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Membrane Roofs

Membrane Roofing in the United States

Membrane roofs have become more prevalent in the last 40 years as an alternate to asphalt on flat roof applications. As opposed to the asphalt roofs that are constructed from multiple plies being laminated together, membrane roofs only have one ply of membrane and as also often referred to as a “single ply roof”. The predominant membranes on the market today are made from EPDM, PVC or TPO. Membrane roofs have grown in popularity over the years as they are easier to install than asphalt roofs, offer better flexibility for movement and have none of the fumes or odors typically associated with hot asphalt. A typical membrane roof construction would consist of rigid insulation being attached to a deck and the membrane being rolled out over the insulation. The most common methods of attaching the membrane would be by ballasting the membrane in place with either smooth stone or pavers, fully adhering or gluing the back of the membrane to the face of the insulation board or mechanically attaching the membrane to the roof deck with screws and plates. The side and ends laps of the rolls are joined in a manner particular to the type of membrane.


Commonly called a “rubber roof”, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) membrane is usually black in color, can come in a range of thicknesses; from .045” to .090” and is either reinforced or non-reinforced. As one of the oldest of the single ply membranes and as well as the least expensive, EPDM is probably the most commonly found membrane on flat roofs. EPDM laps are either glued together with an adhesive or a seam tape


PVC membranes are made from polyvinyl chloride applied over a reinforcing scrim. Available in different colors, white is most commonly used as it offers excellent solar reflectivity. PVC laps are welded together using hot air to create a seemingly conterminous or seamless membrane.


Somewhat similar to PVC, TPO membranes are made from thermoplastic olefin or polyolefin applied over a reinforcing scrim. White is again the color most commonly used as it offers excellent solar reflectivity. Both PVC and TPO are highly tear resistant and TPO laps are also welded together using hot air.

Silktown Roofing is a certified installer for most of the major manufacturers of single ply membranes used in the Northeast. In many cases, Silktown has earned the status of Master Installer, attained only through a consistent track record of high quality workmanship with a minimal incidence of defects. Silktown offers photovoltaic panels that integrate into specific membranes to provide not only an energy efficient roof, but an energy producing roof.

Let Silktown Roofing show how we’ve become single ply – single source solution for building owners throughout the Northeast.