PVC is one of the pioneering single ply roofing materials. PVC in its natural state is rigid, like PVC pipe. PVC roof membranes, however, are quite flexible as a result of the presence of plasticizers in the chemical formulation. These systems also include a reinforcement fabric that help make these roofs resistant to tears and punctures.
One of the primary benefits of a PVC roof system is the fact that the seams and flashings are secured using a hot air welder. These technically sophisticated welders quite literally melt the material together at the seams to form a long lasting bond. This technique provides superior seam strength and does not rely on glue or tape. In addition, the material by nature is resistant to a broad range of chemicals and is an excellent choice for manufacturing facilities and restaurants that discharge chemicals or byproducts (such as animal fats) that are damaging to many EPDM or asphalt based roof systems.
PVC roofs can be installed in one of three ways: fully-adhered, mechanically-fastened or ballasted. These roof systems are most often white, but are also available in other colors to meet any aesthetic requirements of a particular application. PVC roofing material is available in a variety of thicknesses. As a general rule, the thicker the material, the longer the warranty available from the manufacturer.
PVC roof strengths:
- Very resistant to chemicals
- Strong fire resistance
- Seams and details are welded together
PVC roof weaknesses:
- Difficult to predict life expectancy and maintenance costs, especially at the end of the service life.