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Denver Roofing: Article About Membrane Roofs

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Membrane roofing materials are most commonly used on commercial buildings. However, they are an option that can be considered for any flat or nearly flat roof. These membranes form a single, solid surface that can resist weather. Often, this solution outperforms asphalt and gravel roofs. Denver roofing experts note that there are three types of membrane roofing materials. All of them have similar advantages and disadvantages when compared with asphalt and gravel materials.

The first type of membrane roof is synthetic rubber roofing. Rubber mats are adhered to the roof and fused together with the use of a bonding agent. The result is a single, continuous, waterproof layer of material that protects the roof deck. One potential drawback of this roofing type is that the seams are often slightly weaker than the rest of the membrane. However, when compared to asphalt and gravel, the solid membrane is less susceptible to leaking. Materials used as synthetic rubber membranes include CPSE, CR and ECR.

The second type of membrane roof is the thermoplastic membrane. This material has much in common with synthetic rubber in how it is applied. Mats of thermoplastic membrane are adhered to the roof and then fused together. The difference is the nature of this fusion. With thermoplastic membranes, the mats are fused together using heat or a solvent. The seams melt together, leaving a single, seamless membrane.

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This resolves one of the primary drawbacks of synthetic rubber membranes. In a thermoplastic membrane, the seams are just as resilient as the mats. Materials in this category include CPA, CPE, EIP, NBP, PIB and TPO.

The final type of membrane roof is the modified bitumen membrane. This material uses a mix of asphalt and rubber. In many ways, modified bitumen mats look similar to giant asphalt shingles. These mats are rolled out on a layer of asphalt and are heat fused to the roof deck and to each other. This creates a single membrane that protects the roof. Materials in this category include APP, SBS and SEBS.

All three roofing types have a few advantages over the traditional built up roof. One advantage is that asphalt and gravel roofs are much more difficult to apply to provide a complete layer of protection. It is easy for roofers to not lay complete enough coverage, and this leads to leaks very early after the roof has been applied. Additionally, repairing an asphalt and gravel roof is much more difficult. The layer of gravel makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly where leaks are occurring.

Membrane roofs represent a next step in the evolution of flat roofing, and are a strongly recommended option for such roofs.

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