PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofing membranes are known for their strength, durability and resistance to elements. The American Society of Testing and Materials requires a roofing membrane to have a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds per inch. PVC roofing membranes surpass this by actually having a breaking strength of 350 pounds per inch. PVC roofing membranes are especially durable due to their heat-welded seams. The seam that forms is not only watertight, but becomes stronger than the membrane itself. These seams have allowed PVC membraned to historically stand up to Category 3 hurricanes. A properly installed PVC roofing membrane can last over 20 years and will not require constant maintenance. PVC roofing membranes have passed numerous fire testing and are rated as fire-resistant. They also have an unlimited slope approval. This PVC product is also very environmentally friendly. The high solar reflectivity of PVC reduces energy waste and the material it is made out of can easily be recycled into new roofing products.
TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)
TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is a single-ply roofing membrane that can be installed using a fully adhered or mechanically attached system. TPO systems are the fastest growing system on the market; it has grown from 23% to 41% in the United States within 7 years as of 2013. TPO is extremely durable yet flexible, allowing for expansion and contraction of roof decks. TPO systems are also able to be reshaped multiple times and are applicable to both low and high slope roof decks. The seams of TPO roofing systems are welded using torches and the resulting seams become stronger than the field of the membrane. TPO roofing systems are environmentally friendly due to their ability to be repurposed into other commercial applications and also because of their reflective properties. This reflectivity lowers energy use to cool buildings in the warmer months and reduces the carbon footprint of the structure.
Silicone/ Elastometric Coatings
Silicone is quickly emerging as one of the top choices for low slope roofing systems. Silicone is generally one of the more expensive options for flat roofing systems, but the cost is justified by its many benefits. Silicone roofing systems are second to none in ease of installation. The steps are simply to power wash, apply a primer, and apply the silicone coating to the surface of the roof. This method can also be combined with other roofing systems to enhance the durability, ease of upkeep, and also the aesthetic appeal of a low slope roof. Due to silicone being a single monolithic layer, the membrane is inherently waterproof and seamless. Silicone is great at resisting ponding water and stopping leaks. Silicone is heavily UV reflective and cuts down greatly on energy waste. Upkeep is one of the main selling points of a silicone roofing system. Rather than having to remove or strip an entire roof system in 10-15 years, with a silicone roofing system you simply have to reapply the silicone coating. Warranties for silicone roofs usually last for a period from 10-15 years.
Standing Seam Metal Roofs (SSMR)
Standing Seam Metal Roofing systems are popular for being one of the most durable and low-maintenance roofing systems. These systems typically last over 30 years. These types of systems are more popular for going over existing roofing systems and for buildings with several roof levels due to its capability of being designed with various radius roof profiles. These systems are built by installing multiple panels in sequences. The panels are then attached to an underlayment such as ice and water shield, with clips or fasteners. This allows the product to expand and contract as the climate changes. The four types of metal standing seam panels include mechanically seamed, symmetrical mechanically seamed, one piece snap-lock and two piece snap-lock. SSMR systems require little to no maintenance over their 30 year lifespan, and they are made from steel, aluminum or copper. Metal roofs can actually withstand winds of up to 140 mph, while reflecting a massive amount of the sun’s rays. This could lead to up to 30% savings on energy costs. These roofs are manufactured in a variety of colors and finishes, making it easily customizable.
Built Up Roof (BUR) Systems
Built Up Roofing systems is the most popular material used on low-slope roofs. Built-up Roofs have been being installed for over 100 years. This system is composed of several layers of bitumen surfaces and finished with an aggregate layer or a coating. Some of these systems also include an insulation layer. Other kinds of built-up roofs are smooth Asphalt built up (Hot or Cold), and Ballasted Asphalt built up. The bitumen material commonly used in built-up roofing systems is asphalt, coal tar or cold-applied adhesive. Ballasted asphalt is being used more regularly than before because it can provide an excellent finish surface and its material is a better fire retardant agent. There is also Cold Built-Up roofing that, instead of requiring hot asphalt for its application, can be sprayed or applied with a squeegee. It doesn’t have toxic fumes when applied and it is better for environmentally sensitive projects. The benefits of built up roofing systems are the fact that it is good protection against water and UV radiation. It is also extremely resilient to bad weather and climates. Gravel is commonly used as a surface material to increase walk-ability.
Modified Bitumen Systems
Modified bitumen roofing is composed of polymer modified bitumen reinforced which layers of fabric such as polyester or glass fiber. The two types of modified bitumen membranes include Atactic Polypropylene (APP), which is either applied using a heat source, and Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS) which is applied using cold adhesive or asphalt. Modified bitumen is a popular choice because of its longevity, it’s strength, and its waterproofing abilities. Modified bitumen roofs can last up to 20 years with very little maintenance. Due to its polymeric design, modified bitumen roofing can withstand a wide array of temperatures. The adhesives provide a waterproofing element that will protect from water damage. Itwhats design is also great for reflecting UV radiation and containing heat. This will surely help in lowering energy costs.
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