March 23 2023 0Comment
Single ply roofing system

An Introduction To Single Ply Roofing Systems

Single ply roofing is a type of flat roof covering that has been used in many applications since the 1960s. The installation of this commercial roofing system has several advantages, from minimal maintenance to guaranteed durability. This makes single ply roofs the perfect choice for commercial and domestic properties alike. 

What Do We Mean By Single Ply Roofing? 

Single ply roofing systems use flexible sheets of synthetic material to provide effective coverage for the top of a building. High-performance, lightweight and flexible, they are composed of a choice of three membranes: PVC, TPO or EPDM. Each of these has its own unique benefits, but all provide lasting protection from damage. 

The type of single ply roofing material that is most suitable for a building depends on many different factors. These include attachment method, local regulations, site location, aesthetic requirements and more. 

Benefits Of Single Ply Roofs

Single Ply Roofing Contractors

Single ply commercial roofing has a range of benefits. This is why it’s considered to be one of the most popular building envelope solutions around.

  • Durability. The main function of a roof is to protect a building and its occupants from harsh weather conditions. Single ply membranes are proven to withstand extremes of weather, and can stand firm against sun, wind, rain and snow. Such is their durability that they can even resist chemicals, UV light and acid rain. 
  • Cost-effective. Where cost is concerned, single ply systems provide superb value for money. As they are quick and easy to install, they are one of the most cost-effective roofing systems on the market. Their longevity has a further advantage too: minimal time and money spent on maintenance and repair. 
  • Protection against fire. All three single ply membrane options have fire-retardant properties. They are even able to extinguish themselves should a fire occur. This makes their installation a vital consideration for both site and staff safety. 
  • Eco-Friendly. The construction of PVC, EPDM and TPO membranes is considered to be more environmentally friendly than the processes behind more traditional roofing materials. Add this to the longevity of single ply roofs, which won’t need to be replaced for at least 30 years, and you’ve got the perfect eco-conscious roofing solution. When this type of commercial roof covering does eventually need to be replaced, it can be recycled.

Single Ply Roof Application Methods

There are a variety of application methods for single ply roofing systems. This depends on the material used and the requirements of a particular building.

  • Ballasted. A ballast roof refers to a system in which a waterproof membrane is held in place by pavers or stones. The most suitable material for a ballasted roof is EPDM. This has excellent UV-resistant properties and offers reliable protection against harsh weather. At the end of its lifespan, this type of single ply roof can be fully recycled. 
  • Fully Adhered. Fully adhered roofs are useful in distributing uplift pressure more evenly. A variety of adhesives are available to secure the chosen membrane (PVC, TPO or EPDM) to its substrate, providing a method of application that is advantageous in areas exposed to high winds. 
  • Mechanically Attached. Mechanically attached roofs are perhaps the most common type of single ply roofing system. Their name derives from the fact that they are secured via the use of fasteners and plates, which tends to give them a looser appearance than those that are fully adhered. This type of system is chosen for a variety of reasons, the most notable being lower cost and easier installation.

In many instances, single ply roofs are installed with the help of hot air welding techniques. Such methods of application are considered to be much safer due to contractors not needing to use naked flames. Once welded together, roofing sheets can be described as monolithic – one large, continuous sheet. Hot air welding ensures that roofing installations stand the rest of time.

Single Ply Roofing Contractors In The West Midlands 

Sage workers

Sage BEC is a highly regarded single ply roofing contractor operating in the West Midlands. We have a wealth of knowledge and over 20 years’ experience in the design and installation of many different roofing systems, specifically working with industry-leading suppliers IKO & Sarnafil. Sage’s flat roofing capabilities covers everything from single ply and hot melt roofing to commercial roofing and green roof systems.

To find out more about what we do, or to receive a quote, please get in touch with our experts today.