Single-ply membrane is a singular piece of rubber membrane that is installed over the roof substrate to create a water-proof roof surface. In the roofing industry the term “rubber” is often used to refer specifically to EPDM rubber. EPDM is typically a black membrane that is like a tire inner tube. In the interest of keeping it simple, we interchange the words and refer to any single-ply membrane as rubber and then differentiate between them by the use of the acronyms attributed to them by their chemical/physical properties. Just as it is with most products, not all single-ply rubbers are created equal. There are a wide range of single-ply rubber membranes that are available today and with the years of experience MEB Systems Inc. has to offer, we can easily navigate the waters for you, saving you time and money.
We have been working with white, reflective, energy efficient roofs since our inception in 1977. White roofs not only reduce cooling costs but decrease the rate of deterioration of roofing materials due to UV degradation and damage caused by large, rapid fluctuation in temperatures commonly found in metropolitan area urban heat islands.
Single-ply membranes make up the highest percentage of roof systems currently in use today. PVC, TPO, EPDM, CSPE (hypalon) are the main single-ply membranes (rubbers) available. Most single-ply rubber membranes consist of two separate plies of rubber that are laminated together with some type of scrim (fabric) embedded in the center. Of the four categories of rubber listed above, EPDM typically does not contain scrim though it is available with scrim reinforcement. PVC, TPO, and CSPE (hypalon) all have hot-air welded seams whereas EPDM is typically seamed with tapes and adhesives. Single plies are typically classified by mil thickness which typically range from 30 mils to 80 or even 90 mil sheets. For example, a 60-mil sheet is 60,000th of an inch thick. It is easy to think that the higher the mils, the better the rubber sheet. While this can be true, it’s best not to assume this is the case. A high-quality single-ply which is 45 mils thick may easily outperform thicker single-ply membranes on the market