Single Ply Roofing





What is Single-Ply Roofing?

Single-ply roofing is classified as flexible sheets of compounded plastic-derived material that are used to cover and protect flat and low-sloped buildings. These prefabricated membranes are manufactured in a factory to strict quality control requirements and can be attached in a variety of methods. In the last 30 years, single-ply roofing has displaced older materials, such as tar paper, as the go-to roofing material for commercial roofing contractors. Properly installed, single-ply roofing systems offer an inherent advantage over traditional materials due to their strength, flexibility, and high durability.







Single-Ply Roof Installation




There are four primary methods for installing single-ply roofing systems:

The Mechanically Attached System: This system fastens the flat roofing in place by first fixing mounting plates through the insulation to the roof deck, laying the membrane in place, and then attaching it to the underlying plates. The Fully Adhered System: This system can be used in roofs that have a little bit of slope to them. The mounting plates are used to anchor the roof insulation to the roof deck and then the single-ply roofing is bonded directly to the insulation. Induction-Welded Roof Installation: When mechanical attachment is not possible, an induction-welded roof system can decrease the amount of penetrating fasteners by up to 50 percent. The Ballasted System: This system provides fast coverage at minimal cost. It utilizes large panels of rubber roofing membrane, up to 50 feet by 200 feet, loose-laid on the insulation and then covered by approved ballast, such as river-washed stone.










Types of Single-Ply Roofing Systems




There are three main types of single-ply roofs:

  • TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  • EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

  • PVC membrane roofs have been in use for decades. They are time tested and still a popular roofing system. For many years, EPDM roofing had been the top choice for single-ply roofing. However, TPO roofing is considered the gold standard of roofing materials. The chart below gives a quick look at how each single-ply membrane ranks on various American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) requirements:


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