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Single Ply Roofing Systems

Single ply roofing systems are acclaimed time and again for being the most effective solution when it comes to commercial usage. Custom-fabricated and light weight, single ply roofing systems have established themselves as a preference for building owners as they promise little to no maintenance costs.

Also known as 1-ply roofs or membrane roofs, these non-asphalt based systems are made up of flexible membranes that are uniformly laid across the length of roof decks. They are then glued down or fastened together mechanically. A covering is used on top which is usually made up of synthetic polymer and is intended to provide superior durability and protection against weather. They are effective for commercial usage since they are walkable and it is safer to install them.

Materials used with Single Ply Roofs

Single ply roofing systems can be categorized into two groups: Thermosets and Thermoplastics. Foam insulation board can be added at various thickness's under the system to create proper drainage and build thermal efficiency.  Cost and ease of application have made Thermoplastics the most common system in North Texas.


Thermosets are simply defined as materials that cannot be welded with hot air. They are usually made up of rubber polymers and the one most commonly used for these systems is Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or EPDM for short. When used in Single ply roofing systems, these membranes render superior performance when exposed to varying temperatures or ultraviolet rays. They are also known to have long-term wearability. If there is a large area that has to be covered, using Thermosets can be a realistic approach as it not only keeps the weight of the roof low, the number of seams used on the roof can be reduced as well.


Contrary to thermosets, thermoplastics are membranes that are welded with hot-air so as to achieve cohesive laps. TPO and PVC are among the most commonly used membranes used in thermoplastic membranes. Their use is recommended whenever dimensional stability and strength are desired. These membranes are characteristically light-colored, giving them excellent reflectivity which leads to significant energy savings. This type of membrane simplifies maintenance and repairs as well.

Fastening methods

Single ply roofing systems are typically mechanically fastened. Fastening method is an important consideration as it is highly dependent on the type of roof deck of the building, for example metal, wood or concrete.  In some instances a fully adhered or chemically bonded application is better suited. It is important to ensure a sufficient number of fasteners or chemical bonding agent is used so as to avoid any problems from arising in the future.