Single-ply roofing is fast becoming the most popular option for commercial properties thanks to its numerous benefits. Today, the commercial roofing contractors at Vertex Roofing Contractors Inc. shine the spotlight on two of the most popular single-ply roofing options on the market, EPDM and TPO.
What Is Single-Ply Roofing?
Single-ply roofing is made of a single layer of durable material installed on the roofing substrate. It offers benefits like low installation costs, relatively faster installation and minimal maintenance requirements. In contrast, traditional built-up roofing systems are built with several layers of material, including tar and gravel. Single-ply roofing typically comes in white, which makes the material more reflective and therefore more energy-efficient, leading to lower energy bills for the building.
Such benefits have trade-offs, which need to be considered before making your final commercial roof replacement choices. For instance, single-ply roofs aren’t ideal if you expect heavy foot traffic on the roof.
Ethylene propylene diene monomer, or EPDM, is commonly referred to as “rubber roofing.” This synthetic rubber roofing material usually contains recycled rubber from used tires and has been in use for commercial roofing applications since the 1960s. Depending on roofing requirements, EPDM can be installed in one of three ways:
- Fully Adhered — Full adhesion means the entire EPDM layer is installed on the substrate using a solvent or water-based adhesive. This type of installation takes longer but leads to better wind resistance.
- Mechanically Fastened — Fasteners that follow the seams are used to install the EPDM layer onto the substrate.
- Loose-Laid — EPDM is welded at the seams, which creates a quilt-like layer over the substrate. It’s secured at the perimeters and penetrations, while the rest may be weighed down by ballast for wind resistance.
Thermoplastic olefin, also known as TPO or “plastic roofing,” is another popular single-ply roofing option. While TPO has much in common with EPDM in terms of texture, application and installation methods, EPDM is typically sold as a white roofing material. TPO is typically heat-welded and doesn’t require adhesives.
Vertex Roofing Contractors Inc. is your leading provider of commercial roof repair and installation services. Give us a call at (703) 782-5531 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Gainesville and nearby areas.