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Roofing Membranes – The Different Kinds of Roofing Membranes

March 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

Flat roof contractors are constantly being introduced to new technology that can make their jobs easier and their customers happier. One of the most important parts of a flat roof installation is the laying down of roofing membranes. These are the protective coatings that prevent water from destroying the roof and also prevent water from getting down into the building itself. The protective membrane needs to be installed with precision as it will be bearing the brunt of the rain and other weather conditions that the flat roof will experience. There are several kinds of membranes currently in use. You and your contractor will usually discuss the different membranes and make a decision on which one is best for your project.

One of the more popular kinds of roofing membranes being used today is known as an EPDM membrane. This is a rubber surface that has several advantages over older surfaces such as asphalt. EPDM can withstand a wide range of temperatures without cracking or peeling. It is compact which makes it easier to work with and it is installed using an industrial adhesive that is already applied to the back of the EPDM sheet. That makes the installation as simple as peeling off the protective coating and then laying down the roll of EPDM. It is easy to cut and extremely simple to install. It also tends to last longer than most other membranes by several years.

Prior to the introduction of EPDM, thermoplastic roofing membranes were extremely popular. Thermoplastic membranes are still being used today, but their popularity is starting to wane a bit. They tend to be less expensive than EPDM, but they are also more difficult to install. In order to seal the seam between two rolls of thermoplastic membrane, you need to apply an open flame. It can create an extremely strong seam that is very resistant to moisture, but the thermoplastic material is not able to handle the temperature extremes that EPDM can withstand.

One of the other common roofing membranes is the systems made from synthetic rubber sheets. Heat is used to attach the sheets together in a manner similar to the thermoplastic membrane, but the synthetic rubber is more resistant to weather and tends to be easier to install than thermoplastic. While synthetic rubber does not have the same temperature thresholds as EPDM, it is still a very popular material used in flat roofing projects.

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