Minnesota Single-ply Flat Roofing Contractor

Over the past three decades, more and more flat roofs are single-ply, which is one of the three primary kinds of flat roofing. The other types of flat roofing systems are BUR (built-up roofing) and modified bitumen. These roofing membranes are produced in factories and offer several advantages. If you live in Minnesota and are considering flat roofing, here are some benefits of single-ply flat roofing, along with a few drawbacks.

Advantages of Single-Ply Roofing

One of the biggest perks of single-ply roofing is that it’s factory-made. This is an advantage because the product must pass exceptionally stringent quality control regulations so that there’s less risk involved from what’s typically seen in built-up roofing (BUR) systems.

Single-ply roofing is easy to install. What’s more, installation is usually quicker and cleaner than BURs. The materials are exceptionally lightweight, which is important for contemporary building styles that require flexibility.

The light color of the roof makes it more energy-efficient. Therefore, this type of roof can help in saving money on heating and cooling costs. Consider that paying less for heating a building or home is a huge benefit if you have to endure freezing-cold Minnesota winters.

The leak resistance of a single-ply roof is another bonus. Single-ply roofing does an outstanding job of withstanding acid rain. Additionally, it’s more affordable than other types of roofs, and there are many different grades from which to choose.

Disadvantages of Single-Ply Roofing

The biggest negative is that single-ply roofing only consists of one layer. Consider that the other two types, modified bitumen roofing and BURs, have several layers. As a result of just having a single layer, tears and punctures are more likely to occur, causing damage by compromising the underlying roof construction.

Single-ply roofing tends to have a shorter lifespan than other roofing systems. Another downside is that single-ply roofs are more prone to seam issues.

Types of Single-ply Roofing Membranes

There are two main types of roofing membranes in single-ply roofing: thermoplastic and thermoset membranes. Thermoplastic membranes entail using hot-air welding to bond membranes together. The two main types of thermoplastic membranes are TPO and PVC. After rolling out sheets of TPO or PVC over the surface of a roof, a roofer uses hot-air tools to weld them together to produce a covering that’s waterproof and permanent.

Just as PVC, TPO is easy to repair as it can handle hot-air welding throughout the lifetime of a roof. On the other hand, TPO membranes need additives for fire resistance, while PVC membranes do not require them because they can hold back fire naturally.

Thermoset membranes are made from compounds from rubber polymers. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is the polymer that’s mostly used. These membranes are effective because they can tolerate harsh sun rays, besides withstand many types of chemicals that can land on roofs. However, unlike thermoplastics, thermoset membranes require using adhesive to bond them together. 

Considerations and Warnings

  • Thermoset membranes are an excellent choice for roofing large areas. This is because they have fewer seams.
  • A ballasted roof is a good installation choice if you have a roof that needs to endure extra loads.
  • It’s critical that a roof be properly installed and regularly maintained, so that it can last for a long time. Keep in mind that regular maintenance includes roof inspections. If given the care it needs, your single-ply roof should have a life span of 15 to 20 years.
  • The cost for a single-ply roof can depend on several factors, such as installation and type of material.
  • Single-ply roofing is priced per square foot. The most expensive material is PVC, followed by TPO and EPDM.

Questions? If you’re unsure about the best type of roofing system for your Minnesota home or building, call First Impressions Exteriors. Our Minnesota-based company specializes in a wide range of services, such as roofing, gutters, siding and other jobs. Please contact us.