Technology on the Rise, the Future of Flat Roofing

Last Updated: November 9, 2009By

There is a movement in the roofing industry toward what is referred to as “single ply” roofing for flat roofs.

This energy efficient roofing is like a big (usually white) rubber roof. It lasts longer than hot tar roofing and is much superior across the board. This product has been around since the sixties or so and has been upgraded and changed and re-invented. It now is a standard in the industry and becoming more popular as people get introduced to it.

Single ply roofing is basically large rolls of different combinations of rubber, pvc, plastic, and other chemicals that are hard to pronounce.(there are a few different types) Ultimately this material is superior to traditional hot tar roofing and will be replacing it in the near future. It is “heat welded”, one sheet to another, to create a watertight system.

I have installed hundreds of thousands of square feet of hot tar roofing and I can say that it is quite involved, and very dangerous. It is also limited to 20 or so years of life at best. The new single plies are longer lasting, chemical and fire resistant, have high reflectivity, much easier and safer to install and recyclable.

With oil prices rising; hot tar roofing has risen as well. The single ply roofing is based on plastics, rubber, and other non-oil related chemicals, thus not directly subject to the oil price frenzy. So what used to be more expensive is now competitive with the hot tar.

I am not a salesman for single ply roofing. I am simply a roofing contractor with some experience in the field writing this article to shed some light on a subject most people are not acquainted with.

So if you need a flat roof re-done on a property you own you would be wise to get information on some of the different types of single ply roof systems now available.

Provided by Tommy Scherer of T & G Roofing (818) 459-0702


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