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What is Membrane Roofing?
Main Types of Flat Roof Membranes
Membrane roofing is available in single-ply options and those with multiple layers. The most common flat roof membranes include:
BUR, an acronym for built-up roofing, is one of the oldest methods for roofing a flat surface. Using several layers of roofing felt impregnated with asphalt and embedded in bitumen, BUR is applied with hot asphalt or coal tar pitch. The number of layers depends on several factors, but typically, the end result is two to four layers. After it’s layered, roofers apply a coating of finely crushed stone granules to protect the surface from UV light and the elements.
Modified bitumen roofing is an alternative to BUR and other types of flat roofing materials. It’s a lot like BUR, but it includes cap sheets to provide additional protection. The best roofing contractors can apply modified bitumen through several methods, including hot-applied, torch-applied, cold-applied and self-adhered, based on what’s right for your roof, the conditions it’s subjected to, and your company’s needs.
Known as a rubber roof, EPDM (that’s an acronym for ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a cost-effective solution for flat roofs. EPDM roofing pros glue the seams together to provide a watertight seal – it’s not heat-welded like PVC and TPO are. It’s rugged and durable, and it’s commonly used in low-slope buildings. Your color choices are black and white, and thickness generally ranges between 45 and 60 mils.
PVC roofing, which is available in several color options, is walkable and designed to last for decades.
Roofing pros use a heat welding installation process to create a permanent bond between sheets, and the result is a waterproof, chemical- and grease-resistant roof that extinguishes itself in the event of fire.
PVC roofing is extremely strong, so it’s ideal for restaurants with grease traps on the roof, factories that deal with chemicals, and a variety of other commercial buildings.
TPO roofing is heat-reflective, energy efficient, and offers many of the same benefits that PVC and EPDM roofing does.
This single-ply roofing membrane is resistant to grease, can stand up to high winds, and fends off dirt, algae and bacteria.
Like PVC roofing, it features weldable seams to create a watertight surface that protects the structure of your commercial building. It’s also resistant to tears, punctures and impact damage, and it’s available in a range of color options.