC membrane roofing products have an energy-related function. To reduce the demand for air conditioning, use surfaces that are white or light in color. The facility’s insulating layer stores energy used for heating and cooling.
PVC Roofs Last For Years
Three factors are required for a PVC roof installation to have the longest possible lifespan. To guarantee that the installation is completed precisely, a skilled and licensed roofing contractor is needed. Unnecessary harm is caused by insufficient flashing or loose fasteners.
It also depends on where the building is located in terms of climate. Hurricane and hailstorm-prone regions can need constant maintenance. Last but not least, the PVC membrane roofing materials and style of installation must appropriately fulfill climatic and other demands. When everything is in place, a PVC roof with adequate maintenance can last 30 years or more.
PVC Roofing FAQ
Can you walk on a roof made of PVC?
Yes, to answer briefly. Hard-soled footwear and tools, however, might harm a PVC roof’s surface.
Wearing soft shoes and avoiding excessive foot traffic is essential.
How durable is a PVC roof?
A PVC roof has a 30-year or longer lifespan. Its life expectancy is determined by a number of variables. However, proper maintenance and regular roof inspections increase its longevity.
What distinguishes PVC roofing from TPO roofing?
Thermoplastic polyolefin is used to construct TPO roofs. Polyvinyl chloride is combined with additional ingredients to create a PVC roofing membrane. Both roofing methods provide important advantages. Consult a professional to determine your best course of action if you’re thinking about installing a TPO or PVC roof.
Is PVC membrane roofing resistant to chemicals?
A PVC membrane roof may withstand many different substances. A reputation for outstanding chemical resistance was developed for the PVC KEE membrane.
Is PVC roofing membrane fire-proof?
Yes, PVC membrane roofing products have a built-in resistance to fire due to the chemicals employed in their production.
Can a PVC roof be repaired?
Technicians can easily evaluate and fix a roof with a modest slope or flat surface. Cuts and dents in a PVC roof are simple to fix since the material is applied in overlapping sheets. PVC roof replacement may be necessary, however, after severe weather events such as a hurricane, tornado, or large hailstorm.
Are PVC roofing systems regarded as environmentally friendly?
PVC roof installation components may be recycled several times. They are environmentally beneficial materials that lower carbon emissions and landfill buildup since they endure 30 years or more.
Are PVC roofs thought to be long-term cost-effective?
On two fronts, a PVC roof provides a long-term return on investment. First off, a careful PVC roof installation may increase energy efficiency by as much as 40%. The second factor is that, with regular maintenance, a PVC roof may survive for 30 years or more. The initial investment in a PVC roof is justified given the combination of these money-saving features.
How To Find The Right PVC Roofing Contractor?
A commercial roofing contractor with experience is necessary for PVC roofing. PVC roofing installation is a specialized area of roofing, and complicated roof systems call for meticulous craftsmanship and adherence to exacting manufacturing requirements.
You need a contractor you can work with every step of the way if your roof has been damaged by wind or hail. one who is capable of full installation as well as any necessary emergency roof repairs.
Look for a PVC roofing specialist who meets the requirements listed below:
- Possesses a state-issued license, bond, and insurance
- Manufacturer-trained and certified to provide the finest quality and warranty choices
- Having practical experience putting in your kind of flat roof on various projects
- Knowledge in overseeing staged roofing projects that can call for simultaneous tear-off and installation
- Knowledge of filing damage claims with insurance companies
By hiring a professional roofing company, you can ensure that your roof will survive for decades without leaking or experiencing any other severe problems.