Single-Ply Roofing Tips and Info from Cobalt Roofing Corporation - Get Your Free Quote Here
Single-ply roofing uses membrane products that are manufactured from synthetic materials and are very thin and flexible. A single thickness of membrane is used to finish the roof. Several types of single-ply roofing membrane are discussed in this chapter. Since there are variations in the products in each type manufactured, a choice of which type of membrane and the selection of a specific brand require the assistance of a qualified designer and a roofing contractor approved to install that particular membrane product.
While the homeowner ultimately makes the decision of which membrane to use and can oversee the contractor engaged to do the work, the DIY cannot apply this roofing alone and not every roofing contractor is qualified or approved to do the install - Cobalt is. Advice from the area sales office of the membrane manufacturer is also advised. Finally, be certain it is installed exactly as the manufacturer recommends and the fastening devices, cements, solvents, flashing and other installation accessories provided by the manufacturer are used. Check on the warranty from both the manufacturer and the roofing contractors.
Synthetic rubber and plastic single-ply membranes: Some of the single-ply membranes in general use include ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), and polyvinyl chloride. These are all compounded synthetic materials. These thin flexible membranes are manufactured under controlled conditions, providing a uniform product. There are other such products available, such as chlorinated polyethylene and EIP.
EPDM Membranes: these are a synthetic rubber membrane that is thermoset plastic. It comes in very thin, black sheets. Sheets are available from 10 to 100 feet wide. Most types are not fiber-reinforced, so they can be stretched a little, allowing them to lay over curved and irregularly shaped roofs. EPDM membrane resists many chemicals, but can be damaged by organic fats, gasoline and fire. A specially formulated sheet that has fire-resistant properties is available. The most commonly used type is black. It contains carbon black, enhancing its durability. White sheets do not have carbon black and have a shorter life. It can be coated with liquid Hypalon rubber available in several colors. EPDM membranes are available in rolls up to 50 feet wide and 100 feet long.
CPSE Membranes are made as a thermoplastic; however, after it has been installed, it cures and becomes a thermoset. As mentioned just above, it is known by the trade name Hypalon. It is usually white. The sheet is reinforced with a polyester scrim. Scrim is a coarse, mesh-like material much like heavy cloth. Hypalon scrim is made with polyester fibers. This increases the tensile strength but reduces the ability to stretch. It is not as useful on unusually shaped roofs, where some elasticity is helpful. This material is generally white but other colors are available. It is resistant to many chemicals but can be damaged by gas and various oils. It is available in sheets 5 feet wide.
TPO Membrane Commercial/Industrial Roofing: This is a membrane that has a high ethylene-propylene-rubber content. It is available in rolls of 75 inches, and up to 12 feet wide. It is available in black, white, and light gray. The seams are hot-air welded. It has fiber reinforcement, which increases its tear strength.