PVC Roof Membrane: Single-Ply Roofing at Its Best with Duro-Last

Introduced in Europe in the early 1960s, the PVC Roofing System is among the first single-ply commercial roofing materials to enter the market. The use of PVC roof membrane further solidified a significant market position in 1985 when the standard obligation designation for testing materials by the American Society was successfully obtained.

Since then, the popularity of PVC, a thermoplastic roofing membrane, has sky-rocketed and has become a standard choice for commercial and residential property owners across the globe. 

One of the primary reasons PVC Roof Membrane has become a popular choice among property owners is its wide array of unique characteristics and benefits. It includes durability, longer lifespan, resistance to harsh weather conditions, resistance to extreme temperatures, high energy efficiency, solar and heat reflectivity, low maintenance, and resistance to chemicals and grease.

Whether it is a commercial or residential property, these are the qualities owners look for in their single-ply roofing system, and PVC roofing membrane offers exactly that. 

Moreover, PVC roof membrane is often referred to as the first-ever cooling roof system because of its heat and solar-resistant capabilities, making it highly energy-efficient. PVC Roof Membrane is one of the best choices for consumers looking for a durable, long-lasting, energy-efficient, and environmentally sustainable residential or commercial roofing system.

What is PVC?

Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is the third-most produced synthetic plastic polymer globally. It is available in two different forms – flexible and rigid. 

The rigid form is used in many different industries, including food packaging, construction business for making pipes, packaging industry, bottle manufacturing, and even credit cards, bank cards, etc. 

The flexible form of PVC is made by adding plasticizers, mostly phthalates. This softer form of PVC is used for electrical cable insulation, plumbing, flooring, leather imitation, signage, and other applications replacing rubber. 

PVC is one of the most preferred plastics available today, primarily because it is durable, long-lasting, and economical compared to its counterparts. One other factor that makes it so popular in today’s industry is its versatility. It can be processed to add specific characteristics, increase strength, etc. It can even be processed to make a wide array of products, including PVC roof membranes. 

The modular PVC roofing system has quickly become one of the most preferred and used roofing systems in present times. It can withstand the harshest climate and weather conditions, provide reliable protection, and require low maintenance.

PVC Flat Roofing System

PVC Roofing system is also commonly referred to as vinyl roofing. It is a single-ply roofing solution primarily used in industrial and commercial establishments’ flat or low-sloped roofs. Presently, PVC or polyvinyl chloride is the third-most produced synthetic plastic type. 

Prefabrication and flexibility mean faster installation, lower cost, and less waste. The flexibility offered by PVC allows it to be prefabricated to any specifications as per the concerned industrial or commercial projects. Choosing a PVC roof membrane allows you to save money while ensuring higher durability for your flat roofs. 

Duro-last roofing material on a large industrial flat roof building.Typically, PVC comes in a membrane form like most flat roofing materials. The PVC roof membrane is rolled out across the length and breadth of the roof and installed on the deck using nails, adhesives, or other methods. The inclusion of plastic in the PVC roof membrane makes it immune to common roofing problems like leaks, rips, punctures, etc., which are commonly seen in other roofing systems. 

The good thing about the PVC roof membrane that greatly enhances its durability and lifespan is that its seams are heat-welded. Seams are usually the weakest areas of any roofing system from where the water leaks and cracks appear. Heat-welding the PVC roof membrane’s seams seal it completely, making it water-tight. This increases the roof membrane’s strength, durability, and lifespan significantly compared to its counterparts. 

PVC Roof Membrane is the number one choice in many industrial and commercial properties because of its resistance to grease and chemicals. It drastically lowers its maintenance cost and needs for frequent repairs, making it ideal for commercial properties. 

However, one drawback to using PVC Roofing Membrane is that it doesn’t interact with asphalt roofing materials. There are roofing materials available in the market with asphalt as one of its components or can be layered with hot asphalt. This is not possible with PVC roof membrane, and if asphalt is to be used alongside PVC, the areas of applications have to be distinctly separate. 

PVC Roof membrane is available in various thicknesses, and the thicker the membrane, the better it is. The thicker PVC roof membrane is more resistant to splitting, leakage, and cracking, promising higher durability and increased lifespan.

Call Roof Lux today to discuss your Commercial Flat Roofing project.

PVC Roof Membrane – Environmental Benefits

One of the primary reasons PVC roof membrane has become fairly popular in recent times as a preferred roofing solution is its environmental benefits. Most PVC roof membranes are accredited and recognized by the United States DOE and Energy Star Roof Products Program for energy efficiency and energy-saving capabilities. 

The PVC Roofing systems that are Energy Star Qualified have the minimum initial solar reflectivity of 0.65. It means that 65 percent of the heat falling on the PVC roof membrane is reflected, and only the remaining 35 percent is absorbed. However, don’t worry if you want PVC roof membranes with even higher reflectivity power, as many manufacturers even offer PVC roofing products that reflect over 80 percent solar heat. 

PVC roofing solutions have evolved over the years and irrespective of which PVC roof membrane you choose for your property, rest assured it will have solar reflectivity of 0.50 or higher. 

To put things into perspective: Asphalt roofs reflect only around 30 percent of solar heat. Some estimates are even lower. 

PVC roof membranes’ high energy efficiency and solar reflectivity reduce energy consumption, helping buildings reduce their energy bills by over 40 percent annually. The PVC roof membranes further help improve the roof’s insulation by 20-25 percent. It helps drastically reduce energy bills and lowers energy waste to a great extent. 

Most roofing systems need extensive use of wood and steel due to their weight. However, PVC roof membrane is light, meaning lesser reliance and use of wood and steel and lower strain on the underlying roof structure. Using PVC roof membrane with heat-welded seams extends the roof’s lifespan by more than 75 percent, lasting for nearly three decades when maintained well. 

Large commercial building with white roof coatingChoosing PVC roofing for your commercial building means lower energy costs, reduced labor costs, and lesser material costs used in the production and installation of a new roofing system. 

One of the reasons why many roofing contractors and property owners prefer PVC single-ply roofing systems is it is UV and moisture-resistant and, therefore, don’t require frequent or extensive maintenance for years to come. This translates into higher savings and lower maintenance costs in the long term.

Another major benefit of using PVC roofing membranes for your building’s roof is that it would help save substantial landfill space. Why? Because PVC roof membrane can be installed directly on other single-ply roofing systems, including the asphalt-based roof. The only criterion is that the different roofing systems should have a clear demarcation. 

If you’re planning to overhaul or install a commercial roofing system, going with the PVC single-ply roofing system means no requirement for landfill space, no landfill fees, and no need to tear down the old or existing roofing system. This saves a lot of time, money, and effort as the roof teardown process is time-consuming, laborious, and even risky. 

PVC roofing membranes’ colors also help optimize air quality through their solar reflective characteristic. The lighter color of PVC roof membrane ensures cooler air temperatures, and NASA’s research even supports this finding. Using the dark-colored roofing systems increases the energy bills to keep the inside temperature pleasant and can also impact the overall area’s air temperature. 

The air quality can be improved, and the city’s temperature can be reduced using a lighter-colored PVC roof membrane. It is primarily because higher temperatures trigger smog creation through a photochemical reaction. PVC roof membrane colors are on the lighter side. By installing the PVC single ply roofing systems in multiple buildings in urban areas, it is possible to enhance air quality, reduce temperature, and prohibit smog creation to a considerable extent.

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PVC Manufacturing

EPDM or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is a roofing material manufactured using synthetic rubber. Primarily used for low-slope or flat roofs, EPDM is manufactured in rolls or premade sheets. 

EPDM commercial roofing systems have become highly popular in recent times as it doesn’t require heat for installation and are typically lightweight. The industrial and commercial roofs are layered with EPDM single-ply sheets, creating rubber layers. It helps secure ballasts and bonding cement, significantly improving the overall strength and durability of the single-ply roofing system.

EPDM sheets are installed on the roof through a ballasted system or are mechanically installed in a fully adhered system. Of all the flat roofing systems in the market, EPDM is known to have the longest lifespan. 

Much of the materials used during EPDM roof installation are manufactured specifically to keep the EPDM roofing system environmentally friendly, having very low organic compound emissions. As EPDM roofing material is either white or light-colored, they help reduce indoor and outdoor temperatures, lowering energy bills. The good thing about EPDM roofing material is that it can be fully recycled and have high solar-reflectivity capabilities. 

Moreover, EPDM commercial and industrial roofs resist extreme heat, fire, and ozone and can withstand abrasion and weathering more firmly than most counterparts.

PVC Installation

Ideally, a PVC roof membrane can be installed in three different ways. Irrespective of what method of PVC installation is chosen, the PVC roofing systems are clubbed together using the hot-air welder. The heat-welded seam is far superior in strength and durability and ensures stronger resistance to wind, harsh weather, and leakages. 

Choose the time for PVC installation carefully as the heat-welding’s temperature around the seams needs to be critical for a stronger bond. So, if you’re getting PVC roof membrane installed in and around winter, the welder temperature needs to be significantly increased for higher tensile strength around seams. Heat-welded seams can also be referred to as the secret ingredient to making the PVC roof membranes so popular in the roofing industry.

Hot air welding is a common practice for seams and flashing in PVC roof installations. The hot air welding ensures the material overlaps, creating air-tight seams compared to EPDM rubber roofs or other roofing solutions that use glue or torch for roof installations. 

Hot-air tool welding PVC membrane seams on a commericial flat roof.The key benefit of hot air welding is it can be done anytime, including the winters, and doesn’t require any glue or adhesive for installation. Why is this beneficial? It is because rubber roof installation and other such roofing installations using solvent-based glue or adhesives freeze during winters, making installation and even repair impossible. 

The roofing contractors have to be careful when installing PVC roof membranes and take into account the environmental conditions like temperature, dew point temperature, wind, humidity, sun, and more. These factors play an important role in how well the installation is done and can even potentially affect the PVC roof membrane and other roofing materials. 

Following the cold weather installation, storage instructions and procedures for PVC roof membranes’ installation are important for optimal results. The ambient temperature while installation should ideally be below 40 degrees. In winters and during extremely cold weather, the PVC materials should be stored in a heated storage area to remain functional and for optimal performance. Ideally, the ambient temperature should be above the dew point, and the conditions dry during PVC roof membrane application. 

Roofing contractors should be careful not to use or even store water-based adhesives when the temperatures drop below 40 degrees. When installing a PVC roof membrane, the first thing to do is to unroll it and allow it to rest for a while. The roof membrane should be fastened with conducive fasteners or seam plates at the terminal portion of the PVC roof membrane around the roof’s edges, curbs, and walls. 

It helps secure the PVC roof membrane to the vertical surface or the roof’s deck before hot air welding is done. It is also necessary to closely inspect the PVC roof membrane and repair any damages or open seams during the final touch-up process.

Duro-Last PVC

Duro-Last PVC is the leader in the commercial roofing landscape with a history of providing PVC roof membranes with above the industry-standard lifespan, water-tight protection, and unmatched durability. Moreover, Duro-Last is the only roof manufacturing company to provide prefabrication of the entire roofing system. It is a game-changer and highly efficient and convenient because more than 85 percent of the roofing system’s seam comes prefabricated and ready to install at the job site. 

It is a blessing for the roofing contractors because it saves a ton of time, labor, and resources without compromising the quality or the strength of the roofing system. All these factors collectively make Duro-Last one of the most reliable, strong, and highly recommended PVC flat roofing systems today. 

The scrim used in the Duro-Last PVC roofing system is completely knitted in-house with the density of either 18 X 9 or 18 X 14 threads/inch. 

The Duro-Last PVC roofing system’s fabric uses durable polyester threads, providing unmatched puncture and tear resistance compared to other roofing systems in the market. It makes Duro-Last PVC one of the most trusted brands in the commercial flat roofing systems industry. 

The Duro-Last roof may seem expensive, but it automatically becomes an ideal choice when you factor in the savings made on installation, low-maintenance for decades, repairs, installation time, exceptional lifespan, and more. PVC roof membranes are lightweight, recyclable, durable, and highly serviceable, making the Duro-Last roofing system a leader in the commercial roofing space with no competition in sight that matches its benefits.

For the best roofers Lake of the Ozarks has to offer, give Roof Lux a call today for a FREE INSPECTION. Let us help you protect your most valuable asset!

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