When most people hear the term “PVC,” they automatically think about the plastic pipes under their sink or the kind that gets buried in the ground for septic systems. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can be made into various products, including vinyl membranes, for low sloping roofs. PVC roofing material was first introduced in the mid-60s, and it has become a very popular choice for structures with low sloping roof designs, especially in the commercial sector.
Whether you’re considering a new walkable roofing system for your home or business, it’s nice to know what comes with your money and what the long-term benefits are. This guide will help you understand what PVC roofing is and the benefits it adds to your home or business.
How PVC Roofing is Made
PVC roofing material is made of two main components: chlorine and ethylene. Chlorine is extracted from salt, while natural gas or petroleum is used in the production process of ethylene. PVC roofing material is manufactured with two layers of PVC that utilizes a polyester scrim in between the layers for reinforcement.
PVC roofing material comes in rolls with different thicknesses. The top layer is white, and the membrane contains UV resistant additives, which also deflects heat. Black PVC makes up the bottom layer, and it contains plasticizers that increase flexibility. Once installed, PVC roofing materials offer superior weather protection with minimal maintenance. When compared to other types of roofing materials, PVC provides more staying power for the money.
PVC roofing systems offer many benefits, and it’s one of the most widely used applications in today’s roofing industry. Due to its unique properties and performance characteristics, PVC offers a superb roofing material for modular roofing systems. This saves time and money for modular construction while providing a reliable roofing membrane even in harsh climates and conditions.
The Benefits of PVC Roofing
There are many benefits associated with roofing material made with PVC. PVC’s reflectivity reduces energy waste and AC loads, lowers monthly utility bills, and provides superior weather protection. It’s also a roofing product that’s eco-friendly because it’s 100 percent recyclable even after decades of use. Additionally, PVC is an affordable roofing product that fits within most people’s budgets. Some of the extra benefits of PVC include:
- Watertight: PVC membranes are designed to be watertight even when subjected to extreme conditions. It can handle water pools, constant dampness, snow and ice, low and high alkaline conditions, and excessive heat indexes. Additionally, exposure to bacteria, fungi, and plant roots do not have any effect on a PVC roofing system.
- Wind Resistance: Due to PVC’s heat-welded seams and engineered design, PVC roofing systems provide excellent wind uplift resistance. PVC is the logical choice for high rise structures, commercial shopping malls, municipalities, and residential homes prone to high winds.
- Fire Resistance: PVC roofing systems are difficult to ignite and have a high fire-resistance rating, which meets or exceeds most industry standards. PVC will self extinguish as soon as the source of the fire is removed. It also undergoes strict UL and FM firing testing and comes with unlimited slope approval.
- Chemical Resistance: There are a lot of commercial and industrial facilities that are exposed to chemicals from their manufacturing process. They are subject to chemical damage without the right roofing material. PVC provides protection against chemicals as well as other elements such as animal fat from grease vents or lubricants used on HVAC units.
- Extended Service Life: Superior strength and durability ensure extended service life. If a PVC roofing system is installed correctly, it can last 20 years or more. Some PVC roofing membranes in service today have exceeded 30 years or more and still perform like new.
- Exceptional Durability: One of the best features of a PVC membrane is the hot-air welded seams, which are exceptionally durable, strong, and impermeable to moisture. The watertight bond is stronger than the actual membrane itself. This makes PVC roofing systems better than other roofing materials that fail before their expected service life is over.
- Superior Strength: According to the ASTM, the minimum breaking strength of a roofing membrane is 200lbs per inch. PVC is engineered with 350lbs per inch, which far exceeds industry standards. PVC provides superior durability when compared to other types of roofing systems, such as metal or shingle applications.
Why Are PVC Roofing Materials Better?
Due to the heat-welded seams, a PVC roof blankets the entire structure, making a waterproof and nearly indestructible roofing membrane. Many homeowners and businesses also like the fact that it can be walked on without causing damage to the roofing material, unlike asphalt, which melts when walked on during hot temperatures.
In the end, the results are a fire and waterproof roof that provides protection for decades with minimal maintenance. Hopefully, now that you know what a PVC roof is and what the benefits are of having one, you can make an educated decision on your next purchase. To get started today, fill out the contact form, and we will answer your inquiry as soon as possible.