Single ply roofing systems are designed to be installed in both residential and commercial buildings with flat roofs. Single ply membranes are easier, faster and safer to install than conventional modified bitumen or built up roof systems. They are also lighter than asphalt based systems thus causing less stress on roof structures. Single ply systems are versatile and can be installed over your home's existing roof by using either coverboard or rigid insulation in order to obtain a smooth compatible surface. By using rigid insulation you can also obtain more R-value for your home thus reducing yearly energy costs drastically. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are the most common single ply materials used today each designed to perform well in low slope roofing. Both TPO and PVC membranes are given their waterproof integrity by hand and robotic heat welding of seams. Here are some of the differences of both TPO and PVC Single ply membranes.
TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) Characteristics
- TPO is used more than PVC Membranes.
- TPO is available in white, gray, and tan (other colors might have to be special ordered in large qty.).
- TPO is slightly manufactured thicker than PVC making it more puncture resistant.
- TPO is more cost effective than PVC.
- TPO is highly reflective thus cooling roofs and lowering energy costs.
- Both TPO and PVC membranes offer less overlaps than modified bitumen systems reducing the chances of leaks and covering more sq.ft.
- TPO is widely more available than PVC.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Characteristics
- PVC Membranes are used more in buildings where chemical output and grease is expected from rooftop units. (ex. Restaurants)
- PVC Membranes are usually more expensive than TPO Membranes.
- PVC membranes are also highly reflective reducing energy costs.
- manufacturers of PVC like Duro-Last allow for installation of membrane during high winds due to their unique form of installation.
- PVC membranes also feature less overlaps than other conventional flat roofing systems.
- PVC is manufactured slightly thinner than TPO membranes making it more prone to punctures.
- PVC is also manufactured in a variety of colors.