Thermoplastic single ply roof in Florida
Considering the state has a humid subtropical climate with four clearly defined months of rainfall, thermoplastic single ply roof for Florida homes is an ideal waterproofing solution. Thermoplastics are materials which when heated and allowed to cool, set and take a hardened form. The most common thermoplastic single ply roof membranes are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic olefin (TPO). Thermoplastic roofing material is much like synthetic rubber except that the seams are not joined and do not form a continuous membrane. In a thermoplastic single ply roof, the lap seams have to be bonded together either by melting using heat or dissolving with solvents. These bonds form endless joints which are as strong as the rest of the membrane.
Thermoplastic single ply roof membrane is a waterproofing roofing material that is naturally UV and heat resistant. It remains flexible as it ages which significantly contributes to its lifespan. It is a low-maintenance roofing solution which is environmentally friendly and recyclable. It is also durable, being resistant to a wide range of chemicals. White thermoplastic single ply roof membrane provides immense savings in energy costs. Single ply thermoplastic roof membrane is available as sheets which are welded together, using hot air, to create a continuous sheet membrane.
Since thermoplastic single ply roof membrane is continuous and seamless, it has distinct advantages over the traditional asphalt and gravel flat roofing method. With asphalt and gravel, it is difficult to create proper seals at all connection points and seams unlike thermoplastic material where the seam is as strong as the membrane. Maintenance is relatively simple where breaks and leaks are easy to locate and repair. Thermoplastic single ply roof membrane does not shrink or become brittle. It has excellent weather resistant properties and is strongly resistant to ozone, UV radiation and common rooftop chemicals.
Thermoplastic single ply roof membrane is available in sheets between 6’ and 12’ wide and thicknesses of 40 to 90 mils. It comes in a number of color shades though white, because of energy saving properties, is by far the most popular.
There are several methods of installation with thermoplastic single ply roof membrane. Typically these are:
Mechanically fastened where the membrane is secured to the deck with screws, bars, plates or other anchoring devices. The fastening method will be determined by the configuration of the roof. This is particularly relevant in Florida because of the high winds during the tropical storm season which cause repetitive movements in the membrane. An alternative installation method is best advised.
Fully adhered where the membrane is bonded to the substrate with a continuous layer of adhesive. Some brands of thermoplastic single ply roof membrane are available in self adhesive form where the adhesive is built into the back of the membrane. Fully adhered is arguably the best installation option in Florida homes.
Loosely laid, where the membrane is secured with evenly weighted ballast. This method of installation is not recommended in thermoplastic single ply roof membrane for Florida homes because of the high wind factor which can blow the ballast off.
While installation of thermoplastic single ply roof membrane is comparatively easier than with many other roofing materials, the lifespan is determined by the proper selection of the method and the expertise with which it is done. The services of a professional roofing contractor are recommended, particularly because of weather conditions prevailing in Florida. A well installed thermoplastic single ply roof with normal maintenance can be expected to deliver an effective lifespan of 20 plus years.