Single-Ply Roof on Metal vs. A Better Alternative

single-ply-recover-collapseSingle-ply roofing has taken a massive share of the commercial roofing industry. It has a lengthy list of advantages and there are millions of square feet installed across the country every year. The ease and cost of installation are what appeal to building owners. However, most contractors and proprietors are unaware of the damages that single-ply membranes cause to metal buildings that have metal roofs. To get right to the point, single-ply roofing is a terrible option in this circumstance.

The Reason Single-Ply Roofing on All-Metal Buildings Doesn’t Work

Buildings that are made for single-ply membranes will be supported by bar joists that act independently from one another. Bar joists have a built-in camber, an upward curvature of a joist to compensate for deflection due to loading conditions, to aide with creating a level surface for water flow. Whereas, a pre-fab metal building is designed for balance across the entire structure with purlins, a horizontal structural component that is attached perpendicularly to the joist to create support, that work in unison.

Creating water flow with proper direction is essential to the success of your roofing membrane and your metal structure. A ribbed metal roof will direct water rather than allow it the chance to flow where it wills. When a single-ply membrane is applied to your metal roof, water flow is altered and will then flow to the path of least resistance, the mid-span of the purlins. This creates an unbalanced weight, the potential for a roof collapse and challenges the integrity of your entire structure.

A Far Better Solution

Finding the right roofing solution for your pre-engineered metal building is key to its longevity. Roof coatings are an excellent way to improve, maintain and extend the life of your roof while creating a properly balanced condition that appeals to the design of your metal building.

Some of the key benefits of a roof coating include the following.

single-ply-recover-collapseReduction in energy usage: White roof coatings reflect light rather than allowing your roof to absorb the sun’s heat, which results in decreased roof temperatures.  This directly effects your energy usage by giving your HVAC system a much-needed break. 

Visually appealing: Rather than replacing an unsightly roof, a water-tight coating can instantly improve its appearance while improving your roof’s overall efficiency.

Improved life expectancy: Properly trained applicators can improve moderately aged roofs with a water-tight coating that will extend the life of your roofing system for years to come.

Re-Coating options: A roof that has been coated and properly maintained may have the option to be re-coated for even longer life. A future recoat saves building owners a tremendous amount of money and time in the process. It is actually far less expensive than the first time the roof is coated since reinforcement on the seams and other areas is typically not needed.

No disruptive and costly tear off procedures: Industry studies show that roofing projects generate around 40% of construction waste in landfills. With a roof coating, there is no need for a disruptive and extensive removal of your old roofing system as coatings are applied directly to your existing unit. Notably, this means there is no disruption to your business while the roof’s life is extended and leaks are sealed off.

Cost effective: When compared to a total roof replacement, you are saving your business money and something even more precious… time. Coatings reduce the need for extensive roof maintenance and provide your roof with additional years of leak-free protection for your metal structure.

Proper weight distribution: Coatings will not alter the design of your roofing system; therefore, water will continue to flow correctly without creating ponding like single-ply membranes are prone to do.

Less expensive than single-ply: On top of all the other reasons above, restoring your roof with coatings is actually cheaper. The main issue here is that roof coatings aren’t as well-known, but that is sure to change as more and more building owners learn of the advantages.  

Determining the Best Option for Your Roof

Finding the right roofing solution for your pre-engineered metal structure will determine how long and how well your building will appropriately perform. To ensure the success of your facility and your roofing system, turn to a professional commercial roofing contractor. The right contractor understands the limitations of a metal edifice and will take the time to assess your roof, your entire metal structure and listen to your concerns.

The endorsed members in our group are fully trained to install single-ply membranes as well as roof coatings. Collectively, they have the expertise needed to properly address virtually any situation and give knowledgeable advice.

To have a local member evaluate your roof, please call (800) 670-5883.

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Written by: Cami Cox
Cami Cox
Cami is one of the main writers at Choice Roof Contractor Group. Leveraging her unique background in the space and more than a decade of professional writing experience, she has written countless articles on the various aspects of commercial roofs and has gained the respect of building owners and contractors across the country.