Single-ply roofing is a popular type of roofing for commercial flat buildings. Your building might have this type of roof now, but it may be covered with gravel so the membrane is out of sight. Single-ply membranes are fastened to your roof or held down with ballasts of some sort, such as gravel. There are also different types of membranes, so you may need a single-ply roofing contractor to help you choose the right roofing for your building. Here are some things to know about this type of commercial roofing.
Certain Types Can Be Heat Welded
An advantage of some types of single-ply roofing is that it can be heat welded. TPO and PVC membranes can be patched and sealed with heat that fuses the membranes together so the risk of leaking is lowered. Single-ply roofing contractors can install the roofing by rolling it out flat on the roof and then heat welding the seams together. Once the seams fuse, they hold up strong against leaking.
A rubber roof membrane is sometimes a better choice for a commercial building, but it can't be heat welded. Instead, the seams are held together with seam tape and adhesive. No matter what type of single-ply membrane roofing you have installed, it's a good idea to have the entire surface, including the seams, inspected regularly for gaps and holes.
Some Membranes Are More Suitable Than Others
Single-ply roofing contractors consider different factors before recommending the right type of roofing for your needs. For instance, if your roof is exposed to grease, oils, chemicals, or acids, the roofer might recommend PVC roofing as it can tolerate these substances the best.
The contractor might also consider climate and your climate-control needs. White TPO and PVC roofing reflect the sun, and they're Energy Star rated for energy efficiency. These roofing membranes can keep your building cooler in the summer.
Rubber roofing is also available in white, but the most common color for it is black. Black roofing absorbs the sun's rays, and it can cause your building to stay a little warmer in the winter.
Different types of membranes handle foot traffic differently since some are more resistant to punctures than others. However, no matter what type of membrane you choose, the contractor might recommend using mats to create walkways that protect the membrane from punctures.
Membranes Can Often Cover Old Roofing
A single-ply roofing contractor can advise you on whether a new membrane can be installed over an old commercial roof rather than tear off the old roofing. If this is possible, you can avoid paying to have the old roof torn off and hauled away. Plus the installation process will go quicker and be less disruptive if you can put the new membrane over the old roof.