What Exactly Is Membrane Roofing?
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What Exactly Is Membrane Roofing?
If you have a roof with a slope less than 2:12 or a flat roof, membrane roofing may be the perfect choice for you. This type of roofing utilizes highly reflective materials that not only keep buildings cooler but also meet or exceed Energy Star standards. In this article, we will explore the benefits and advantages of membrane roofing, including its waterproofing capabilities, durability, energy efficiency, and easy installation.
One of the key advantages of membrane roofing is its long-term waterproofing capabilities. This makes it an excellent choice for commercial buildings with low-slope roofs, where leaks can pose serious threats such as safety hazards, mold infestation, and energy loss costs. Unlike traditional asphalt and felt flat roofing styles that tend to develop leaks within a few years and require constant maintenance, membrane roofs are significantly more durable and reliable in terms of waterproofing.
Furthermore, modern membrane materials are resilient against temperature fluctuations, preventing damage caused by sun-induced expansion and contraction effects. Unlike asphalt roofs that often require gravel coatings to protect against UV degradation, modern membranes offer superior resistance to these environmental factors.
When selecting a commercial roof, it is crucial to speak to your roofing contractor about the membranes they install. Look for membranes with high tear resistance and elastic properties that can stretch to cover cracks while moving with the structure beneath. Additionally, ask for case studies showcasing the long-term performance of their product.
Membrane roofs are known for their exceptional durability compared to traditional flat roofing methods such as felt and asphalt. These roofs can last over 30 years and withstand various weather conditions without leakage, including extreme weather events. The minimal occurrence of leaks is due to the seamless nature of membrane sheets or the heat-welded or chemically bonded seams used for maximum weatherproofing capabilities.
Two popular types of single-ply membrane materials are TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer). TPO membranes have gained popularity due to their use of less toxic Phthalate plasticizers, high reflectivity, and energy-saving properties. On the other hand, EPDM membranes, made from rubber, offer a lifespan of approximately 30 years and are resistant to root penetration and bacterial growth. They are ideal for commercial projects that require easy roof access for mechanical systems or occupied rooms.
Proper maintenance and regular inspection of penetrations, seams, and insulation are vital to ensure the longevity of membrane roofs.
Another significant advantage of membrane roofing is its energy-saving benefits. These roofs reflect heat and UV rays away from interior spaces, leading to lower interior temperatures and reducing the contrast between hot indoor temperatures and cooler exterior temperatures.
EPDM rubber and TPO thermoplastic polyolefin membranes are popular choices for commercial flat and low-slope roofs due to their energy efficiency. The membranes can be fully adhered or loosely laid with protective measures.
Furthermore, membrane roofing can be installed directly over existing roofs, reducing costs and complexity associated with teardown projects. This approach also helps minimize landfill fees, construction waste disposal fees, and labor expenses.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) material, commonly used for membrane roofing, is highly resistant to harsh chemicals and substances that could potentially damage it. This makes it an attractive option for communities located near facilities that manufacture building materials.
To ensure the effectiveness of membrane roofing, it must be installed on a sturdy substrate such as wood, plywood, concrete, or gypsum sheathing. The substrate should be free from loose nails, debris, damaged areas, voids, or gaps in its construction.
EPDM and TPO membranes are two popular choices for flat roof membranes due to their excellent durability and manufacturer warranties of up to 30 years. Insulation panels can be fully adhered, ballasted, or mechanically fastened to any substrate, providing energy efficiency by allowing water vapor to pass through while blocking external moisture and UV radiation from the sun.
Unlike built-up roof membranes (BURs), membrane roofs adhere more closely to details like penetrations, chimneys, dormer walls, and ridges, minimizing leakage issues. This flexibility allows membrane roofing to easily fit leak-prone spots on a roof that cannot be accommodated by conventional BUR systems.
Membrane roofing offers numerous advantages, including superior waterproofing capabilities, durability, energy efficiency, and easy installation. Whether you have a low-slope or flat roof, considering membrane roofing can provide long-term protection and energy savings for your commercial building. Contact a roofing contractor experienced in installing high-quality membrane systems to discuss your specific needs and enjoy the benefits of this innovative roofing solution offered by The StoneMark Company.
What Exactly Is Membrane Roofing? If you have a roof with a slope less than 2:12 or a flat roof, membrane roofing may be the perfect choice for you. This type of roofing utilizes highly reflective materials that not only keep buildings cooler but also meet or exceed Energy Star standards. In this article, we…