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Roofing Membranes 101

Roof repairs are typically the costliest maintenance problem a home can go through. Roofs are more complex than they seem and requires the knowledge of professional roofers to ensure structural integrity. There are plenty of different roofs a person can choose from with different pros and cons for each one. Membrane exteriors, commonly used on buildings, are now being used more and more in regular houses because of it’s more pronounced advantages.

What is Membrane Roofing?

Typically found in buildings, membrane exteriors are usually used on flat roofing because it excels in preventing leaks. Membrane roofing is typically available in PVC, synthetic rubber, or modified bitumen. Membrane was once used only on commercial buildings but is now being seeing more residential use. Here are the 3 popular types of membrane exteriors.

  • Synthetic rubber
    This is made out of large blocks of artificial rubber and are usually between 30-60 mils.

  • Thermoplastic
    Unlike synthetic rubber, thermoplastic membrane does not have a continuous flow. Laps in between are bonded together with heat to keep the whole roof seamless.

  • Modified bitumen
    Modified bitumen can be seen as a step above asphalt roofing. It provides better protection and its chemical composition is more environmentally friendly.

A note on PVC

Some roofing engineers & general contractors do not work with PVC as it is believed to be a health risk linked to multiple problems ranging from asthma, different organ problems, and cancer. PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is normally used for plastic pipes and can still be found in over 70% of American homes.

The danger associated with PVC is only valid with the application of extreme heat, typically only present during installation. Roofers are exposed to toxic fumes as they install PVC. PVC is a safe material for home use so long as it is not exposed to extreme heat.

Why Choose Membrane Roofing?

The biggest challenge with traditional white hat roofing is installing seams between connections properly. Even if they are done well, the gaps in between are your roof’s weakest points and are typically where leaks begin. Newer roofing solutions are usually seamless which lessens the likelihood of leaks significantly. 

Leaks, even small ones, are serious problems. They can lead to damage around your ceilings, walls, electric, and even hurt the structural integrity of your home if left unchecked. To avoid a lot of expensive maintenance issues and repairs, choose membrane roofing.

The long lasting membrane roofing is also tougher. It does not contract or expand so it can withstand extreme weather much better than older roofing solutions. Keep note that while membrane roofing is stronger, lasts longer, and is more durable than regular roofs, you will still need to check on your roof periodically to make sure it is in good condition. Having a routine household maintenance/inspection will keep you prepared and lead to bigger savings.

For most people, their home is their biggest investment. It would be in your best interest to protect your home not only from the elements but also to increase its value by choosing a safer and more durable roof.   

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