PVC Roofing Membrane Explained (8 Important Facts)

pvc roofing membrane

As a business owner or manager, one of the most important decisions you will make is about your building’s roofing system- the first layer of protection against the elements. Many people choose PVC roofing membranes, as it suits the majority of business locations and industries.

But what if this is your first commercial roof replacement project? How much does PVC roofing cost? What are the benefits? How long do PVC roofs last? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, this article can be a great resource. This is a guide on PVC Roofing, prepared by our roofing professionals to help you understand all about the membrane and whether it’s ideal for your building.

At Sol Vista Roofing, we believe in ethical and high-quality business practices. That’s why we work hard to educate people about the roofing industry and help them make better decisions. In this article, we will cover everything about PVC roofs, including their history, facts, and FAQs.

What Are PVC Roofs?

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as vinyl. It’s a thermoplastic used across numerous industries, including construction, consumer goods, transportation, packaging, electrical, electronics, and textiles. Salt and oil are the base materials used to manufacture PVC.

A Brief History Of PVC Roofing Membrane

PVC roofing membrane was developed in Germany during the 1960s and quickly became popular throughout the United States. Thanks to its many benefits, PVC is currently among the top commercial roofing materials on the market. PVC is mixed with plasticizers, heat stabilizers, UV rays inhibitors, and pigments to create a highly effective roofing membrane.

Let’s look at the current market statistics and growth of the PVC roofing industry.

The Growth Of The PVC Roofing Industry

PVC Roofing has been growing since it was first introduced. The global PVC roofing market may touch $1.9 billion by 2026! The industry has been growing at a 3-4% CAGR. The future of the single-ply membrane is highly promising with the increased demand for manageable, economic, and energy-efficient products. Governments are setting real sustainability goals in many countries, including the US, and PVC roofs are a big part of it.

Below are eight impressive facts about PVR roofs that every business owner should know:

8 Facts About PVC Roofing Membrane

When your commercial building needs a new roof, or you want to upgrade its look and functionality, a lot goes into deciding what’s right and what’s not. There are plenty of flat roofing materials, and each has its own benefits. If you are considering a PVC membrane, here are some essential facts:

#1 PVC Roofs Prevent Heat, Fire, And UV Damage

PVC membranes are known to resist heat, fire, and UV rays. Their self-extinguishing properties make this roofing material a great choice if there was ever a fire. Chlorine is a flame retardant agent that helps cool down fire as soon as it starts.

Moreover, the white color of a PVC membrane helps reflect the sun’s rays, so the heat and UV rays don’t reach inside the building. This way, the membrane keeps your building from heating up during the hot summer months. A PVC roofing system can keep your building safe from burning due to lightning strikes and extreme heat sources like fires and electrical failure.

#2 It Is Incredibly Resistant To Chemicals And Oils

The most beneficial characteristic of this material is its resistance to chemicals, including acids, alkalis, and solvents. As a result, a PVC roof membrane can be used in many applications where it is exposed to such chemicals during manufacturing or assembly.

For example, PVC roofing membranes are ideal for factories that involve toxic chemicals such as sulfuric acid or sulfur dioxide. They are also used on farm buildings that store feed for livestock or fertilizer, which could have traces of pesticides or herbicides. PVC membranes also have excellent resistance to most types of oils and grease found in industrial facilities such as refineries.

#3 PVC Roofing Membrane Is Waterproof & Prevents Pest Infestation

All flat roofs are waterproof, but PVC comes with additional safety. Along with its waterproofing ability, PVC also eliminates the chances of rot, rust, and pest infestation. Water has no effect on this membrane. PVC roofs don’t need paint or chemical coatings to protect against water-borne issues. In fact, unlike other materials such as metal and wood, PVC roofing material is impervious to all forms of corrosion, including salt. This makes it resistant even in coastal regions where there’s a high concentration of salt in the air. Some roofing materials can develop cracks and cuts that allow water and air to seep into them, but PVC eliminates this possibility.

#4 PVC Roofs Are Weather And Impact Resistant

The weather-resistant properties of PVC are one of the most common selling points for this material behind the cost. They are ideal for areas that experience strong winds, thunderstorms, and heat waves. Furthermore, PVC membranes are highly flexible and impact resistant, so they will be able to handle even larger hail stones without cracking or breaking open as some other products would do

#5 The Single-Ply Membrane Has Excellent Insulating Features

PVC roofs offer excellent insulation values. Because the membrane is thick and doesn’t absorb heat or cold, it is an effective barrier against scorching summers and freezing winters. This means that your roof will not heat up in the summer and will help your HVAC systems to work more efficiently. In fact, because of this property, PVC membranes act as insulators. They can also reduce energy consumption by lowering heating bills and cooling costs throughout the year.

#6 PVC Roofing Is The Most Affordable Choice

PVC roofs are inexpensive to install, maintain and repair. They’re a great option if you’re looking to save money over the long term, especially when other roofing materials require regular upkeep. Once installed on your building, PVC roofs can last for decades without much attention.

However, roofing materials have many other cost factors, such as labor and warranties. The good news is that PVC roofs are inexpensive and can help your business save money in the long run. PVC roofs are also energy-efficient, as they don’t conduct heat and reflect it. They can save you lots of money over the years and help you meet sustainability goals.

#7 The Membrane Can Last For 3 Decades!

PVC roofing membrane is considered to be one of the most durable materials available on the market today. It can last up to three decades, making it an economical alternative to rubber-modified roofing membranes. The good news doesn’t stop there; PVC roofing membranes are recyclable! So when your building needs an upgrade, you can ask your roofing contractor to share its recycling details to add it to your eco-friendly business portfolio.

#8 PVC Roofs Are Recyclable

Around 40% of all plastic produced today is used to make packaging materials, so there’s plenty of room for you to join the movement toward sustainability by using a PVC roofing membrane. The roofing industry uses recycled PVC to manufacture the membrane. This ensures that discarded plastics don’t end up in landfills and oceans. PVC is a precious material in the circular economy and can easily be recycled into new PVC products.

Apart from these facts, there are a few common questions property owners ask us. So we will now answer all those questions to cover every aspect of PVC roofing you may want to know.

How Much Does PVC Roofing Cost?

The cost of a commercial roofing system is the first thing that comes to mind when you need to repair or renovate your building. On average, PVC roof installation costs between $12000 to $15000 for a 1000 square feet area. The roofing cost depends on several factors:

  • Quality of the membrane
  • Area that needs to be covered
  • Labor costs of your commercial roofing contractor
  • Number of membranes your building needs
  • Installation Method
  • Commercial roof warranty

If you have a large area to cover and need to install your equipment over the roof, that requires a thicker PVC membrane with multiple layers. Commercial roofing contractors can install this membrane using any of the three methods:

  • Mechanical fastening
  • Ballasting or welding
  • Using adhesives

Can You Walk On A PVC Roof?

Yes, you can walk on a PVC roof without creating dents and cracks. However, you should avoid sending a lot of foot traffic on single-ply membranes, including PVC, as it can weaken the membranes over time. Moreover, PVC roofs tend to be slick during winter, so there’s a risk of falling and slipping, especially on a low-slope roof.

TPO Vs PVC Roofing: Which One Is Better?

While both membranes are single-ply, white, and synthetic, they have different compositions and qualities. PVC is more affordable and good with chemicals; TPO has a higher resistance to hail and impact. However, TPO is affected by chemicals, and PVC is not ideal for cold climates. Click here to read more about TPO vs. PVC Roofing.

Is PVC Roofing Ideal For Your Commercial Building?

PVC roofing membrane is an excellent option for many commercial buildings, but there are many more common commercial roofing materials. You should consider your location and industry before deciding whether a PVC roofing membrane suits your business.

For instance, if you live in an area like Denver, CO., a PVC roof can be an excellent choice for most types of buildings. But if you are going to receive a lot of foot traffic or install heavy machinery and equipment on the roof, PVC is not an ideal roofing material. It can hold moderate equipment like satellite dishes and solar panels, provided you pick a good quality manufacturer and installer of PVC Roofs.

When you talk to your commercial roofing contractor, ask them for a commercial roof inspection and discuss which product they will use.

Top 10 PVC Roofing Membrane Manufacturers

The performance of a roofing system directly depends on the quality of the product, which is stated by the manufacturer and looked after by a contractor. Here are the top 10 industry leaders manufacturing world-class PVC roofing membranes:

  1. Carlisle SynTec
  2. Custom Seal Roofing
  3. Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.
  4. FiberTite (Seaman Corporation)
  5. Flex Roofing Systems
  6. GAF Materials Corporation
  7. IB Roof Systems
  8. Johns Manville, Inc.
  9. Mule-Hide Products Co., Inc.
  10. Sika Sarnafil

We hope this article has given you a good understanding of PVC roofs. If you need more information or expert advice on commercial roofing systems, we will be happy to help you.

Learn About PVC Roofing From The Experts

At Sol Vista Roofing, we believe in ethical and eco-friendly business and work with high-quality manufacturers. Our roofing team has a high level of expertise in commercial roof installation. PVC is a durable, reliable, and affordable choice for many commercial buildings, and we will be happy to help you make a decision. If you want to discuss your commercial roof replacement project with our experts, call us at (720) 712-3516. We will guide you through a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.