What is Single Ply Roofing?
Definition of Single Ply Roofing in Construction
Single ply roofing has become the standard for the roofing industry for flat roofs. Single ply roofing has taken the place, in most cases of the built up roofing. Single ply is exactly that, it is a single layer of a synthetic product that is installed on the top of a flat roof. Normally there is insulation below the synthetic membrane which could be designed for a tapered insulation. If tapered, the intent is to pitch the flat roof towards the designed drainage pattern, as established by the architect. This tapering, could be toward roof drains located within the field of the roof, or the perimeter scupper drains that allow the water to drain off the roof through prepared openings in the parapet of the structure. In some cases, the insulation for the roof is installed over the single ply roofing membrane. This type of roof is not as common as the reverse, the insulation below the membrane. Single ply roofing is a more efficient way of roofing a flat roof and does not require the hot tar application of a built up roofing process. This eliminates the safety issues of the hot tar. Difficulties can occur if the single ply roofing is installed and tradesmen are allowed to continue working over the top of the single ply membrane
. The use of scaffold, ladders, etc. over the top of the single ply roof could penetrate the membrane, causing leaks. To compound the issue, leaks through a single ply roof can migrate to areas away from the actual hole in the membrane, making the discovery of the leak difficult to find. The installation of roof pads is sometimes required to allow maintenance of all roof mounted equipment, without the worry of puncturing the roof membrane.
Single ply roofs can be offered in different colors, and the use of a white roof will reduce energy consumption during the summer months. In some cases, the use of a ballast system is incorporated in the roofing application and stone is layered over the single ply roof. The seams of the roof are glued or fused together, depending on the actual manufacturer of the single ply roof. Warranty for this type of roofing is similar to the application of a built up roof, however, the inspection of the finished product by a manufacturer’s representative , once completed, is normally required to initiate any warranty.