commercial building single ply roofing membrane

How Long Does a Single Ply Roofing Membrane Last?

Choosing a reliable roofing material should be one of your priorities if you have a commercial building. Many business owners choose single ply roofing membrane because it’s well proven to be durable over the years. 

But how long does a single-ply membrane last? We’ll cover everything you need to know about the life span of the different types of this commercial roofing system and help you make the right roofing choice!

What Is a Single ply Roofing Membrane?

Single-ply systems are a type of roofing system made of a single layer of synthetic rubber or thermoplastic material. These membranes are typically installed as a continuous sheet, covering the entire roof surface, and are used in flat or low-slope roofs. 

Mechanical fasteners, adhesives, or a combination of both are used to secure the membrane roofing system to the roof deck. These single-ply membranes are intended to act as a waterproof barrier, shielding the building from the elements.

[Related: Everything You Need To Know About Single Ply Roofing]

Why Use a Single-ply Membrane?

single ply roof PVC

There are several reasons why a single-ply membrane roofing system may be chosen over other types of roofing systems:

  • Easy installation: Lightweight and easy to install, which can reduce labor costs and shorten the overall installation time.
  • Durability: Made of synthetic rubber or thermoplastic material, making it resistant to UV radiation, wind, and fire (unless the sheet is damaged).
  • Energy efficiency: Some types of single-ply roofing systems, such as thermoplastic membranes, are reflective, which can help to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the roof and improve the building’s energy efficiency.
  • Widely available: It can be found in a variety of colors and thicknesses, which can be chosen based on specific project requirements.
  • Low maintenance: Easy to maintain, repair, or patch if damaged.
  • Variety of Applications: Single-ply membranes can be used on various building types, such as commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, and can be applied to flat or low-sloped roof structures.

How Long Does a Single-ply Membrane Roof Last?

The lifespan of single-ply roof systems can vary depending on the specific material used and the quality of installation. In general, single-ply membrane roofs are known in the roofing industry for their durability and can last for several decades with proper maintenance.

EPDM roofing membranes (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) are a type of single-ply roofing system known for their excellent durability and they can last for up to 30-50 years with proper maintenance.

water resistant TPO membrane single ply roofing

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) are also durable materials and can last for 20-30 years or more with proper maintenance.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of a single-ply membrane roof system can significantly reduce if it is not installed correctly, or if it is exposed to harsh weather conditions or chemicals. Regular maintenance and inspections are essential too to prolong the life of the roof.

Additionally, the lifespan of a single-ply membrane roof can be extended by using an appropriate reflective top-coat, which can reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the roof and reduce the wear and tear caused by UV rays.

[Related: 7 Questions To Ask Single Ply Roofing Contractors Before Hiring]

What Is a Single-ply Roof Membrane Made Of?

Let’s tackle the three common types of single-ply roofing systems and what they are made of:

EPDM Roofing Systems

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is a type of synthetic rubber used for making single-ply roof membranes. It is made with the combination of three different chemicals— ethylene, propylene, and a small amount of diene. 

The diene gives EPDM its rubber-like properties, such as flexibility, elasticity, and durability. The EPDM rubber is then produced in large sheets, and cut to size and shape, before it can be used as a roofing membrane.

PVC Roofing Systems

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofing membrane is a type of thermoplastic material used to make single-ply roofing membranes. PVC roofing is made by combining polyvinyl chloride resin with various other ingredients such as plasticizers, stabilizers, and pigments. The resulting material is then extruded or calendered into a flexible sheet.

TPO Roofing Systems

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) roofing material is made by blending a polymer (typically polypropylene) and an elastomer (typically ethylene-propylene rubber) and then extruding the material into a sheet. TPO roofing membrane is a highly reflective material known for its durability and resistance to UV radiation, ozone, and extreme temperatures.

Learn more about the types of single-ply roofing in this guide.

Still Unsure Which Single Ply Roofing to Choose?

single ply roofing contractor

The commercial roofing market offers tons of different types of roofing materials. If you’re just starting a business by building an establishment in Arizona, it’s always a good idea to invest in credible roofing contractors like Easy Roof Solutions!

Get a free quote from us today.

About the Author
Kenneth Byler Easy Roof Solutions

Ken Byler

Founder of Easy Roof Solutions, LLC. He started in the construction industry at the age of 14 and has been involved in it for over 25 years. His wide experience in commercial roofing speaks for itself.

Outside his roofing work, Ken enjoys being in the great outdoors, traveling to new places, and bonding with his wife and children.

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