PVC Roofing

Everything You Need To Know About PVC Roofing

What is PVC Roofing?

PVC roofing offers quality and long-lasting protection for low-slope and flat roofs for a range of buildings, including condominiums, commercial buildings, retail outlets, and restaurants. PVC is a tested and trusted single-ply roofing membrane created from polyvinyl chloride or plastic. When compared to ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) or thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), PVC is made with less petroleum and oil. Because of its cooling features, PVC has both Cool Roof and Energy star ratings.

Advantages of PVC Roofing

The most prominent advantage PVC boasts is its strength. PVC roofs can withstand a reasonable amount of weight and can last beyond 20 years. The requirement laid down by the American Society of Testing and Materials is that roofing membranes should have a minimum weight capacity of no less than 200 lbs per square inch. However, PVC far surpasses this strength as its membrane can hold weights up to 350 lbs.

Durability

PVC roofing is long-lasting and durable because of its seams welded with hot air. These seams create a bond that is not only watertight but also stronger than the roofing membrane. Other roofing materials need tapes, caulks, or adhesives to hold the material together. But the PVC roofing used welded seams, which are firmer than all other options. It is not a surprise that they are high on the list of the most durable roofing materials.

Longevity

With durability and strength in the picture, it is a given that PVC roofing will be long-lasting while in use. Once installed correctly, PVC roofs only need little maintenance within their 20 years of serving you. Although PVC roofing material has an upfront cost that can seem expensive, you will save hundreds to thousands of dollars with less maintenance, repairs, and even replacement costs over time.

Chemical-Resistant

Manufacturing buildings, warehouses, and other commercial facilities often have notable amounts of chemical exposure. Thankfully, PVC is also resistant to chemical damages. Harsh chemicals and other toxic substances can damage roof materials like asphalt and other single-ply roofing membranes. However, the best option for buildings exposed to such components is PVC roofing.

Fire-Resistant

PVC roofing is not only resistant to chemicals, but also fire resistant. The roofing membrane is hard to ignite, takes long to burn, and does not combust. Rather, PVC can even self-extinguish once you take away the source of the fire. These features have been tested with UL and FM fires and proven.

Wind-Resistant

The hot air welded seams PVC roofing provides is not only for strength and durability but also for resisting severe winds. Whether you are in a high or low-rise building, PVC can withstand severe winds. A trial has also shown that they can survive Category 3 hurricanes.

Water-Resistant

The designs of PVC membranes, including the hot-air welded seams make it watertight and water-resistant during hurricanes and storms. They can cope with low and high alkaline states, handle water puddles, and ponding. PVC roofing membranes can also resist bacteria, mold, and plant roots.

Environmentally-Friendly

PVC roofing materials have several eco-friendly benefits. First, they are very efficient with cooling or heating. Then, they lessen the effect of heat in cities, while reflecting the sun. Lastly, PVC roofing can be recycled even after using it for many years.

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PVC Installation Information

PVC membrane is so stable and strong that you can install it with hot air welding seams. This is unlike other membranes that will need taped seams or adhesives. Based on its unique installation method, a PVC roof can either expand or contract alongside a building. You can also seal PVC with solvent welding and attach it to metal flashing or other materials using adhesives.

Should you invest in PVC Roofing?

Regardless of its comparatively higher price, the benefits of PVC make it a great consideration for your roofing solutions. Here are some ways to find out whether a PVC roofing membrane is perfect for you.

  • Your building is often plagued with bad weather conditions
  • Your building is located in the city
  • You want to minimize maintenance costs
  • You seek eco-friendly materials

How Does PVC Compare to TPO and EPDM?

When compared to PVC, the TPO roofing membrane is more cost-effective. Its flexible and tear-resistant nature makes it easy to move and prevent impact damages and puncture during movement and transportation. EPDM is one of the cheapest roofing materials in the market for low-slope installations. EPDM also has an advantage over other roofing membranes because its sheets are about 50 feet wide, which makes them easier and faster to install.

Although an EPDM is resistant to snow, rain, UV rays, temperature changes, and abrasions, its seams are not as strong as those of PVC. When there is excessive heat build-up, EPDM’s membranes can shrink and tear apart. It is easier to repair PVC than other roofing materials because you can re-weld it in sections without difficulties. Despite its costly nature when making a purchase, PVC’s longevity makes it a more profitable investment than other roofing materials.

Conclusively, PVC, EPDM, and TPO all have unique benefits. Hence, roofing contractors should decide on the best roofing membrane based on factors surrounding the commercial roofing project at hand, including the budget, client’s needs, climate condition, or lifespan expectations.


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