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3 Types of Roof Membranes for Your Flat or Low Slope Residential Roof

by Parker

You will need something other than asphalt shingles if you have a screened-in porch with a low-slope or flat roof. Even if your asphalt roof is replaced completely, the low-slope area must have a membrane or metal roofing installed.

While both are excellent options, a membrane roof is the most common and cost-effective option. There are many options for membrane roofing.

Bill Ragan Roofing wants you to be informed before making a purchase decision. We’ll break down the different roof membranes for flat and low-slope roofs.

This article will explain the three types of roof membranes and give you an idea of the costs of a roof membrane system. It also explains why a membrane is required for a low-slope roof.

Here’s a checklist to help you choose the right roofing contractor for your membrane roof.

There are three types of roof membranes available for flat and low-slope roofs.

There are three types of roofing membranes: EPDM, TPO and PVC. Each of these three types has its place in residential roofing. It all depends on what look you desire and what rooms are directly beneath the roof.

EPDM membrane roofing

EPDM (ethylene propylene terpolymer) is a black synthetic rubber membrane used in medical and commercial facilities. EPDM is a popular choice for residential roofing, but it is most commonly used commercially.

It’s a dark membrane, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a bedroom or living room because of the heat it absorbs. EPDM is recommended for roofs over garages and other non-living spaces seen from a window. The black membrane won’t get so dirty as a white one.

EPDM roofs are extremely durable. It is almost like having a bulletproof rubber roof. A fully adhered EPDM roof of 0.060 thickness can last 25-30 years.

TPO membrane roofing

TPO (thermoplastic Polyolefin) is a single-ply, white membrane that can be used for both residential and commercial roofing.

TPO is great for rooms with a flat roof or low-slope dormers above a bedroom. It will keep them cooler. TPO can be installed over EPDM or other non-living spaces.

Remember that if your window looks directly at the membrane, it will be dirtier than a black membrane. Both will keep the flat roof free from leaks, but it depends on how much you care about the view outside the window.

Although it isn’t as durable as the EPDM membrane, the TPO membrane can be expected to last 25 years if it’s properly installed.

PVC membrane roofing

PVC (polyvinylchloride) is another single-ply white membrane used for commercial and residential roofing.

Apart from being white membranes, PVC and TPO are very similar in terms of their characteristics. The installation process is almost identical.

PVC is more flexible than TPO and is, therefore, more durable. A PVC roof can last 25 years if properly installed, just like TPO.

What is the cost of membrane roofing?

A few factors can affect the price of a membrane roof. The type of insulation you use under the membrane is one factor.

Insulation thick enough to insulate the whole structure will be more expensive than using fabric insulation and glueing the membrane to it. The size of the roof where the membrane will be applied is another important factor.

It is good to budget between $6.00 and $9.00 per square foot for a small membrane roof and $5.00 per sq foot for larger commercial projects. The cost per square footage drops dramatically when looking at larger projects.

Why would you need a membrane roofing system?

A low slope is considered a roof or roof facet with a pitch below 2:12 (less than 2 vertical units higher than 12 horizontal units out). Waterproofing is essential because water doesn’t drain as quickly on flat or low-slope roofs as it does on high pitched roofs.

Asphalt shingles can’t have water sitting on them. The manufacturer’s instructions and building codes for asphalt shingles state that a membrane or metal roof system must be installed to stop any leaks from entering the roof space below a low pitch roof.

Do not listen to a roofing contractor who suggests shingles on a low-slope roof.

This checklist will help you find a top-rated roofing contractor to install your membrane roof.

You now have a better understanding of the three types of membrane roofs and an idea of the cost and why you might need one. Before you contact a roofing company for your membrane roofing needs, it is important to understand how to identify a reliable company.

Asking the right questions is the best way to achieve this. We have created a 16-question checklist that homeowners should ask potential roofing contractors.

This checklist contains all the answers that a reliable roofing company will provide. Do not make a mistake when hiring a roofing company.

Continue reading to find your list of questions you should ask a roofer.

Bill Ragan Roofing has been helping homeowners in Nashville since 1990 with all their roofing needs. You can trust us to deliver high-quality craftsmanship that will give you peace of mind, whether you need a new roof installed or a roof repair.

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