A Handy Guide to Commercial Flat Roofing Options – Part 1: The Single-Ply Roof

When it comes to commercial buildings, flat roofing almost always comes as the first choice, which is understandable given the long list of advantages that make it an attractive option. One of the most popular flat roofs around is the single-ply roof, a one-layer membrane that acts as a protective surface against the rain and other elements as well.

What It Is

There are several types of membranes considered as single-ply roofs. Generally though, they can be grouped into two: thermosets and thermoplastics. Thermosets are made from rubber polymers and require adhesives while thermoplastics (as their name imply) are more plasticized in nature and are welded together by hot air.

Though commonly used in commercial roofing, single-ply roofs are are also popular in residential applications. They can come in a range of widths between 6 and 18 feet but most of the single-ply membranes installed come in sheets 10 feet wide. In terms of thickness, a sheet should be ideally at least 50 mm thick but options typically come in a range between 45 and 99 mm.

What Makes It a Great Choice?

  • Durability. Depending on the membrane you choose, you can expect to get at least 15 to 25 years of service life from single-ply roofing. All single-ply roofing membranes are built to last through any kind of weather; but by employing routine maintenance and you might be able to extend their lifespans by a few more years by catching problems early enough to keep them from being truly problematic.
  • Ease of Installation. Another one of single-ply roofing’s key selling points is its undeniably easy installation. With just one ply of membrane to install, single-ply roofing is easier to handle than other flat roofing types, speeding up installation.
  • Its lightweight design allows it to cater to unconventional architectural styles for roofs, making it a favorite among architects and designers. This also means additional structural support won’t be needed so you won’t need to reinforce your deck to take advantage of single-ply roofing.
  • Energy– Coatings and surface materials may be added on top of a single-ply roof to enhance its ability to reflect heat. This reduces the level of heat absorbed by the roof, which is then transferred to the structure, keeping your cooling load down so HVAC systems work more efficiently.

Single-ply roofing is a popular choice in flat roofing but it’s not the only one. Interested in what modified bitumen can offer? Read on for more!