Is a Single Ply Membrane Roof Right for you?

When you’re in the planning stages of building a structure, one very important element is selecting the best type of roof. You need one that will work within your budget, perform properly by minimizing the risk of water penetration, which eventually can lead to leaks, and one that is aesthetically pleasing. So, where do you start? How do you choose?

You start by finding an experienced commercial roofing company that can help guide you in choosing the best type of roof to meet your needs. In some structures, you may go with a flat or low-sloped roof, in which case, we would recommend a single-ply roof.

What exactly is a singleply roof?

Singleply is wide width sheeting designed for flat and low-slope roofs. Single-ply roofs have less seams than traditional pitched roofs that require asphaltic rolled roof systems. They also come with prefabricated accessories that result in an easier installation.

Traditionally, roofs are built using the BUR System (Built-up-roofing) method, which is done by building multiple layers of asphalt and roofing materials. Singleply roofs on the other hand are one layer that can be installed on an already existing foundation.

Single-ply roofs have many benefits including durability, reduced installation time and they are eco-friendly. There are three main types of single-ply roofs that are ideal in different environments:

  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monome (EPDM)
  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

There are a variety of materials that can be used on flat roofs, each with different performance and cost characteristics, when doing flat roof repair, it is important to work with a qualified commercial roof repair company like us that understands the ins and outs of making repairs that last.

Let’s take a deeper look into each type.


EPDM is a type of black rubber roof and is excellent for UV retention due to the nature of the carbon black rubber that is used. They are also extremely resistant against strong winds.

There are also Ballasted EPDM roofs, which are like regular EPDM roofs only with the addition of a protective layer of ballasts or stones. Ballasted roofs allow for protection against fire, hail, UV exposure and destructive debris. These types of roofs are great for any building that could potentially be vandalized like schools, as well as any in areas with harsh weather where debris and the general elements could cause damage.

Ballasted EPDM being replaced


TPO is a singleply roof made from recycled rubber that is often used on commercial roofs. Benefits of TPO roofs include:

  • Eco-Friendly
  • Reflective material lowers the cost of energy
  • Lightweight
  • Little maintenance is required
TPO white roof
TPO White Roof
Grey TPO roof
Grey TPO roof

Like PVC roofs (explained below), these roofs are usually white, which allows them to be highly reflective of the sun. However, we offer other colors as well like the grey one above that we are currently constructing.


PVC is a recyclable fireresistant, twolayered singleply roof in which the top layer is UV resistant and white, and the layer underneath is usually black or grey and has components that allow for easier welding. PVC roofs are incredibly resilient to oils and grease, which makes them a great choice for any building that contains exhausts on the roof like kitchens or factories.

Feeling overwhelmed? We make it easy for you.

We have been serving the lowslope roofing needs of industrial, commercial, and institutional clients since 2001. Our highly trained team of professionals focuses on new construction, roof replacement and maintenance and repair solutions. We take pride in focusing on great customer service, transparency and clear communication through the process and maximizing your investments through our expert recommendations and high-quality craftsmanship.

At ASI we take the time to understand our customers’ needs and conduct a full evaluation of the roof or project before we create a scope of work. This due diligence allows us to assess the composition, age, and remaining life of the roof system, and provide immediate and long-term recommendations with an accurate timeline and estimate. We will then work directly with you to educate you on your options so you have the knowledge you need to make informed, confident budgeting decisions for capital expenditures. We can help you determine if a single-ply roof is right for you! Contact us today!