Membrane Roofing Types

Intro text

Flat roofs with the old-fashioned asphalt compounds, tar and pitch, were used almost exclusively until about 30 years ago and still have not gone away entirely. Today, membrane roofing types have become more popular. Our roofing experts at Kauffman Roofing in Jamesport saw the new membrane products begin their takeover about 40 years ago, and membrane roofing types have only improved since then.

What contributed most to membrane roofs becoming the preferred choice of builders was the growth of the synthetic rubber and plastics industries. The outcome was flat roofing products that allowed you to sort of shrink-wrap your roof. In the past, a flat roof always meant trouble with leaks. But the various membrane roofing types give you confidence whether it rains or snows.

Flexible membrane roofing comes in three basic types. Our roofing experts explain each of the membrane roofing types below.

Thermoset Membranes

Thermoset membranes chemically crosslink. That means that once the roof seams cure the roof has one giant molecule of roofing over it, creating a big advantage. Many of the synthetic rubber roofs (EPDM) fall into this type of membrane roofing. The CSPE, CR, and ECR compounds/membranes also fall into this category and have fairly thick membranes, often between 30 and 60 mils.

The thermoset membrane roofing type is very popular and offers superior performance in all types of climates, including areas that get more than their fair share of rain and snow. If a thermoset membrane is installed properly, the roof will be leak free for many years.

Thermoplastic Membranes

The thermoplastic membranes are similar to the thermoset membranes, but the difference is that there is no chemical cross-linking or vulcanization. The seams in the membrane are welded together with heat or solvents. But don’t worry, if done correctly, these welds are as strong as the membrane material. PVC plastic materials are part of this membrane roofing type, as well as CPA, CPE, EIP, NBP, PIB, and TPO.

Modified Bitumen Membranes

Modified bitumen membranes mix asphalt with modifiers and reinforcement materials. They are often a sandwiched roofing material. The modified bitumen membranes are not as advanced as the other two membrane types but can perform well. The modified bitumen membranes are often referred to as torch-down roofs because a large flame-throwing torch is used to melt the asphalt so that the seams can be properly sealed together.

A variety of membrane roofing types is taking over old-fashioned, flat asphalt roofs. Our experts at Kauffman Roofing in Jamesport can help you decide which roof will best suit your needs. We’ll explain the pros, cons, costs and required maintenance that come with each of the thermoset, thermoplastic and modified bitumen membrane options. Call or contact us today for more information.

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