Which Roof Type Would a Single Ply Roof Membrane be Installed On?

Roofer Installs EPDM Single Ply Roofing.

Which roof type would a single ply roof membrane be installed on?

If your commercial or industrial building needs a new roof, you might want to consider single ply roofing. Depending on the material used—EPDM, TPO, or PVC—and how it’s installed, these types of roofing membranes are highly versatile and can be installed on most types of roofs. While often used on flat roofs, single-ply can be mechanically fastened to roof slopes of any type and this type of roofing is especially valuable in coastal areas that frequently get struck by hurricanes. If you want to explore single ply roofing options in New Orleans, LA, reach out to the professionals at ECO Commercial Roofing by calling 877-406-7663.

What is the best material for flat roofs?

If you’re looking to install a flat roof, single ply roofing solutions like EPDM are among the best to choose. These membranes are easy to install, durable, and cost-effective roofing materials for commercial and industrial roofing. Materials like EPDM are sought after because they are puncture resistant and hold up in extreme weather conditions. This material tends to be highly flexible and will expand and contract with temperature changes without any problems. Similarly, membranes like TPO or PVC also hold up in severe weather, are tear- and puncture-resistant, and provide extraordinary UV protection. They will improve your energy efficiency and keep the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. TPO and PVC are also highly valued because they can be pretreated to be highly fire-resistant. 

Single ply roofing pros and cons

As with any roofing material, single ply membranes have their pros and cons.


  • Hold up well in extreme weather changes
  • No major issues when chemicals are around
  • Different grades or levels of protection available
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent UV protection and reflective properties
  • Ease of installation
  • Cost-effective and low maintenance
  • Fire resistant


  • Lifespan relatively short
  • Issues with seams could turn up, which in turn, could cause problems with leaks
  • Vulnerable to water retention

How long does single ply roofing last?

Depending on the type of single ply roof you have installed, your roof’s lifespan will vary. But, most single-ply roofs last anywhere between 20 to 30 years. Although this is relatively short compared to other materials like built-up roofing, which can last up to 40 years, single ply roofing is often preferred because it is easier to install, holds up better in extreme weather, and has reflective properties that improve energy efficiency. 

Is EPDM a single ply membrane?

Yes, EPDM is a single-ply membrane. It’s composed of a synthetic rubber compound that’s very flexible—it effectively expands and contracts as temperature changes. It’s also particularly effective holding up to hail impacts and other severe weather. It’s one of the oldest of the single-ply roofing materials and has been in use since the 1960s. 

How do you apply single ply roofing?

Single ply roofs are normally installed in one of three ways:

  • Ballasted: With this type of installation the roof isn’t anchored or adhered. Instead, it is placed over the decking and then held in place or ballasted with heavy gravel.
  • Mechanically fastened: The membrane is placed loosely on the substrate and then mechanically attached using batten bars.
  • Fully adhered: Basically, the roof is glued down to the substrate. It’s preferable to use an adhesive produced by the roof’s manufacturer.

Single ply roof on metal deck

Single-ply roofing is often preferred for buildings with metal—usually steel—roof decks. The membrane is normally mechanically attached to the deck. Single-ply membranes are also sometimes retrofitted over older metal roofs. This preserves the roof without having to fully replace it and protects it from rust, corrosion, and other damage.

Single ply roofing colors

For years most single ply roofing membranes were either black (EPDM) or white (TPO and PVC). Occasionally you’d find EPDM roofs that were gray or TPO roofs that were light brown, tan, or yellow. Some manufacturers are beginning to add color to single-ply membranes—TPO in particular—as builders want to match the roofing material to their building’s overall design. Some of the colors include shades of red and green, as well as brown and even black. There’s no need for concern regarding reflectivity. No matter what color TPO roofing comes in, it does not lose its ability to reflect sunlight and will keep your building cool and energy-efficient. Grey or black TPO is also useful in regions in which colder weather is a concern.

A Roofer Installing Single-Ply TPO.

Single ply roofing contractors near me

If you are looking for an expert single ply roofing contractor in New Orleans, LA, you need to search no further than ECO Commercial Roofing. We offer an extensive range of commercial roofing solutions to fit any need. To find out more about us, get an estimate, or schedule a service appointment, all you need to do is call __PHONE__.

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