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Back to basics, single ply-roofing coverings

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Roofing systems and their multiple components offer a homeowner with many choices for their home’s rooftop covering. It is important to understand how the components work and how they will benefit a homeowner when they are installed. The different varieties of roofing materials must be married together, you can’t have elements that don’t work well together as it will lead to an ineffective roofing system. At AM Roofing Solutions, we can lead you to the right combination of roofing products and components to help protect your home from Mother Nature and create a win-win situation when you install your new roof covering for your home. Single ply roofing is one area that a homeowner can determine what they want and we can show you how it will work within the greater system and how it will benefit your home and energy use. Single ply roofing materials are installed in a single sheet; they are spread across the entire circumference of the roof to create a layer or bond to the roof. They provide a great deal of UV radiation protection that is a benefit when you think in terms of your cooling costs. The material comes in two colours, black or white, and they are affixed to your roof with glue or joined directly to the roof that is being upgraded.


Membrane types, thermosets, thermoplastics

•    Thermosets are made of rubber polymers that are compounded and synthetic in nature. They are made from three different substances, EPDM, CSPE, and Neoprene. The thermoset covering is generally used in larger projects – it is based on the reduction of seams that come in some single ply systems and that is extremely important when we think of leaks in a roof. When you have the EPDM sheet installed, you can expect excellent UV protection for your home. The EPDM sheet is black and has carbon black injected in the material as an additional component that is the catalyst of the UV protection that many homeowners crave. Another addition to the manufacturing process is titanium dioxide, it increases the reflective properties of the single ply sheet, and it reduces heat absorption of the roofing system.

•    Thermoplastic membranes, on the other hand, come in sections and they are joined through a hot air welding technique to create an overlapping bond for the roofing system. A thermoplastic system is made of plastics-based materials and is manufactured from PVC or TPO materials. To add additional to the sheets, a polyester or fibreglass layer is included in the manufacturing process and the byproduct is a high degree of stability for the system.

•    For a roofing contractor, these two types of membranes are easily installed and promise a high degree of UV reflection for any roofing system they are used with. But, the two membranes can’t be combined or used with other single roofing systems.



Installing single-ply roofing systems, methods to the madness

•    Certainly, different building structures and roofing systems will dictate the installation process for the covering. Take a ballasted roof for example; a sheet installation might be best because the roof can handle a great load across the spectrum of the roof. But, we need to be cognizant of the slope of the roof, if it is greater than 2.5cm in 15cm, the method might not yield the results you are seeking.

•    A mechanically fastened system would be ideal for a wood or steel roof for single ply membrane. The mechanically fastened, single ply roofing application is excellent for any sloped roof and they can be the best option for a homeowner who lives in high weather event areas.

•    When we think of a single ply membrane that is adhered to a roof, it can be the best choice for the covering your roof needs. In simplest terms the single ply membrane is ‘glued’ down the structure – and the glue used can be asphalt, solvent-based, or a water-based bonding agent. Using this method creates a smooth finish and it can come in different colours for decorative purposes for a homeowner.



Like anything, costs will vary to some extent when you are contemplating a single ply system for your home. Things like roof condition, the attachment used and the type of membrane you choose will drive the price for your roofing job. On average, the 60mm material can be in the range of $3 - $5 per square foot.

•    EDPM rubber material costs are $1.50 per square foot for materials – installation not included – making this type of membrane the cheapest on the market.

•    TPO is in the area of $1.70 - $2.00 per square foot – installation not included.

•    PVC is in the vicinity of $1.90 - $2.25 per square foot – installation not included.


Single ply roofing is great for a homeowner: it is excellent protection against acid rain. Performs above other roofing systems in extreme weather conditions, chemical resistant comes in a sliding scale of grades, lightweight, excellent UV protection, easy installation process and economical.


At AM Roofing Solutions, we would like to provide you with a comprehensive consultation process to explain what system of single ply roofing works best for your home. After 60-years installing single ply roofing we have a depth of experience that can’t be matched in our business. Once the membrane has been installed, we will issue a 10-year warranty for labour for our work that you can take to the bank.

To get the best products and services for your roofing system, reach out to us and receive Cadillac treatment. We have a free estimate, free consultation and free estimate waiting for you when you call us today at 1.877.281.6900.

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