With the many types and styles of roofing system to choose from today, picking the right roofing system for your home, office or building can be challenging, yet fun. Besides types and styles, there are also more than a handful of materials you can select from – from man-made products, like plastic polymers, sheet metal and asphalt to natural materials, such as wood and slate. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages, of course, with each adding a distinctive design too; just make sure it is the fitting crown to your home, office or building.

One type of roofing system that has grown in popularity in the U.S. over the past 30 years is the Single-ply Roofing System. Single-ply is a flat, synthetic or man-made polymer-based roofing material. Besides being safe, fast and easy to install, Single ply roofs have become very popular for refurbishment or new build projects also because of their:

  • Flexibility;
  • Light weight;
  • Cost and energy efficiency, leading to potential HVAC savings;
  • Superior resistance to ultraviolet light (UV) radiation;
  • Resistance to fire, harmful chemicals (like acid rain and other forms of acidic outflow), and potentially harmful micro-organisms;
  • Capability to create a lasting, watertight covering that is guaranteed to protect the roof against leaks; and,
  • Being environmentally-friendly in their production and ability to be recycled.

There are three main types of Single-ply membrane:

PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). Besides its longevity and durability, PVC is also recognized for its capability to withstand chemical build-up and acidic outflow. This type of Single-ply membrane is also extremely easy to produce, install and repair, and has an estimated life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

EPDM ( Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer). This versatile and flexible single-ply membrane can be ballasted, mechanically secured or fully adhered. It has excellent weathering qualities and is 100% resistant to Ozone thermal shock, changing weather conditions and UV radiation. EPDM has a life expectancy of between 20 – 30 years, even up to 40 years in some parts of the U.S.

TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). TPO is also known as Thermoplastic polyolefin or Flexible Polyolefin (FPO). This roofing membrane, which has the potential to last up to 25 years, may not be as flexible as PVC, but it is extremely Eco-friendly and allows for cooler and more consistent temperature control due to its white color composition that reflects heat: this results to reduction in energy costs due to lesser use of electricity and/or gas to run air conditioning systems. In states where the climate is warmer, like in Florida, TPO roofing systems are said to have shown to last longer than almost all of flat roof systems, saving companies money in maintenance and restoration costs.