Tri County Commercial Roofing

Types of Single-Ply Roofing Systems

Single-ply membranes come in various materials. Tri-County Commercial Roofing discusses different single-ply roofing systems.

Understanding Single-Ply Roofing

Single-ply roofing is a roofing membrane manufactured from flexible sheets of synthetic polymer. They are applied in a single layer. Single-ply membranes provide a reliable, cost-effective solution for various commercial and industrial buildings.

Commercial roof with white roof coating

Let’s explore the different types of single-ply roofing systems available in the market:

TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) Roofing

The first roofing product we’ll discuss today is TPO. TPO roofing is a thermoplastic membrane known for its energy efficiency. TPO is composed of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. This enables TPO to combine the durability of rubber with the weldability of thermoplastics.


  • Reflects a significant portion of the sun’s rays, reducing heat absorption and cooling costs.
  • Resistant to UV damage and chemicals, providing long-term performance.
  • Lightweight and easy to install, minimizing labor costs.
  • Suitable for various roofing applications and designs.
  • Generally more affordable than some alternatives.


  • Proper installation is crucial to ensure strong seams and prevent potential leakage.
  • Another challenge you may encounter when shopping for TPO roofs is limited color options.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) Roofing

EPDM roofing involves a rubber-like membrane of ethylene, propylene, and a small diene monomer, offering a cost-effective and versatile solution.


  • The materials used in EPDM are relatively affordable, contributing to lower upfront costs.
  • EPDM roofing is versatile, making it suitable for various applications and roof designs.
  • Once installed correctly, EPDM roofs generally demand very little attention over their lifespan.
  • Adapts well to temperature changes without cracking.
  • EPDM roofs have a proven track record of durability.


  • Attention to detail during installation is crucial for optimal performance.
  • EPDM roofs often come in limited color choices.
  • It may not be as suitable for roofs with heavy foot traffic.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Roofing

PVC roofing involves the application of a thermoplastic membrane made of polyvinyl chloride, offering excellent chemical resistance and durability. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of PVC roofing systems.


  • PVC roofing is renowned for its exceptional chemical resistance, making it particularly well-suited for industrial and commercial environments where exposure to various chemicals is common.
  • With proper maintenance, PVC roofs boast a long lifespan.
  • PVC roofing can be formulated to be highly reflective, contributing to energy efficiency.
  • Suitable for various applications and roof designs.
  • Better suited to resist damage from rooftop foot traffic.


  • PVC roofing can have a higher upfront cost compared to other single-ply options.
  • PVC production involves some environmental concerns.
  • Installation requires skilled professionals for optimal results.

Choosing The Right Type of Single-Ply Roofing Membrane

View of a commercial roof

As you can see, there are different types of single-ply roofing membranes. And each comes with its fair share of advantages and considerations. As such, you must consider various things to select the most suitable single-ply membrane for your unique needs. Let’s discuss these factors in detail below.

1. Budget

When evaluating single-ply roofing systems, it’s essential to consider upfront costs and long-term maintenance expenses. While some roofing materials may have a higher initial investment, they might prove more cost-effective over the roof’s lifespan due to their durability and minimal maintenance requirements. Assess your budget constraints and weigh them against each single-ply roofing option’s potential benefits and savings.

2. Climate

The climate in the tri-state area significantly determines the most suitable single-ply roofing system for your building. In the tri-state area, the summers are warm. The winters are freezing, snowy, and windy. Opting for a roofing system with high reflectivity can help minimize heat absorption during warm summers, contributing to energy efficiency and reducing cooling costs. Materials like TPO and PVC, known for their reflective qualities, are particularly effective in these environments.

For buildings situated in industrial areas or locations with a high concentration of chemical exposure, prioritizing chemical resistance is essential. PVC roofing can be an ideal choice to ensure your roof’s longevity.

3. Long-Term Sustainability

Evaluate factors such as the material’s expected lifespan. Sustainable roofing choices contribute to environmental responsibility and often result in reduced maintenance costs over time.

4. Local Building Codes and Regulations

Ensure that the chosen roofing system complies with local building codes and regulations. Different regions may have specific requirements for roofing materials, installation methods, and energy efficiency standards. Adhering to these regulations is essential for legal compliance and ensures that your roofing system meets safety and performance standards.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the single-ply roofing membrane you choose, remember the successful performance of any roofing system is highly dependent on proper installation. Ensure that the chosen single-ply roofing system aligns with the expertise of your industrial roofing contractor. Different materials may require specific installation techniques. Having professionals with experience in your chosen system can prevent issues such as leaks, poor seam adhesion, and other installation-related problems.

For professional guidance tailored to your specific requirements, reach out to Tri-County Commercial Roofing experts in Fort Wayne and South Bend, IN.

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