With conditions, single ply roofs can be covered with spray foam roofing. Single ply roofs must have adequate mechanical attachment to be considered for sprayed polyurethane foam roofing. If loose-laid, the single ply roof must have cover boards attached to provide a permanently adhered surface for spray foam roofing application.
What is Singly Ply Roofing?
Single-ply roofing in North America traces its origins back to the early 1960s when the first EPDM rubber roofs were installed. Since then, single-ply roofing has grown in popularity due to its long service life, dependability, and ease of installation. Today, single-ply roofing makes up the vast majority of the low-slope commercial roofing market in North America.
There are two different types of single-ply roofing material: thermosets and thermoplastics.
Single ply roofing has become an increasingly popular flat roof covering over the last few years. Essentially, a single ply membrane roof is comprised of flexible sheets of synthetic polymer that can be divided into two main groups, thermoplastics and synthetic rubber. Due to the fact that thermoplastics can be re-heated and re-molded, they have become the number one option for many industrial roofing contractors undertaking flat roof installations.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is recognised as a thermoplastic membrane and has been used as a single ply membrane roofing material across Europe since the sixties. From the largest of factory rooftops to much smaller garage roofs and bay windows, it can be easily used in a variety of situations and environments.
The Benefits of Single Ply Roofing
Regardless of the type of roofing material that you’re considering to use, there are many universal benefits in choosing a single ply membrane roof. These include:
- Resistant to UV & Natural Elements
A fundamental requirement for any roofing material is the assurance that it’s resistant to damaging ultraviolet light. Not only are most single ply membrane materials 100% UV resistant, but they’re also not affected by the build up of potentially harmful micro-organisms.
When applied with a hot air weld, the single ply roof membrane also provides your building with some much needed protection against changing weather conditions and even the most extreme temperatures.
- Fire Retardant
Due to their composition, single ply membrane roofs are also fire resistant and even self-extinguishing. For any business, organisation or workplace that is concerned about the fire safety of their employees, visitors or customers then single ply roofing is certain to provide you with both confidence and security.
- Resistant to Chemicals
For areas that are likely to be exposed to potential harmful chemicals, it’s certainly reassuring to know your roofing material is protecting yourself and your building against acid rain and other forms of acidic outflow.
In comparison to the more traditional industrial roofing materials, single ply membranes are considerably more environmentally friendly in their production, longevity and ability to be recycled. Thermoplastic Polyethylene (TPE) is claimed to be the most eco-friendly variation that’s currently available.
There are four primary methods for installing single-ply roofing systems:
- The Mechanically Attached System: This system fastens the flat roofing in place by first fixing mounting plates through the insulation to the roof deck, laying the membrane in place, and then attaching it to the underlying plates.
- The Fully Adhered System: This system can be used in roofs that have a little bit of slope to them. The mounting plates are used to anchor the roof insulation to the roof deck and then the single-ply roofing is bonded directly to the insulation.
- Induction-Welded Roof Installation: When mechanical attachment is not possible, an induction-welded roof system can decrease the amount of penetrating fasteners by up to 50 percent.
- The Ballasted System: This system provides fast coverage at minimal cost. It utilizes large panels of rubber roofing membrane, up to 50 feet by 200 feet, loose-laid on the insulation and then covered by approved ballast, such as river-washed stone.
Reroofing with spray foam is also possible on these other commercial roofing system types.