PVC roofing is one of the most popular flat roof materials currently available.
Although a PVC roof membrane is more costly that other single ply membranes, such as TPO and EPDM rubber, PVC offers much greater durability, longevity and ability to stand up to severe weather conditions.
What Is PVC Roofing?
PVC is a popular flat roof material due to its high strength. Aside from its long-lasting properties, roofers prefer PVC membrane roofs because they do well in a wide range of climates and weather conditions.
In terms of installation, polyester is placed between two PVC membrane sheets to function as reinforcement in PVC flat roofing systems.
PVC roof layers include additives for improved flexibility and resistance to UV rays. In addition, the acrylic coating on the membrane of PVC roofs makes them more dirt repellant and reflective.
Did you know? If you use a PVC roof, you can weld the seams by heating them. Other membranes need to be affixed or have a taped seam, but PVC doesn’t.
A PVC roof expands and shrinks with a building. It can even be enclosed with solvent welding and glued to steel flashing and other parts.
Flat PVC Roofing
Like other flat roofing materials, PVC comes in the shape of a membrane. On the roof, this membrane is applied with either adhesives or nails to the deck. Polymers are included in the membrane to prevent punctures and tears, making it impervious to damage.
In addition to chemical resistance and low maintenance requirements, this makes it an excellent alternative for specific commercial structures.
The seams of a PVC roof are often heat welded, like asphalt roofing. As the seams of a flat roof are the most vulnerable, heat welding helps seal and protect them. With a decent PVC roof, you get the best of both worlds: low weight and long-lasting durability.
The inability of PVC membrane to interact with asphalt materials is by far the biggest problem of employing it as a flat roof covering. Hot asphalt may be put on the membrane of some flat roofs, or a mixture of materials may be used.
You can’t do that with PVC roofs or asphalt roofing in conjunction with PVC. For that reason, the two sections must be kept apart.
It is possible to have PVC membranes in a wide range of thicknesses. When it comes to flat roofing, the thicker the better, which is especially true for this sort of material.
Conservatory PVC Roof
PVC conservatory roofs are a relatively new invention. Until recently, conservatory roofs had to be made up of at least 74% glass, but new legislation has made it possible to cover them with a wide range of materials.
However, due to the conservatory’s construction (at least 50% glass), the roof must be relatively light to sustain the structure without harming it.
Roofing panels and membranes made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are perfect for conservatory roofs since they are lightweight. PVC is a conservatory roofing material that has taken longer to catch on than other options, and finding a contractor who can work with it might be challenging.
Did you know? Standing-seam-style PVC roofs are commonly used in conservatories, and most varieties of PVC roofs are built-in panels. Fasteners or interlocking panels keep the sections together.
These lightweight panel roofs must be carefully fastened and ballasted to make them as long-lasting and leak-proof as possible.
Finding a reliable roofing contractor with experience using this sort of panel is essential for a successful roof installation.
How Much Does PVC Roofing Cost?
Installing a PVC roof costs about $6-$8.50 per square foot, depending on how good and thick the membrane is and how long it takes.
It’s essential to get an exact price for installing PVC on your flat roof. It includes everything you need to make the project: the materials, tools, labor, and the costs to tear it down and throw it away.
For example, putting a PVC membrane on a 1,600 square foot home costs $9,300-$13,950.
|PVC Roofing||Cost Per Sq.Ft.|
|50mil Range||$6 – 8.20|
|60mil Range||$7.50 to $9.80|
Prices vary primarily due to the thickness of the material. Fifty mil is the thinnest and also the cheapest.
It’s also possible to buy 60 and 80 million units. The most expensive and thickest is 115 mil, so it’s rarely installed.
However, the thicker your PVC, the longer the lifespan of your roof. The choice mainly depends on your budget:
50 mil is $6-$8.20 per square foot.
60 mil is $7.50-$9.80 per square foot.
80 million is $7.65-$10.20 per square foot.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the price of PVC membranes will depend on which company you choose. Budget brands offer a lower price but also lower quality PVC.
Higher-end companies charge more because their roofing is made with durable parts and will last a long time.
Why Is PVC Used In Roofing?
Here are the top reasons why roofing manufacturers have adopted PVC as a roofing material for flat and low sloped roofs.
Welding PVC membranes is possible throughout their service life since they are thermoplastic and pliable.
The material may be utilized for new equipment, solar panels, and maintenance work of all kinds. Moreover, unlike other roofing membranes, PVC trim may be completely recycled. Returning used membranes and repurposing them is a growing trend.
For the most part, thermoplastics are only available in light hues. In addition to being reflective, light-colored roofs are excellent for deflecting the sun’s rays. As a result, PVC membranes often come in light-gray, tan, and off-white hues.
The lifespan of roofing materials has a significant bearing on their environmental effect. In terms of the ecological impact, long-lasting materials are preferable since they are less likely to end up in the trash. When installed and cared for properly, PVC membrane may survive for decades.
In addition, welded seams are more durable than the attached material. The fact that roots can’t easily penetrate PVC makes it a perfect material for green roofing.
Various Methods of Attachment
Mechanical fasteners and fully-adhered systems are two of the most used methods for attaching PVC systems. As these sheets may be made into large panels at the factory, fewer seams need to be sealed on the job site.
It is possible to alter the pattern of fasteners based on the wind loads generated. PVC roofs now have improved wind resistance because of the invention of double welds.
Double welds disperse tension and reduce strain on the roofing material by welding the membrane to the seam fastener on both sides.
Nearly all thermoplastic single-ply membranes now have an interior scrim reinforcement for better stress distribution and dimensional stability.
strong>Did you know? PVC may be used in so many different ways. There are many colors and finishes to choose from, so it’s an excellent choice for bedding and floors in various places like the house or gym, as well as offices.
PVC Roof Benefits
Here are the top reasons to install a PVC membrane on your home.
A PVC Roof Improves a Building’s Energy Efficiency
Solar reflectivity of various PVC membranes can reduce your energy use and electricity expenditure. With this material, you may save up to 40% on your annual energy bills.
Adding a PVC roof to your home can boost the efficacy of your roof insulation by as much as 25%-50%. Not only will you save money on heating and cooling, but the residents will be more comfortable as well.
Preserves Natural Resources
The low weight of PVC makes it a popular choice for commercial roofing. PVC can lessen the need for heavier roofing materials like steel and wood because of this property. Over three decades, PVC roofing membranes can increase the useful life of a roof by up to 75%.
Installing a new roof every few years will save money in the long run and help reduce the amount of energy, materials, and labor necessary to make new roofing products. PVC is also low-maintenance, which means that it saves time and money by reducing the need for roof repairs.
Improves The Quality Of The Outdoor Air
The strong solar reflectivity of PVC vinyl roofing membranes contributes to better air quality.
Lighter roof surfaces like PVC membranes can lower summertime air temperatures in metropolitan areas compared to darker-colored roofs like asphalt shingles. Smog may be reduced and heat diffused by employing PVC membranes in urban areas.
Improved Resistance to Wind, Fire, and Chemicals
PVC roofing systems are exceptionally wind-resistant because of their welded joints. According to the manufacturer, these roofs are capable of coping with Category 3 storms.
PVC membranes have intense flame and oxidation resistance, making them difficult to ignite. You may increase the safety of your company or house by using PVC.
PVC also has the advantage of being impervious to the damaging effects of repeated chemical exposure. You may rest easy knowing that your flat roof will do its job even in the most adverse conditions.
TPO vs PVC Roofs
Polyethylene thermoplastic and ethylene-propylene rubber are the main components of TPO roofing membranes. Flexible PVC membranes are created by polymerizing vinyl chloride monomers and adding plasticizers.
Even though TPO roofing was initially intended to be a better alternative to PVC, it’s impossible to declare which material is the best choice for a roof.
Both membrane materials have varying degrees of resistance to chemicals, grease, oils, and punctures. To select PVC vs TPO roofing for a particular roofing application, it is necessary to examine the qualities of both options in greater depth.
When it comes to puncture and weather resistance, a PVC membrane roof is superior. However, TPO (like PVC) is ecologically benign and recyclable.
The reflective surface lowers UV rays and improves energy conservation. As a result of a lower chemical resistance than PVC, TPO isn’t the best option for dealing with grease or other strong chemicals.
A lack of malleability may also make installation more challenging. In addition, due to the material’s recent rise in popularity, some producers may be using inferior formulas, increasing the likelihood of the membrane shattering during shipping.
Did you know? More than 30 years of use in the building industry have established PVC as a material with exceptional sturdiness. PVC is puncture and weather resistant, and stands up very well to chemical degradation. The use of plasticizers in the composition makes it more pliable and straightforward to install than other options.
What To Consider When Choosing TPO vs PVC Membrane For Your Roof
Due to their commonalities, PVC and TPO are both viable options for most flat roofing applications. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing between the two materials.
On a per-square-foot basis, TPO costs less than PVC roofing.
Installing each material requires roughly the same amount of work, if not a little more effort with TPO. Installing PVC may be simpler because of its greater flexibility.
Additionally, some types of TPO roofing may necessitate extra work if the contractor chooses to employ glued seams rather than welded seams.
ASTM TPO standards are often updated. Therefore, some producers may not be adhering to the most current guidelines. Established materials like PVC present fewer dangers. TPO roofing systems require a reliable TPO manufacturer.
No matter what type of roof is being installed, hiring a reputable contractor is critical. For a supplier, look for factors like substantial expertise with single ply roofing membranes, consistently high-quality products that adhere to industry standards, and a transparent warranty policy.
As mentioned before, roofing membranes made of TPO and PVC have naturally reflective surfaces that help limit the penetration of UV rays and thus increase the efficiency of the building.
Smoother membranes like TPO and PVC protect roofing systems from dirt and debris buildup, which can impair the reflecting characteristics of a roof.
In terms of longevity, PVC membranes have a much better track record, compared to TPO roofs, which often fail many years prior to their expected life span.
Overall, PVC roofs over a much more reliable and consistent quality, and as a result peace of mind compared to TPO membrane roofs.
Best PVC Roof Manufacturers
Carlisle SynTec’s goal is to make the best roofing materials available for both commercial and residential markets. Carlisle makes top quality PVC and TPO roofs, that use cutting edge technology to ensure weatherability and meet the highest ASTM standards.
Custom Seal Roofing
When it comes to a Custom Seal Roofing system, they pay attention to minor details and expect the best possible results. They provide quality PVC and TPO membranes.
Compared to other roofing products, their system offers a longer leak-free life expectancy. The Custom Seal roof may be installed on any type of roof, new or old, and at a very reasonable price.
Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.
It is possible to use the single-ply PVC Duro-Last roofing system on virtually any flat or low-sloped surface.
Weather-resistant, reflective, chemical and heat resistant, and minimal maintenance are just some of the features that make the Duro-Last Roofing System a great choice for commercial buildings.
Primarily because it can be installed quickly and simply by approved Duro-Last contractors.
FiberTite (Seaman Corporation)
FiberTite is designed to endure the harshest elements, including high and low temperatures, as well as chemical solvents. Their membranes are built to withstand the test of time. Consequently, these items have a far lower carbon footprint than alternatives that aren’t as long-lasting because of their lengthy lifespan.
How to Maintain a PVC Roof
When low-slope roofing systems are correctly maintained, they can last longer. Maintaining the performance and reflectivity of your PVC roof will help you save money on your energy bills and enjoy better indoor air quality.
You can avoid the formation of algae and other organisms on your roof by regularly cleaning it. Small animals and vermin might also be drawn to a filthy roof.
The frequency with which you clean your roof, your roof’s slope and drainage all play a determining role.
Pro Tip: For safety reasons, only allow qualified individuals to work on your roof. A skilled roofer knows how to walk on the roof without damaging or weakening the structure.
Make sure that your roofer is adhering to all safety regulations. Remember that a wet PVC membrane is slick, so take extra care to avoid tripping and falling.
Specific cleaning solutions might damage exterior facades and landscaping. To avoid this, clean only a tiny portion of your exterior at a time to see whether the problem persists.
To prevent damage to your plants and groundwater contamination, make sure you have provisions in place for when cleaning solutions run-off. Additionally, you must always adhere to all local, state, and federal regulations regarding water run-off.
PVC roofs benefit significantly from routine inspections as they will last much longer if adequately cared for. In addition to regular inspections, have your roof evaluated after a storm.
Roofing damage can go undetected for a long time before it becomes a significant issue. You may avoid mold, mildew, decay, and other costly problems by taking care of leaks as soon as they are discovered.
See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code
If there is any asphalt remaining on a flat-top wood roof after stripping, is it prudent to use TPO instead of PVC because of adhesive incompatibility with asphalt?
Is it customary to build up a flat-top roof with foam for a slope to shed water.
Usually a layer of insulation is added, for obvious purpose, as well as to separate anything like asphalt, or nails from the roofing membrane.
As far as taperer (sloped) insulation, it is only used if necessary to create slope. Flat roofs are usually designed with some minimal pitch, to have water run off in the right direction. If you have/had large puddles, then a tapering system will need to be designed.