commercial flat roof with PVC roofing in San Diego, CA

PVC Roofing For Commercial Buildings

Advantages of PVC Roofing Systems for Commercial Buildings In San Diego, CA

There are several roofing system options for San Diego business owners who are looking to reroof their commercial facility or industrial building. Of all the available options, PVC roofing systems are amongst the most sought-after and effective roofing options in the San Diego area.

PVC roofs, which stand for Polyvinyl chloride or vinyl for short were first sighted in Europe where they made their appearance in the 1960s. In the earlier times, some PVC membranes had poor quality. It was common to find membrane failures caused by the migration of plasticizers responsible for the flexibility of the PVC, as well as unenforced membranes.

To tackle these problems, product improvement practices and strategies began. Some of such corrective actions include the inclusion of a reinforcement scrim between the layers of membrane film to deliver stability and resistance to puncture and tear. The chemistry of PVC production was also broadened, which is why the more modern version is well able to control a large percentage of the commercial roofing market.

PVC is amongst the world’s most widely used polymers, and it is used across a wide range of daily and industrial applications.

The two primary components used in the making of PVC are natural oil/gas and salt. Chlorine is gotten from rock salt, and ethylene is gotten upon conversion of fuel. They are both used to create a white compound called vinyl chloride monomer, which is further processed to get the flexible or rigid PVC.

Let us look at some amazing features of PVC roofing systems you should know.

1. Long lifespan 

PVC roofing systems are renowned for their longevity. It is normal to find PVC roof installations lasting for 25 years or longer and still standing strong. Unlike several roofing systems that cure as time goes on, PVC membranes remain weldable for the purpose of alterations and repairs throughout their lifetime.

The plastic nature of PVC makes it flexible and accommodating to weather and temperature changes, as well as the thermal contraction and expansion that commercial roofing systems undergo due to these changes.

2. Membrane Flexibility 

PVC roofing systems are always flexible regardless of weather conditions, which is why they can be installed by a commercial roofing contractor in San Diego at any time of the year. Their flexibility also makes it possible for them to be fabricated in the factory and then taken to the installation site. The ability to pre-fabricate in the factor reduces the amount of job done on-site and also ensures a better, more trustworthy installation that’ll last long term since the major welding process is carried out in the factory under the best conditions.

If you have dealt with other single-ply roofing systems, you’ll find that they become stiff when the weather is cold, which makes it difficult to handle and work with them at that time. That is not the case with PVC membranes.

Duro-last is a leading manufacturer of PVC in the U.S and a patent holder and inventor of custom pre-fabricated PVC roof systems.

Duro-Last PVC systems undergo 80% membrane welding in the factory and are inspected before being brought to your building to be installed on your rooftop.

3. Hot-Air Welded Seams 

Hot-air welding is a process of seaming different membrane components such as sheets and flashing to create a membrane that is more secure and longer-lasting. This process is better than the adhesive system used for other roofing materials because the heat used in the process melts all overlapping membranes and places them on the same level where they blend into a uniform sheet.

With this process, you find that the welded joint is highly resistant to tear, even more than the entire membrane.

4. Durability 

PVC roofing systems are able to withstand a lot of weather fluctuations and conditions. They can also resist substances and other chemicals that would ordinarily negatively affect other roofing products.

PVC roofing system is great for industrial roofs and San Diego restaurants where there is an oily or greasy rooftop exhaust. It also has a high resistance to ponding water and moisture, so it doesn’t deteriorate or rot under such conditions.

With such resistance, you can rest assured of lower maintenance expenditure, and long stress-free usage.

5. Energy Efficiency 

White PVC membranes save a great deal of energy cost because they have highly reflective membranes and they reflect solar heat rather than conducting it into the building.

The high reflective nature of PVC roofing systems ensures that the membrane temperature remains notably lower on very hot days.

When it is hot and sunny in San Diego, you get a lower ambient air temperature when dealing with a white, reflective roof compared to the air temperature you get from a black rubber or gravel-surfaced roof. Rooftop HVAC systems always perform better and more efficiently with a cooler rooftop area.

The coolness delivered by the energy-efficient PVC roofing system reduces stress on the roof insulation, helps the HVAC systems run less, which saves you energy bills, and extends the lifespan of your roofing system,

6. High Flame/Fire resistance levels 

You can achieve higher fire ratings with PVC roofing systems because they have a lower carbon content compared to other roofing products. In the case of a building fire, they are also less likely to emit toxic gases.

When ignited and taken through flame tests, PVC membranes self-extinguish rather than burn continuously, which you find to be the case with many other roofing systems that will not only burn but support the flame spread and increase damage.

7. Recyclable 

PVC is a leading recyclable roofing system in the industry, which makes it a great fit for the ton of green design programs we have globally. You will find programs and processes that use old PVC and other recyclable roofing systems to create flooring and other similar construction products.

8. Easy Installation Process

Depending on the condition of your roof and the building codes in your locality, you can install PVC roofing membranes without tearing off the existing roofing system. That way, you are avoiding the disruptions and expenses that come with a total removal and replacement.

Commercial Roofing Membrane Options

Flat or Low-slope roofs? 5 Common Roofing Membrane Types That Are Great Options

A leaking commercial roof, a roof that experiences ponding water, or a roof that has poor energy efficiency can be problematic, especially in a commercial building. They constitute a hazard to workers, support mold and bug infestation, and also make you spend more money on energy.

To avoid such a situation, you find many building owners across the U.S, especially those in the mid-Atlantic region, installing membrane roofing systems such as PVC, TPO, BUR, MB, and EPDM.

Although there are more membrane types available, we will discuss these five because we consider them to be the best, and we also carry out roof installations using these membranes.

Let’s begin by explaining what the membranes are and breaking down the acronyms.

Definition of a Membrane Roof

A membrane roof is a waterproof material that makes your roofing system waterproof resistant. It can be flexible or semi-flexible, and it can also be made from single or multiple materials joined together.

Membrane materials are primarily designed for industrial and commercial buildings that have low or flat-slope roofs, although they can also be used on residential buildings.

Although low and flat-slope roofs do have a little pitch that supports water drainage, it doesn’t do as much as they should. Unlike roofs with steeper pitches that support the easy flow of melting snow and rainwater, flat slopes don’t have such an easy flow. Hence, it is important for owners of buildings with flat- or low-slope roofs to choose the best membranes for water protection.

5 Different Types of Commercial Roofing Membranes

Just as we listed earlier, the 5 types of roofing membranes we recommend and will be discussing here include:

  • Built-up Roofing [BUR]
  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer [EPDM]
  • Modified Bitumen [MB]
  • Polyvinyl Chloride [PVC]
  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin [TPO]

Let’s explore the features of each membrane, as well as their strong points and what makes one better than the other. It is important to mention that the preference of one membrane over the other will largely depend on the nature of your roof and your usage needs.

1. Built-up Roofing [BUR] Membrane

The BUR membrane has been around for a long time and is still being used today.

Fabric layers or plies are built-up in an overlapping format on the roof and then infused with bitumen. The fabric layers are used alternatively with asphalt-based materials such as bitumen/tar and then coated with aggregate.

Several newer versions of BUR roofs have more materials added to improve their strength and they are sometimes referred to as modified bitumen membranes.

Here are some advantages of BUR membrane:

  • Long years of trust
  • High fire resistance
  • Great durability
  • Lifespan of 25 years and above with the right maintenance
  • Waterproof

2. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer [EPDM]

An EPDM membrane is another common membrane type. It is a type of single-ply membrane roofing that resembles an inner tube on a roof that is stretched out, hence the nickname rubber roof membrane.

EPDM is applicable to ballasted, fully-adhered, or loose-laid roofing systems.

When being used for fully-adhered systems, the EPDM membrane is first coated in adhesive before it is rolled into place and then smoothed into place. For loose-laid and ballasted roofing systems, the EPDM membrane is loose-laid upon the roof.

Here are some advantages of the EPDM membrane:

  • Lifespan of 30 years or longer with adequate maintenance
  • Highly durable
  • Waterproof
  • Resistant to fatigue, wear and impact

3. Modified Bitumen [MB]

Modified Bitumen or Mod Bit is similar to BUR because it is constructed in layers. However, MB roofing membranes are sometimes called rubber roofing because they have a rubberlike appearance and properties because petroleum-based substances are placed in between the plies to hold them together.

Here are some advantages of MB roofing membrane

  • Easy installation without heat
  • Withstands foot traffic
  • Extremely durable
  • Energy saving due to reflective material

4. Polyvinyl Chloride [PVC]

PVC roofing membrane is classified as a thermoplastic material because it reacts based on temperature. That is, it becomes rigid when cold and softens when heated.

PVC membranes are often placed on the roof in overlapping sheets and then the seams are welded with hot air to ensure a firm and watertight seal. However, the nature of your commercial building’s roofing system will determine whether it is enforced this way or some other way.

PCV roofing membranes are highly resistant to grease, chemicals, and fire, making them great for restaurants and facilities that engage in food production.

Advantages of PVC roofing membranes include:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Lifespan of 25 years or longer with adequate maintenance
  • UV and Heat resistant
  • Recyclable

5. Thermoplastic Polyolefin [TPO]

TPO is also a thermoplastic material like PVC, so you will often find both membranes grouped together. TPO is relatively new in the market and is great for commercial buildings.

If you are dealing with a mechanically-fastened roofing system, TPO is adhered to the roof using fasteners and plates. For a fully-adhered system, the TPO is adhered to using an adhesive.

Advantages of TPO membranes:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Durable against weather and temperature changes
  • Lifespan of 30 years and above with proper maintenance.
  • Cost Efficiency

Which Roof Membrane is best for your building?

There are so many factors involved in deciding what roof membrane is best for your San Diego commercial building. You’ll need to consider the pitch of your roof, the existing roofing system, and material, the condition of your roof, as well as the nature of the job being done in the building.

To handle all possible considerations and decide on the best roof membrane, you are advised to contact an experienced roofing company near you to offer professional insight.

With over 60 years of handling commercial roofing installations, repairs, and consultations, we have what it takes to handle your commercial roofing jobs. We know the best membranes and processes to use on your roof depending on the nature of your building. We will handle all considerations and concerns, and ensure that you get only the best material and installation for your roof.

Reach out to us today to get a roofing estimate from our team of experts who are waiting to help you.