What is the Best Material for a Flat Roof?

A Picture of a PVC Membrane Roll.

Flat Roof Materials for Commercial Properties

As a commercial property owner, you want to have the best roofing for your building. Our roofs not only keep us protected against inclement weather and the outside elements, but they also ensure that we are safe and comfortable throughout all of the seasons. Because of this choosing a superior roof is of the utmost importance. If you are in the market for a new roof, you might wonder what is the best roof material for a commercial building? Typically, commercial properties have flat roofs, so you want to find a flat roof that is long-lasting, durable, energy-efficient, and affordable.

There are a lot of roofing systems to choose from, but a flat roof system that commercial property owners choose time and time again is single ply roofing. What is a single ply roofing system? Single ply roofs are prefabricated roof membranes that are installed on low-slope or flat roofs. Over the years, the roofing systems that used to reign supreme over flat roofing (modified bitumen and built up roofing), have been pushed aside in favor of single ply roofs. The reason for this is that single ply roofs don’t require as much maintenance as other traditional flat roof systems. They are sturdy, long-lasting, and offer commercial roofs a lot of protection and savings.

Single Ply Roofing Vs Built Up

When choosing what type of flat roof material will be best for your commercial property, its best to go over the details of both. Single ply roofs are roof membranes made of synthetics or rubber, which is able to be installed without the use of fasteners. Built up roofing has been a popular commercial roofing system for over 100 years. A built up roof is a roof that is constructed of layers of tar and gravel that are applied onto the roof. Now that you know what materials they are made of and how they are constructed, the next step is to go over which one would be best for your commercial roof.

A lot of people choose single ply roofing because it is a lot less expensive than built up roofing, but they are fire resistant, reflective, and have continued to become better and better throughout the years. People who choose built up roofs like that they are low maintenance, are seamless, and provide UV protection. What people don’t necessarily like about single ply roofs is that the UV rays can ruin the roof, they are seamless, and installing around vents and other roofing can take time; in regards to built up roofing, people don’t like that it can take a long time to install, it costs more, and there is added weight to the roof. You really need to weigh the pros and the cons when determining what roof you want. If you are interested in single ply roofing, you need professional single ply roofing contractors to help you.

Single Ply Roofing Pros and Cons

If you are considering single ply roofing for your commercial property, knowing what the single ply roofing details are can help you make an informed decision. In terms of benefits, single ply roofing is a great roofing option because there are a couple of choices to decide from, there are many insulation options to choose from, they are easy to install, they are reflective, they are flexible, and they are durable.

In regards to the drawbacks of a single ply roof, they can become punctured very easily, installing around roof vents and HVAC units can be tricky, they can leak at their seams, and UV rays can damage the surface of the membrane. However, it’s important to note that because there are three single ply roofing options, they are all going to have different benefits and disadvantages, so really get technical, you need to look at single ply roofing options to decide if single ply roofing is for you.

Different Types of Single Ply Roofs

A Picture of a Roofer Installing PVC Membrane.

Single Ply Roofing Options

There are three single ply roofing options that are the most common choices for people to choose from.

  • EPDM Roofing: EPDM roofing, or ethylene propylene diene monomer, is a single ply roofing system that is made of synthetic rubber. Many people ask, “Are EPDM roofs any good?” and the answer is yes. They are able to withstand severe weather, they chemical resistant, they offer UV protection, and they are very strong and flexible. How long does an EPDM roof last? When properly taken care of, these roofs can last up to 30 years.
  • PVC Roofing: Thermoplastic polyvinyl chloride, or PVC roofing, is made from ethylene and chlorine, which is derived from natural gas and salt. The great thing about PVC roofing is that they are fire resistant, eco-friendly, durable, chemical resistant, and they can be welded. How long do PVC roofs last? These single ply roofs can last upwards of 20 years or more when they get the proper maintenance.
  • TPO Roofing: What is single ply TPO roofing? TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is synthetic roofing that is applied directly on top of the roof. This type of single ply roof comes in wide range of colors, its reflective, fire resistant, wind resistant, can reduce cooling costs, and has many pricing options. Another great thing about this roof is that it can be installed on directly over an existing roof, giving the roof more protection.

If you are interested in single ply roofing for your commercial property in Sparks, NV, call Alpine Roofing Co. today! Just like you wouldn’t call an inexperienced HVAC technician for air conditioner installation, you wouldn’t call in experienced roofer for single ply roof installation. We work with GAF material, so you will always have the best single ply roof for your business. Call us at 775.358.7663 to learn more.