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Bellevue Roofing
Apr 19, 2017

If you have a low-slope or flat roof, here’s what you need to know about PVC roofing

Seattle Roofing SearchFor homes and businesses with a flat or low-slope roof, your roofing options are different than most people.

While asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material for most homes located on the Eastside (Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Renton), your best bet for your flat roof is PVC roofing membrane.

What is PVC roofing membrane?

That’s a great question.  PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and now you know why it’s called PVC for short (much easier to say).

Here’s your science lesson for the day-the PVC molecule is made up of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine (taken from salt).

PVC has been around for a long time as it was first installed in Europe in the 1960s and the first vinyl membrane roofs were installed in the United States in the 70s.

It has a great track record around the world as many that were installed over 20 years ago are still holding up today.  The use of PVC or vinyl membranes on low-slope roofing has grown tremendously since it was first introduced in the 70s, which is probably due to its durability.

What does thermoplastic mean?

PVC roofing membrane is a thermoplastic covering.  Thermoplastic refers to the fact that when heated to a specific temperature, it changes from a solid to a semi-solid enabling the sheets (or panels) that are overlapped to be fused together.PVC roofing for flat or low slope roofs

So instead of having many individual sheets of PVC covering your roof, they are melted together to make 1 giant sheet covering your entire roof (this is also called heat-welded seam technology).

As you can imagine, this is wonderful as since the panels are melted together, there’s no chance of leaking where the seams meet as there are no seams (as long as it’s installed properly).

What are the benefits of PVC?

There are many benefits to installing a PVC roofing membrane and the most important are listed below.

  • Comes in a variety of colors though we recommend white as it will reflect the sun and keep your home or business cooler, thereby saving you money on cooling costs.
  • Extremely durable- meet or exceeds industry performance standards that involve water leakage, hail resistance, puncture and impact resistance, etc.
  • Fire resistance- essentially self-extinguishing which means it performs very well in fire tests from the Underwriters Laboratories.
  • Good low-temperature flexibility and high-temperature tolerance
  • Environmentally friendly-the excess PVC material can be easily recycled back into the roof membrane or reprocessed into end-use products, like rooftop walkways or patch materials.
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Energy Star rated roofing product

Many of the vinyl membranes have the well-known Energy Star label from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DOE (Department of Energy).  The Energy Star label means the PVC membrane meets or exceeds the energy saving specifications of the EPA and DOE.

In short, it’s an energy efficient material that will save you money on your monthly energy bills.

A fact that’s important in Seattle’s rainy climate is that PVC membrane stands up exceptionally well to ponded rainwater, which can remain on your rooftop despite your efforts for drainage.  Of course, this is only an issue for those with a flat rooftop.  In addition, its toughness extends to a variety of rooftop contaminants, such as air pollution and bird droppings.

Accessories for your new roof

Just like other roofing materials, the manufacturers of PVC membrane have a complete line of vinyl-based accessories for use with their roofing membrane systems.  There’s vinyl-coated sheet metal for edge, curb and wall flashing, prefabricated corner flashing and vent pipe flashing so your new roof will not only function properly but be visually appealing too.

Now understand why it’s such a great choice for any Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond or Eastside home or business with a low slope or flat roof.  If you want a roof that’s going to be virtually trouble-free and last a long time, PVC roofing is your best option.  Click here to read more about our flat roofing services.