Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a type of plastic that is developed through reactions of ethylene with oxygen and hydrochloric acid. You’re probably familiar with it being used for piping and various other forms of plastic infrastructure. You might not, however, have been aware that PVC can actually also be used as a roofing material, particularly for flat commercial roofing.
Here’s an overview of what you should know about PVC roof panels and roofing materials.
How it’s used in roofing
PVC for roofing comes as a flat membrane that gets rolled onto the roof, then stuck in place with adhesive or nails. The plastics of PVC make the roofing membrane resistant to rips and punctures, and also make it a relatively low-maintenance material.
This type of roofing usually comes heat-welded at the seams, which are usually the weakest part of the roof. By welding these seams, you can keep them watertight, which is better for the overall structure of the roof and for the safety of your building.
While the low-maintenance nature and water resistance of PVC roofing make it ideal for some use, it is important to note that PVC roofing cannot interact at all with asphalt materials. In addition, PVC roofing comes in different thicknesses—thicker versions are usually more resistant to cracking and splitting. But all PVC membranes are susceptible to cold weather, and may shatter, which means using PVC in these conditions would require extra reinforcement.
Keeping a PVC roof in good condition
If you’re going to install PVC roofing at your commercial property, it’s important to understand what’s involved with keeping it in good condition so you can protect your investment and extend its lifespan for as long as possible.
Because PVC formations differ across manufacturers, that means some membranes made of PVC may not be compatible with others. This means you need to be very careful about the products you purchase and how you make repairs, as PVC membranes from different manufacturers may not be able to be welded together.
You should either purchase more PVC than you need in anticipation of this issue, or make sure the brand you go with is reliable and will not stop selling its products, as the only way to patch a PVC roof is to weld on more (compatible) PVC.
Remember also that PVC naturally shrinks over time, which could result in the membrane receding from the walls and outlets on the roof. If your welds split, you could experience leaks into the building, which will necessitate costly repairs. Therefore, it’s important for roofing experts working with PVC to plan for this shrinkage and understand how it could potentially affect the roofing system to prevent this potential damage from occurring.
Interested in learning more about the use of PVC in roofing and how you can benefit from the use of PVC roof panels? Contact our experienced team of professional roofers today at R & H Roofing, LLP with any questions you have. We look forward to assisting you!
Categorised in: PVC Roofing
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