The Benefits of a Fully Adhered Roof System

Today’s blog post takes a look at the merits of installing a fully adhered roof system on a commercial building. We start by examining what a fully adhered roof system is, and then proceed to examine the benefits it provides. We conclude by looking at this system in the context of a multi-ply spray foam roof system.

What is a Fully Adhered Roof?

commercial roofingAccording to industry experts, “fully adhered” refers to when a roofing product, such as EPDM membrane roofing, is “glued” to a substrate with a commercial-grade adhesive. These adhesive products are carefully engineered to have strong chemical bonding capabilities so the roofing material being applied stays tightly on top. An adhesive product is applied in a continuous layer along the dimensions of the rooftop – for instance, EPDM membrane roofing requires the adhesive to be applied to its backside as well as the dimensions of the substrate’s own.

Roofing professionals note it is best to adhere the membrane product to an insulation system. In most cases, commercial roofing contractors will use insulation cover board. When covering areas with angle changes, such as locations around rooftop units, walls, or curbs, the roof membrane is fastened and adhered for more effective long-term anchoring.

Building product manufacturers tend to give fully adhered roof systems the highest ratings for wind resistance. However, third party testing authority Factory Mutual assigns its highest wind ratings to mechanically fastened roof systems. Factory Mutual puts a higher premium on mechanically fastened roof systems in this performance measure since they are easily secured in weak points such as areas around a roof’s corners or perimeters.

What are the Benefits of Fully Adhered Roofing?

Ask about our fully adhered Conklin® Flexion membrane system!

  • Strong flexibility in temperature extremes
  • Natural premium fire resistance
  • Rugged durability and tensile strength
  • Reflects 83% of sun’s heat energy
  • Works in virtually all climates
  • 20-year, non-prorated warranty

Learn More

Installers are available

Despite concerns about wind uplift, a fully adhered roof has many benefits that offer value. Full adherence is particularly a regularly-used method for securing single-ply roofing systems to commercial building overheads. Here are four quick benefits that explain why this roofing system is valuable:

  • Fully adhered roof systems tend to have great aesthetic appeal.

Performance value, longevity, and long-term costs are all driving concerns for building architects and commercial construction professionals. But aesthetics is an important point of consideration as well. Other methods of securing a roof system to the substrate can be less appealing, as they make use of fasteners or ballast to keep the roof system anchored. The sight of many fasteners can disturb a commercial roof’s uniformity in its overall appearance. Moreover, ballast does not offer the flexibility for aesthetic concerns that full adherence can present. After all, the adhesive products that keep the roof membrane secured are hidden from view beneath the roof membrane’s surface.

  • Fully adhered roofs tend to have little trouble with roof membrane fluttering.

The popular alternative to a fully adhered roof, a mechanically fastened roof, makes use of fasteners to keep the roofing membrane secure. But these fasteners do not account for as much square footage of the commercial roofing membrane as adhesive products do. Once an insulation system has been fastened onto a roof deck, in a fully adhered roof system every square foot of the membrane is secured to the insulation system. Because of the membrane’s stronger bonds to the insulation per square foot, the installed roof membrane tends not to flutter around as much when powerful winds roll around.

  • Full roof adhesion is a time-tested roof securing method.

Innovations in the commercial construction sector have brought about many product novelties, such as cool roof coatings and their applications. Drawing from this wave of innovation, new methods for construction work like full roof adhesion arose in the 1960s. Fully adhered roofs specifically appeared in the mid-1960s, and ever since then full adhesion has become a time-proven method in the process of roof installation. Today, millions of square feet of fully adhered single-ply roofing systems have been installed. Many commercial building owners opt to have their roofs installed to the underlying substrate with this method due to fully adhered roofs’ performance value and track record of longevity, as seen in many single-ply roofs today.

The areas where a fully adhered system can begin peeling and then fail – namely the areas around roof perimeters, curbs, walls, and appliances—can be addressed by ensuring these areas stay strong and intact. Cutting down on opportunities for air infiltration into the roof system will also help—the seal-up of deck and wall interfaces are what is needed there.

Fully Adhered, Multi-Ply Conklin® Spray Polyurethane Foam System

spray foam roofingAs a nationwide network of commercial roofing specialists, Choice Roof Contractor Group understands the benefits and challenges that come with a fully adhered roof. That is why members of Choice Roof Contractors offer a multi-ply spray polyurethane foam system that makes up for the weaknesses to which a fully adhered roof is prone.

Breaking it down, this multi-ply system is composed of:

  • Spray polyurethane foam insulation system
  • Base coat of roof coating product
  • Fabric-embedded coating system
  • Two layers of top-coat roof coating product

On top of being a fully adhered system, this multi-ply roof is made up of many alternating layers of fully adhered, monolithic roof coating and spray foam products. It is completely without seams, which makes it impervious to leaks, and it therefore offers many benefits:

  • Significant tensile strength and exceptional durability
  • Performance value equivalent to that of a multi-layered built-up roofing system
  • Substantially improved wind resistance and greatly strengthened building structure provided by the multiple layers of roofing product applications
  • Roof damage is localized and repairs are easily made
  • Exceptionally long roof lifecycle—easily 40+ years or more—with proper roof maintenance and caretaking
  • Strong-performing roof system that generates huge savings on cooling and heating costs year-round
  • Completely seamless, completely waterproof, and fully adhered roof protection so leaks and other roof problems are kept at bay
  • No lateral water travel possible with a multi-ply spray polyurethane foam system
  • Easily applied on rooftops with challenging architectural designs or areas with difficult angle changes
  • Backed by non-prorated warranty guarantee covering 100% of labor and material costs

Should you be interested in learning more about how this roofing system offers substantial protection value and energy savings over the long term, do not hesitate to contact us at 800-670-5583.

Ian Myers on Linkedin
Written by: Ian Myers
Ian Myers
Ian was the very first team member brought on by the original co-founders of the Choice Roof Contractor Group to assist with nationwide growth. Since then he has written 120+ blog posts and provided excellent support to the roofing contractors in the group. Through his multiple roles in the commercial roofing industry, he has gained tremendous knowledge in the sector.