commercial roof membrane

Why the Membrane Matters in Commercial Roofing

Today, membrane roofing systems are seen widely on buildings with roofs that are slightly sloped or entirely flat. They help to block water from leaking into the building and also keep the water channel controlled after rainfall. Additionally, membrane roofs also provide warmth and insulation while protecting the entire building. 

The use of membrane roofing systems is predominant in the commercial construction sector. These roofing materials have great insulation and waterproof features thanks to their molecular structure. 

When constructing roofs, there has to be a way to channel the water out so that it doesn’t pool or leak into the building. Most times, creating a slight slope can help to achieve this, but keeping the roof watertight is still very important. 

There was a time when traditional asphalt roofs were the trend and when contractors did a fairly decent job at creating a watertight seal. But, this process required incredible skill and intensive labor to install an completely watertight roof. 

Most flat-roof structures used this kind of roofing until a few decades ago. Now, asphalt roofs are phasing out because they are almost guaranteed to suffer leaks prematurely when compared to a membrane roof.

The Rise of Membranes

Asphalt roofs come with significant challenges, causing new synthetic roofing membranes to become more in demand in commercial roofing. Roofing membranes were invented many decades ago but have continued to evolve through the developments in manufacturing technology. 

Thanks to advances in plastic and rubber material technology, manufacturers can now create watertight roofing membranes that are easy to install. 

With a TPO or PVC membrane, you’re assured of a more secure seal, which means roofs can be made to be totally leak-proof. The upsides for business structures with flat roofs are numerous. Roofing membranes come in different categories, including: 

  • Thermoset Membranes

    The roofing material strips of thermoset membranes attach in a way that benefits the building. Unlike asphalt roofs that presented challenges in application and never came in pieces, thermoset membranes give you a more refined joining method. Here, the roofing material strips merge to become one, even at the molecular level. Thermoset membranes are usually in the synthetic rubber category with ECR, CR, CSPE, and EPDM membranes as some of the common names.

    Through chemical cross-linking, this kind of membrane remains leakproof for decades. 

  • Thermoplastic Membranes

    Basically, these are plastic membranes with PVC being one of the most familiar names in the lineup. Others include TPO, PIB, NPB, EIP, CPE, and CPE which happen to be kinds of plastic. The difference from thermoset roofing is the absence of chemical cross-linking.

    Thermoplastic membrane roofing involves the use of heat or solvents to connect the seams by welding both pieces together. When done right, you’ll get a watertight, leak-proof roof for years to come with little to no risk of peripheral water ingress.

  • Modified Bitumen

    This is really where asphalt roofing evolved. With modified bitumen, roofers mix synthetic ingredients like rubber modifiers and solvents with the gravel, pitch, and tar that make up the asphalt. A modified bitumen roof can be installed in different ways. We can apply it in heat-joined strips or by hot mopping as is done with older roofs.

    In recent times, it’s been possible to join new materials without heat with the help of special adhesives. A modified bitumen roof may not be fully synthetic but is miles better than traditional roofs. What you get is a leak-proof seal that is better and stronger with slower degradation rates.

    The Membrane is Crucial in Commercial Roofing

    If your commercial structure is in an area that experiences constant rainfall or has a flat roof, you should consider installing a membrane roofing system. This will help to channel water off the roof and preserve it for longer.

    Without membrane protection for your flat roof, the building could be at a higher risk of structural damage. Membrane roofing systems also make it easier to spot and fix any roofing issues that might develop over time. 

    One of the most significant benefits of going with commercial membrane roofing is that it is relatively more affordable, helping you save thousands of dollars in roofing, maintenance, and upkeep costs. The installation process is quicker and easier and the material holds up better under pressure, too. 

    Installing a Membrane Roof

    If you’re considering a membrane roof installation, begin by contacting A-to-Z Roofing. We’ll schedule a no-obligation roof inspection to ascertain the important details of your project and what your needs are. 

    Looking to transform your commercial building, improve insulation, and boost energy conservation no matter what the climate is? Get in touch with us and we’ll send you a free quote.

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