Flat roofs are no longer the problem and hassle that they used to be and the material you choose will go a long way towards making sure they perform as expected. With life expectancies of 20 years plus, they provide one of the most cost effective methods for making a new or existing roof watertight and weatherproof.
Flat roofing membranes are very versatile and ideal for almost any kind of roofing project from new extensions, to replacement or refurbishment of existing roof coverings, to bay windows and garages. When correctly installed and maintained on a refurbishment – they can provide savings of up to 70% on the cost of a roof replacement.
The designer and contractor must take into account falls, sustainability credentials and, perhaps most importantly, the type of membrane. There are three main varieties of flat roofing membrane to choose from: polyvinyl chloride (PVC), flexible polyolefin (FPO) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM).
Sika pioneered the use of PVC for roofing applications in 1962, developing the world’s first thermoplastic membrane reinforced with fabric. As well as being installed for over 60 years, it is also the most commonly used option. Available in a range of colours and with a BBA-certified life expectancy of up to 40 years, it provides a long term and proven solution for most applications.
A more recent technological development, FPOs have been in general use since the early 1990s and have a typical life expectancy in excess of 25 years. As they come in a limited range of colours and do not have a lacquered finish, the aesthetic possibilities are more limited than with PVC.
The third option is EPDM – a synthetic rubber membrane typically with a BBA-certified life expectancy of in excess of 20 years. It tends to come in one colour (black) and generally will use an adhesive to bond the seams together.
Whether mechanically fixed or adhered, coloured or black, lacquered or not, flat roofing membranes provide one of the best all round solutions to achieve cost effective, durable and sustainable systems. Choose single ply and design to best practice for high levels of performance, fast and clean installation, long term guarantee, industry standards and versatility – and a roof that will always come out on top.