If there's anything that can match metal roofs for excellent flat roof materials, PVC flat roofs are most definitely the answer. Polyvinyl chloride is a powerful material different industries use for piping, container manufacturing, and more. However, with the right additives, PVC roofs provide exceptionalflat roofing for both residential and commercial flat roofs.
We've never taken an in-depth look on PVC flat roofs. Now, you can join us in learning everything Denver CO homeowners need to know about them for an informed roofing material decision. Roofing Series has an excellent introduction to PVC flat roofs and you can read it below!
WHAT ARE PVC ROOFING MEMBRANES?
Before making an investment in your new walkable roofing system, it is good to know what you’re buying, and what the benefits are. To make your buying decision easier we’ve put together some basic information on PVC roofing to help you understand what this roof membrane is and what it can do for you.
WHAT IS PVC AND WHY USE IT IN A ROOFING DESIGN?
PVC is a type of plastic well known for its affordability along with its durability. Because of its benefits, PVC is one of the most frequently used types of plastic around. PVC material is able to be processed into a variety of products with unique performance characteristics, one of these products being modular roofing systems. PVC offers a great material to use in modular roofing in large part because of its durability. Even in harsh conditions and climates, this reliable roof membrane will hold strong.
WHAT IS A PVC ROOF?
PVC roofing is made from two layers of PVC roof material with polyester added in between the layers to act as a reinforcement. The layers in a PVC roof include additives to make the material flexible, UV stable, and to prevent curing. By adding a layer of acrylic coating to roof membrane, a PVC roof is made reflective and repellent to dust and dirt. (Read entire post here)
With excellent durability and long-lasting lifespan, PVC roofs sound like a dream come true when it comes to flat roofing. However, just like all superior roofing materials, it has its respective disadvantages. Home Advancement has a great article describing these to help you make an informed decision on whether or not to use PVC flat roofs. Take a short read below.
What is PVC or Vinyl Flat Roofing?
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) roofing is also known as vinyl roofing. It is much the same as those hard pipes, but with additional plasticizers to make the material flexible. It is considered to be one of the longest lasting flat roof coverings out there, is lightweight and virtually leak-proof when properly installed.
Advantages and Disadvantages of PVC or Vinyl Flat Roofing
A huge advantage of PVC flat roofing is that it is heat-welded at the seams. This means that the seams will rarely come apart, like taped or glued seams will. This is important since the main source of leaks comes from the seams and the flashings on your roof. This also means that PVC flat roofing is a good choice for a rooftop garden, as the likelihood of leakage is greatly reduced.
One advantage PVC flat roofing has over a rubber flat roof is that it primarily comes in white (although many other colors are available.) White has the highest solar reflectivity of any roofing color, and therefore is a good choice if your home is a candidate for cool roofing. Rubber roofing primarily comes in black, but can be laminated with an additional layer consisting mainly of titanium dioxide. However, titanium dioxide is not as durable as the rubber roofing below it, and will often chip away before the warranty of your flat roof is up. White PVC roofing does not pose this problem.
The main disadvantage of a vinyl flat roof is that it is completely incompatible with asphalt products. When these two products meet, both are negatively affected. The vinyl roof will discolor, become stiff and age prematurely. The asphalt will begin to soften and bleed. Before installing a PVC roof, you must either completely remove all asphalt-based products on your roof deck, or install a separator sheet before installing the membrane. (Read full post here).
So, you've decided to use PVC flat roofs. Now, you're curious if you can go DIY installing it. With the right equipment and knowledge, you definitely can. PVC Roofing has an excellent in-depth guide to help you install PVC roofs inclusive of all the preparation, equipment, and other items and details you need to know.
Installing a PVC Roofing Membrane
While as a home or business owner, you will most likely not be installing a PVC roofing membrane yourself, it is important to have basic understanding of the installation process, so that you can ensure that your contractor is doing a good job.
IMPORTANCE OF PROPER INSTALLATION
As with any roofing material, ensuring that your PVC membrane is properly installed is a key determinant of the longevity and proper service of the roof. Many PVC roofing membranes that fail prematurely, do so because of initial incorrect installation done by an unprofessional roofer, rather than inherent flaws of the roof itself.
Prior to installing the PVC roofing membrane itself, typically some type of insulation board is put in. Most commonly used insulation is ISO or EPS foam board. Both of these insulation boards carry an R-value that ranges from 4-R to 6-R per 1 inch of insulation thickness. Insulation is important because it saves energy by reducing heat loss. Heat gain is taken care of by PVC’s cool white surface.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO INSTALL A PVC ROOF
A PVC roofing membrane can be installed in three different ways. Regardless of what installation procedure is chosen, all PVC roofing systems are sealed with a hot-air welder. This ensures superior seam strength and makes the membrane resistant to leaks and wind blow-off. When choosing a time to install your PVC roof, note that the temperature of the heat welding of the seams is critical to getting a strong bond. Therefore, welder temperature should be adjusted upwards in the winter to account cooler ambient temperatures.
The hot-air welding of all seams and flashing is used on all PVC roof installations. Hot – air welding makes material overlaps last a lot longer, than those on EPDM rubber roofs and other torch applied or glued flat roof systems. The advantage of hot-air welding is that it can be done in the winter and does not require and adhesives to work, where as solvent based glue used in Rubber Roof installation will freeze, making installation or repair impossible.
FULLY-ADHERED Assembly (Read Full Post)
Of course, it's never easy to install industrial-grade PVC flat roofs on your own. It is time-consuming and will definitely be far from perfect if it's your first time to install one. To make sure your new PVC roof is correctly installed or replaced, find the best Denver CO roofing contractor with decades of experience providing this service to help you.
If you have yet to find them, Roper Roofing is Denver CO's most trusted roofing contractor for flat roofing. Contact us today to get a free quote!