What Is PVC Roofing: Everything You Need To Know

What Is PVC Roofing: Everything You Need To Know

PVC roofing is a fantastic choice for both large commercial roofs and small commercial buildings and houses. It has an A energy efficiency rating and a 20–25 year lifespan.

This roofing system is excellent for regions with high temperatures or frequent rain. This guide is tailored just for you and will walk you through the various types of PVC roofs that best suit your demands regarding price, style, and longevity.

We will go about PVC roofing in-depth so you can make an informed choice.

What Is PVC Roofing?

red PVC Roofing

PVC roofing is a strong, white, and reflective material with installation costs ranging from $7 to $ 11.50 per square foot. Compared to TPO or EPDM, it is built of a superior single-ply that contains less oil and petroleum. 

PVC comprises two layers of specially formulated vinyl and polyester reinforcing scrim to increase energy efficiency and durability.

Compared to other synthetic membranes, this one is less expensive to install, lightweight, flexible, and water-resistant. PVC roofing is recently trending in the united states roofing market.

Types of PVC Roofing

PVC roofing is preferred for flat roofs because of its strength and affordability. However, PVC roofs are a phenomenon, and there are so many different types of roofing, each with unique advantages. Some of the most sought-after popular choices available today are as follows.

Mechanically fastened PVC Roofing

white PVC roofing

PVC roofing that is mechanically fastened is a well-liked and long-lasting roofing technique utilized in both residential and commercial buildings. Due to its strength, durability, and resistance to weathering, PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride, is a synthetic plastic material frequently employed in various applications.

PVC membrane sheets and mechanical fasteners assemble mechanically affixed PVC roofing, including screws and plates. The membrane sheets are first spread onto the roof surface and then mechanically connected to the roof decking.

Fully adhered PVC Roofing

white PVC roofing

Fully attached PVC roofing is a single-ply membrane roofing technology renowned for its toughness, adaptability, and weather tolerance. Polyvinyl chloride, sometimes known as PVC, is a thermoplastic substance used to make a single-ply membrane for roofing applications.

The membrane is attached to the roof deck using adhesive to create the completely adhered PVC roofing system, creating a watertight seal that safeguards the building's underlying structure.

Weather and fire resistance is one of the main advantages of properly attached PVC roofing. In addition, PVC is a tough polymer that can tolerate high temperatures, harsh chemicals, UV rays, and inclement weather.

Ballasted PVC Roofing

The popularity of ballasted PVC roofing is growing due to its many advantages. A single-ply PVC membrane is laid over the roof deck and secured with ballast, such as gravel or pavers.

The ballast shields the membrane from wind and harsh weather conditions, which also gives it a safe and stable surface. Ballasted PVC roofing's durability is one of its key advantages.

Since the PVC membrane is resistant to UV rays, chemicals, and weather, it is a great option for locations with severe weather and commercial roof.

How much does PVC Roofing cost?

The size of the roof, the difficulty of the installation, and the caliber of the materials used are a few of the variables that affect the price of PVC roofing. For materials and installation, PVC roofing costs between $5 and $10 per square foot.

However, it's crucial to remember that prices can change based on location and the roofing contractor you select. In addition, the overall cost of the installation may also increase if the roof deck or other roofing system elements require any repairs or alterations.

How to choose the right PVC Roofing?

Making the appropriate PVC roofing choice is crucial since it can significantly affect the durability and efficiency of your roofing system. Here are some things to consider while choosing the best PVC roofing for your requirements.

Quality

Choose a membrane made from high-quality materials to ensure the PVC roofing system's quality. To offer strength and durability, the PVC membrane should be reinforced with a significant amount of fabric to boost thickness.

The membrane should also have a high puncture resistance rating to guard against harm from other causes, such as foot traffic. The PVC membrane's seam strength is another quality component to consider.

The seams are weak spots where leaks might happen. Thus, picking a membrane with robust and long-lasting seams is crucial. Select PVC membranes with heat-welded seams to ensure a watertight seal.

This method fuses the seams. When making a decision, it's also crucial to consider the manufacturer's warranty.

Durability

High-quality PVC membranes' reinforcement with fiberglass or polyester fabric boosts their tensile strength and durability. These membranes resist tears, punctures, and other types of damage, which can help the roofing system last longer.

The durability of PVC roofing systems can also be improved with proper installation and maintenance. Regular maintenance and inspections can assist in increasing the lifespan of the roofing system by detecting any problems early on.

Energy efficiency

PVC roofing's reflectivity is one method that might increase energy efficiency. A material's capacity to reflect solar radiation is gauged by the solar reflectance index (SRI), which PVC membranes can be produced to have a high SRI.

The material accessory is more reflective and absorbs less heat when the SRI is higher, as less heat is transferred through the roof. As a result, this lowers the amount of energy required to cool the building.

In addition, PVC roofing can be fitted with insulation to increase energy efficiency and reflect quality. The heat escapes through the roof during the winter and can be decreased by insulation, leading to energy savings.

Recyclability

Recyclability is a crucial consideration for building occupants when selecting the best roofing. As a result, the recyclable membrane and the environmental product declarations of Duro-Last membranes have gained praise.

However, the chemical resistance of TPO membrane recycling is debatable, and they have yet to receive the same National Science Foundation certification as Duro-Last membranes.

The installation process of PVC Roofing

PVC roofing installation entails several steps that guarantee the efficiency and durability of the roofing system. Here is a list of the steps you must undertake to DIY your PVC roof today! First, ensure you practice proper safety precautions while on the job site.

Preparation of the roof surface

The roof deck needs to be examined to make sure it can sustain the weight of the PVC membrane and the ballast before the PVC membrane is installed.

Before installing the PVC membrane, the roof deck needs to be cleaned and prepped. This entails clearing away trash, fixing any harm, and ensuring the surface is flawless and error-free.

Installation of the insulation layer

Typically, insulation is installed in layers to increase insulation and protection. Usually, a vapor barrier is the initial layer, followed by an insulation layer and another vapor barrier.

Next, mechanics like screws or nails are used to fix the insulation to the roof deck. In some circumstances, the adhesive may also be utilized to add security.

Installation of PVC roofing membrane

The PVC membrane is then placed over the insulation and glued or fastened into place. A hot-air gun or chemical glue is used to reinforce the membrane once it has been cut to size. 

Seaming and finishing details

Ballast is spread over the surface after the PVC membrane has been erected to increase weight and stability. Gravel, pavers, or other materials may make up the ballast.

Flashing is put around any penetrations, such as vents or skylights, to stop water and contaminants from entering the building. A final check is performed once the installation is finished to ensure the roofing system is built correctly and operating efficiently.

Maintenance Tips for PVC Roofing

Maintenance is essential for PVC roofing to stay in good shape and last as long as possible. Here are some suggestions for PVC roofing care.

Regular cleaning and inspection

Over time, dirt, leaves, and other debris can gather on PVC roofing, causing drainage obstructions and significant water damage. Regular gutter and roof cleaning can help avoid the accumulation of dirt and guarantee proper water flow.

In addition, regular roof inspections can aid in spotting early indications of wear and tear or damage. This might include seam separation, punctures, or cracks that can be patched up before they worsen.

Repairing punctures, tears, and other damages

An important PVC roofing care advice is to fix tears, punctures, and other defects. PVC roofing systems are strong and resistant to damage but are still susceptible to rips and punctures from hail, grease-falling objects, and foot activity. 

Recoating and resealing

Due to exposure to the elements and other environmental conditions over time, the PVC membrane of the roofing system may become damaged. Recoating entails putting a fresh layer of PVC coating on the membrane to restore the membrane's waterproofing capabilities and safeguard it from future harm.

Depending on the age and condition of the roofing system, recoating is normally done every 10-15 years.

A PVC roofing system's seams and flashing details may suffer wear and tear over time, which may cause water infiltration and other problems. New adhesives must be used to reseal a seam, or the seams must be welded. Depending on the age and quality of the roofing system, resealing is normally done every 5 to 10 years.

Pros & Cons of PVC Roofing

Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of PVC roofing material is crucial when selecting the best roofing option for your home or your commercial roof. Homeowners can make an informed decision and ensure that their roofing material suits their demands for both style and function by considering these advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

PVC roofing has a solid track record and has gained popularity for its dependability, affordability, and environmentally friendly solutions. Additionally, it can withstand hurricanes and is recyclable.

In addition to these advantages, PVC roofing is environmentally friendly because it consumes fewer resources than other kinds of roofing. As a result, PVC roofing has a lot of benefits overall for your construction project.

In addition, it will require little care throughout the years and won't cost you anything in the long run.

Cons

PVC roofing has a greater installation cost than conventional roofing materials, averaging $7 to $11.50 per square foot. This might be more dollars over the budget for homeowners who want to repair their worn-out roofs.

In addition, the fact that PVC roofing has been in use for more than 60 years makes it an older roofing technology, which is yet another drawback of the material. As a result, it can not be as dependable or long-lasting as modern roofing solutions.

Additionally, some studies have revealed that PVC roofing has weaker tearing resistance than TPO roofing material, which could result in more leaks.

Bottom Line

PVC roofing is resilient, economical, and adaptable. It costs $7 to $11 per square foot installed for flat or low-slope roofs. Single-ply membranes are the least expensive choice for flat roofs and roofs over living spaces. However, they are sturdy than other solutions and can become dirty with time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better, TPO or PVC Roofing?

TPO has a reputation for durability and is constructed of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. It is heat welded to provide a tangible link between adjacent sheets, is waterproof, and is available in various colors and thicknesses.

TPO was first created as a superior substitute for PVC. However, the distinction between the two roofing systems could be clearer today.

PVC has a long history of success in commercial roofing applications, and depending on the type and job circumstances, prices can range from $7 to $11.50 per square foot installed. The price of PVC roofing also varies on where you live.

How long do PVC Roof panels last?

With proper care, PVC roofing can last up to 30 years. To ensure your PVC roof lasts as long as possible, you should regularly inspect, clean, and repair it.

Are PVC Roofs energy efficient?

Because they reflect sunlight, PVC roofs are energy-efficient in warmer climes. As sunlight rather than solar heat is used, this promotes energy conservation.

Additionally, PVC roofing systems are environmentally friendly in the long run because they offer durable advantages for industrial, institutional, and commercial buildings.

There is still some potential for this material, even though TPO membrane recyclability is still being determined compared to PVC membranes. But right now, there's room for disagreement.

Can PVC Roofing be installed over an existing roof?

Yes, you can install PVC roofing over an existing roof. It is a well-liked option because of its sturdiness and weatherproofing qualities. PVC roofing systems that have been properly constructed may withstand hurricanes and meet wind uplift standards.

In roofing systems, TPO membranes are less readily adherent and have higher coefficients of expansion and contraction than PVC.

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About The Author
ritik n.
Written By
Ritik N.
Digital Marketing Specialist
Ritik is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Arka Energy, merging his professional prowess with a deep passion for sustainable living and solar energy. Advocating for renewable solutions, Ritik channels his expertise to promote eco-consciousness and advance the adoption of solar energy for a brighter future.
ritik n.
Reviewed By
Tushti B.
Content Writer
Tushti is a dedicated content specialist at Arka Energy, blending her diverse background in media, research, and publications. Holding qualifications from the University of Delhi and Delhi Technological University, she brings enthusiasm and drive to her work, fueled by her passion for sustainability. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to excellence, Tushti is dedicated to crafting engaging and informative content.

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