single ply membrane flat roof

Single Ply Membrane Flat Roof

Flat roofs have been around for centuries and are quite common among hot and dry areas in the Mediterranean,  the middle east and the southern parts of the American continent. This is because your conventional gabled roof design is specially designed to protect your home from flowing water and strong winds. Homes that are situated in drier climates tend to have flat roofs since there is no threat of water pooling on the rooftop, especially since it does not rain in the first place.

However, as you might see in most modernist designs in urban areas across the United States, you’ll find that flat roofs are getting increasingly prevalent. Even though the United States isn’t exactly dry or warm, flat roofs are still one of the most popular roof designs in the market. So what’s the reason? While we’re at that, let’s also look into single-ply roofing which is one of the most common flat roofing material that you’ll find in your local builder’s depot.

But before we do get into what is single-ply membrane flat roofs and what are the benefits that it entails for your roof, we have to first look into what are the advantages of flat roofs.

Why Use Flat Roofs?

Flat roofs are getting increasingly prevalent among commercial and residential homes in the United States. If you’re living in urbanized areas, you’ll find that most homes tend to have a flat roof since this will give more room for improvement. Moreover, since space is a valuable commodity in urban areas, it’s hard to extend your home horizontally. In most cases, the only way to make extensions to your house or apartment is by building upwards. This is where flat roofs come in handy.

When most contractors think of flat roofs, it’s not necessarily flat since it does have a pitch of 0.5/12 or 1/12 to compensate for rainfall and prevent pooling. Still, the low pitch of these roofs is ideal for installing a variety of different HVAC equipment on your roof. This means that there is more space for airconditioning, venting, and heating equipment.

Single-ply Membrane

For your flat roof, single-ply membrane roofing can provide you with a variety of different benefits. As the name of the material suggests, the main characteristic of single-ply roofing is that it can be installed as a single layer. Moreover, this material also demonstrates an incredible amount of flexibility. It’s also quite resistant to UV light and can reflect off excess heat which might penetrate your roof.

Most of the time, you’ll find single-ply roofing with a black or white finish and is usually fastened or installed over insulation material.

Advantages Of Single-ply Membrane

Single-ply roofing, compared to other flat roofing materials, does have a multitude of different advantages that makes it stand out from the rest.

Wide Variety Of Grades

If you’re on a budget, then there are a wide variety of grades that you can choose from. Naturally, the higher the grade, the higher the price. If ever you’re going to be choosing the right quality for your roof, it’s best to think about the long-term. You might be able to save money in the short-term if you buy low-grade materials, but these will inadvertently lead to problems since these roofing materials tend to be less durable.


The cost of single-ply roofing will obviously depend on the grade of the material that’s being used, but it will also depend on the availability of the material in the market. But overall, single-ply roofing is quite cost-effective since it has a good amount of durability while being able to last a long time.

Single-ply membranes are priced per square foot and will cost you around $3 to $5 for each square foot. When it comes to other flat roofing materials, you’ll find the following prices:

EPDM rubber – $1.50 for each square foot

TPO roofing – $1.70 for each square foot

PVC roofing – $1.90 for each square foot

For all these 3 materials, this excludes insulation. Even though these materials are cheap, you’re also thinking about the long-term health of your roof. As such, having the right materials can go a long way.


Being lightweight means that your roofing specialists won’t have any problem installing this type of roofing material and moving it around. Moreover, this can help expedite that installation and roof replacement process which usually takes a week on average.

Great Reflective Properties

If you’re living on warmer states, having a roof that can reflect off excess heat and UV rays can help lessen the energy costs that would usually go into air conditioning. Having a natural means of removing heat can also provide more comfort for the inhabitants of your home.

Since single-ply roofing Doylestown PA also come in darker colors, this is also ideal for homes situated in colder climates as darker colors can help absorb heat. This is especially important in mitigating the formation of ice dams.

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