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PVC Roofing Membrane Installation


PVC roofing membrane installation involves the process of applying a single-ply membrane made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to create a durable and waterproof barrier for the roof of a building. PVC roofing membranes are used to waterproof flat roofs on both commercial and industrial buildings. PVC roofing membranes have excellent waterproofing properties with an excellent reputation for resistance to UV radiation, chemicals, and fire.

During the installation process, PVC membranes are typically mechanically attached or adhered to the substrate of the roof. This provides the building below with a seamless and watertight barrier. The membrane sheets are heat-welded together using seams and flashings. This results in no gaps being left in the PVC membrane resulting in no weak points where water ingress can occur. PVC roofing membrane installation will provide a long-lasting, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance roofing solution. Such roofs can withstand the challenges of even the most extreme weather. However, installation by a quality contractor is a must if you want to ensure you PVC roofing membrane beenfits from the maximum lifespan possible.


We provide a full range of PVC roofing services. This includes full installation, repairs and maintenance surveys. Our highly-experienced team covers all of London and the South of England, and across the whole of the UK for select projects. All of operatives are fully accredited flat roof specialists. If you would like a quotation or any information regarding PVC membranes please get in touch with us or call us now on 01277 375 511.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) single ply membranes are made up of ethylene and chlorine which are derived from processed petroleum or natural gas and salt. Single ply roofing is a very popular product which is installed predominately on flat roofs. It is used for new build and refurbishment projects. For both domestic and commercial premises. Single ply membranes are sheets which can be mechanically fastened, ballasted or chemically adhered to insulation to create a layer of protection to waterproof a building. Mechanically fastened systems are fixed to the substrate rather than adhered.

Initially, it was developed as a solution to large open roofing areas like warehouses and factories. It has since been further developed as suitable for smaller, more detailed roofs. Typically, the thickness is 1.2mm, 1.5mm and 1.8mm. The widths are generally just over 1 or 2 metres. Single-ply roofs have fewer seams than felt roof systems and are heat welded using a hot air gun by trained operatives. It is a safer product to install as it is a flame free process. Prefabricated detailing accessories make installation easier. PVC membranes are a modern flat roofing option which are; resistant to grease, are flexible, resistant to chemicals, and have good fire-resistant qualities.

PVC single ply roofing membranes are manufactured using raw materials, including oil. They are specified because of the products strength and durability. This means a very long service life is expected. The life expectancy is normally between 15 and 25 years. Providing PVC sheet membrane products are installed correctly, they will provide long term waterproofing protection. This makes it important to select a trade association approved roofing contractor for the installation of any single ply projects. The reason for this is fitting a PVC single ply roof around complex details requires great skill. And if done wrong will take years of the life expectancy of the PVC roofing.

A weakness single ply roofing membranes is they are prone to being easily damaged. This can be from dropped tools, gravel, or loose screws being pushed into the roofing membrane. This kind of damage could create holes in the flat roof and cause it to be vulnerable to leaks. PVC roofing can be installed in several ways; mechanically fastened, fully adhered, loose layer (often under green roofs), inverted and ballasted.

Advantages of PVC Single Ply Systems

• Very fast roof construction

• PVC roofing is relatively cost effective.

• A safe and flame-free construction

• Single ply offers a good thermal performance using thermally efficient insulation

• Cold bridging is not a problem and is eliminated by use of thermally broken fixings

• PVC flat roofing is easy to repair. Typically, a patch is welded over the damaged area.

• Preformed detailing to suit all designs

• Links easily to other elements in the construction

• Is available in many colours if required

• It offers a good refurbishment solution.

• PVC membranes are a lightweight waterproofing solution

Important Characteristics Of PVC Roofing

Durability is a key characteristic of PVC. It started gathering pace in the UK to the 1970’s, so it has proven durability over the long run (1). Lifespan depends on workmanship factors and exposure to UV rays. South facing roofs will deteriorate faster than North facing roofs. Having a good maintenance programme in place is also a good idea as it will maximise the lifespan of the roof. UV rays shining directly on the roof can degrade the adhesives quickly over time.

Once the seams of PVC roofing systems are affected by UV light they start to become brittle and break down. This makes them vulnerable to leaks. If there’s a puncture, tear, or other damage to the roof, the UV rays coming into the adhesive layer can cause more damage with the adhesives deteriorating. A PVC roofing membrane is thermoplastic. This means at some point it will begin to degrade and break down as it's heated up. This can be accelerated by prolonged exposure to sunlight. Once the roof is exposed to a certain amount of sunlight it will no longer be UV stable. The UV resistance of a PVC roof can be improved by applying a solar reflective coating.

Additionally, PVC contains dangerous chemical additives including phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotin, which have been linked to child health problems. These toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time, posing unnecessary health risks to children (2).

Overcoming The Vulnerabilities Of PVC Roofing

PVC roof systems have many advantages with the main vulnerability being the seams in PVC.  This vulnerability is not unique to PVC membranes, any roof with seams has a vulnerability to leaks. Every single seam on a PVC single ply roof is a potential weak point. Before choosing a PVC roof, modern PU liquid roofing systems should be explored as they offer the same advantages as PVC but, provide better detailing and allow for a totally seamless finish. PU liquid system are particularly effective for flat roofing refurbishment projects.

Have Any Questions PVC Single Ply Roofing Systems?

If you would like advice or further information about PVC roof membranes, a quotation for PVC single ply roofing. Or if you need any help or advice about PVC roof repair or maintenance, please get in touch. You can do this through our contact form or call us on 01277 375 511. One of our friendly team of PVC single ply roofing experts will be delighted to help you.