While homeowners can expect many new roofing options for 2016, such as metal roofing, asphalt solar shingles, and even recycled asphalt shingles, one thing they might not expect is membrane roofing.
First, what is membrane roofing? Membrane roofing is a type of roofing originally used on commercial buildings, specifically to prevent leaks. A synthetic rubber, thermoplastic, or modified bitumen layer is stretched over the roof, creating a seam-free barrier. Membrane roofing comes in three basic types:
Synthetic Rubber (Thermoset) – This type of membrane roof is made of large, flat pieces of synthetic rubber bonded together at the seams to form one continuous membrane, which, when finished is usually between 30 and 60 mils (thousandths of an inch) in thickness.
Thermoplastic Membrane – Thermoplastic is similar to synthetic rubber, except that the seams are typically heat-fused (welded) or fused with solvents of heat to form a continuous membrane.
Modified Bitumen – This type of roofing is derived from asphalt and a variety of rubber modifiers and solvents, which is either heated to create a seal, or sealed with cold-applied adhesives or self-adhesive membranes.
Why is membrane roofing becoming more popular? The main reason is that membrane roofing seems to last longer and resist harsh weather much better than asphalt shingles. Why? Unlike typical asphalt roofing, membrane roofing, because it is seamless, resists expansion and contraction, which often leads to cracks and leaks. Also, membrane roofing reflects UV rays, which deteriorates a roof rather quickly, much better than asphalt.
The National Roofing Contractor Association has also embraced the idea of a seamless, more resistant roof and, in 2015, they released their first manual on membrane roofing.
Wondering if membrane roofing is right for you? The best place to start is with a licensed roofing contractor, who will begin by first inspecting your roof. Not all homes are a good fit for membrane roofing, however, particularly if your home has a flat or slightly shaped roof, a membrane roof may be an excellent choice.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national leader in hail damage restoration. ASAP has offices in Denver, Colorado, Indianapolis, Indiana, Dallas, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Atlanta, Georgia.