Single Ply Membrane Roofing

Everyting You Need To Know About Single Ply Membrane Roofing

What is Single Ply Membrane Roofing?

Over the years, Single ply roofing has become famous as a flat roof covering. In the basic sense, a single ply membrane roof comprises flexible synthetic polymer sheets that can be either synthetic rubber or thermoplastics.

Their ability to be re-molded and re-heated has made thermoplastics a preferred option for many industrial and commercial roofing installations and contractors installing flat roofs.

One notable thermoplastic membrane with international recognition, which is used throughout the U.S as a single ply roofing material, is Polyvinyl Chloride, also called PVC.
From the 60s until now, PVC has been used for several environments and roofing situations, ranging from small garages to large buildings and factories.

What are the Advantages of Single Ply-Membrane Roofing?

When placed side by side with other roofing materials, single ply roofing stands out in many ways. Let us look at some general benefits of using a single ply membrane for your roof.

UV and Natural Element Resistant

One thing that is required of every good roofing material is resistance to ultraviolet light and its damaging effects. Most single ply roofing materials are 100% UV resistant, but it doesn’t stop there. Furthermore, single ply membrane materials don’t get affected by micro-organisms and other harmful elements like chemicals.


Extreme and constantly changing weather conditions pose a problem to many commercial buildings, especially when they have the wrong roofing materials. However, a single ply roof membrane can offer the necessary long-term protection against harsh weather conditions upon application with a hot air weld.

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Resistant to Fire

Single ply membrane roofs are fire-resistant. They also have a composition that makes them self-extinguishing in the case of a fire outbreak.

Organizations and businesses with fire safety concerns due to their job and their customers, visitors, or employees need single ply roofing for safety and security.

Chemical Resistant

Single ply roofing materials provide protection from chemicals that can cause harm for a building and for the people inside. Acid rains, outflows, and other chemicals cannot get past these roofs or damage them.


Single ply membrane roofs score higher on the environmental friendliness index than other traditional industrial roofing materials. Consider that their production process is eco-friendly, they are recyclable and have longevity as a strong point.

Of all variations of single ply roofing membranes, Thermoplastic Polyethylene is the most environmentally sound.

Types of Single Ply Membranes

Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)

Abbreviated as EPDM, Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer is a single ply roofing material that boasts flexibility and versatility. EPDM can be ballasted, secured mechanically, or adhered fully.

The EPDM membrane is easy to install because it arrives 100% cured, thereby supporting a smooth process. The membrane is also UV resistant and offers premium protection from several conditions, including ozone thermal shock, acid rains, and changes in weather conditions.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer has a life expectancy that spans between 20 and 30 years, although some reports claim that it could last for up to 40 years.

Polyvinyl Chloride Membrane (PVC)

Commercial PVC Roofing system on flat roofPVC, also called Polyvinyl Chloride membrane, is one of the most popular flat roofing materials, and it has been a favorite in the United States for many decades.

It is highly durable, able to withstand potentially harmful chemical build-ups, acids, and has longevity as its strength.

Another feature of PVC is that it has an easy manufacturing, installation, and repair process.

Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO)

Thermoplastic Olefin, abbreviated as TPO, is one of the most commonly-used flat roofing materials and solutions. It is also called Flexible Polyolefin, although it does not have as much flexibility as the PVC membrane.

TPO needs solvents for its installation, which will likely add to its installation costs.
Thermoplastic Olefin is often used for green roof construction owing to its massive waterproofing abilities. TPO has a lifespan of about 20 years.

What is the cost of a single ply membrane roof?

A single ply membrane roof can vary in cost based on its manufacturer and the kind of material you opt to choose. However, based on ratings, the EPDM roofing membrane is the most affordable single ply roof membrane. TPO is the second most cost-effective, before PVC.

We recommend that you speak to your industrial roofing contractor or a professional in the field before making your purchase. They will take you through all the necessary details, including features of the membrane, installation procedures, and extra charges, where applicable.

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