Many commercial roofs are flat, low-sloped roofing systems that contain “ply” layers to avoid water penetration, provide protection, increase longevity and achieve a higher level of energy efficiency (R-value). The thickness and type of roof insulation determines the amount of R-value and utility cost savings. Generally speaking, low sloped roofs are more common in commercial and steeper sloped roofs in residential.
Two layers is the maximum allowed by most permitting municipalities. In order to adhere to weight concerns and municipality requirements, you have to tear off down to the roof deck and start over beyond two layers.
Failure of the seals and flashing, harm to the membrane, penetrations, standing water and inadequate drainage are the main causes of commercial roof leaks. To prevent these issues from arising and to increase the longevity of your commercial roof, make sure to do routine maintenance.
Single-ply roofing systems have replaced built-up systems to become the most popular and the industry standard on commercial buildings. They can be mechanically attached or fully adhered.
Hence the name, single-ply systems are made up of a single sheet of material as opposed to the older, now less popular multi-layer systems. It combines all the waterproofing and protection into one layer made from thermoplastic or synthetic rubber materials. The three most popular single-ply systems are: TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer). The best choice for you depends on a variety of factors like budget, climate and other practical objectives. Please contact us to help you determine the best fit for your priorities.
Commercial roofing systems commonly have life spans ranging from 10 to 40 years depending on material used, quality of installation, how they are maintained, climate and other factors.
Which is better is always a very hot topic in the roofing industry. Subjectivity always comes into play: Installers and manufacturers of PVC say TPO is comparably inadequate and vice versa from the installers and manufacturers of TPO. TPO is typically voted the best for “all around” choice by most professionals. The two membranes are generally very similar in application and appearance. It really depends on your location, budget and the building’s purpose. PVC Pros: More chemical resistant, longer service life and better to handle high temperature materials. Cons: More expensive, performs worse in cold climates and harder to repair. TPO Pros: Less expensive, energy efficiency (our experience has been it stays whiter longer) and easier to repair. TPO Cons: Shorter service life, performs worse against chemicals and high heat materials.