The roof for any commercial property is exposed to all manner of weather conditions as well as almost constant UV radiation. This is something that can cause significant damage to any commercial roof, unless you opt for a single ply membrane. But what type of damage can UV exposure cause, and why should you choose single ply roofing for maximum UV protection?
What are the problems associated with UV radiation?
UV radiation is one of the biggest causes of roof damage for commercial roofs. This can cause a wide range of problems for flat roofs using asphalt or felt, including:
- Blistering on the surface of the roof- constant exposure to the UV rays, as well as all manner of weather conditions, can cause the surface of a commercial flat roof to blister. This occurs when the surface becomes cracked in the sun, and then water enters these cracks pushing the roof covering up and away from the roof, making the problem worse. This can lead to leaks within the roof system and can cause damage to your commercial property.
- Deterioration of the roof- constant and direct exposure to UV light can cause the roof itself to begin to deteriorate, whether this is a metal roof or a felt roof. The light reacts to the chemicals within the roof surface, causing this to deteriorate consistently over time.
- Damage to roof sealants- another significant issue related to UV radiation on commercial flat roofs is the damage this can cause to the roof sealants. These are applied to flat roofs to add protection to the roof system, especially for additional weather protection, including snow protection. UV exposure can break down the chemicals in the sealants which means that these can no longer function properly, leaving your flat roof exposed and unprotected.
- Condensation problems in the loft space- if UV damage is left for extended periods of time without being identified this can cause water ingress into the roof and can result in a build up of moisture and condensation within the loft or ceiling space. This can be costly to repair.
Why should you choose single ply roofing for maximum UV protection?
Opting for a single ply roofing system can be a great way to protect your roof from UV damage and ensure that your commercial roof will have the long life span you are expecting. There are a number of reasons for this including:
- Stringent UV testing- single ply membranes are professionally and stringently tested for UV protection and for UV ageing to the highest international standard for waterproofing membranes. This requires exposure to 5,000 hours of UV testing, without damage or deterioration. However, some manufacturers like Sika are dedicated to going above and beyond, with their membranes withstanding more than 10,000 hours of UV exposure.
- Single ply membrane composition- single ply membranes are made from a range of synthetic polymers that may be reinforced with glass or polyester. These membrane compositions are naturally UV resistant, especially those made with TPE (Thermoplastic Polyolefin Elastomer).
- Reflective surfaces- single ply membranes are often reflective and this means that they can direct UV rays away from your commercial roof and prevent them from causing harm.
What are the other benefits of single ply roofing?
Single ply roofing isn’t just UV resistant, as this can also bring a number of other advantages to your commercial property. These advantages include:
- Flexibility- single ply roofing is very flexible so that unique designs can be created and buildings with unusual shapes and parapets can be fully protected.
- Durability- single ply membrane is a hard-wearing and durable option for commercial flat roofs as this can withstand all weather conditions and even withstand animal damage.
- Ease of installation- with a professional team like ours here at Enviroply Roofing, installing a single ply membrane couldn’t be easier. The membranes are lightweight and flexible making for an easier install than felt or metal roofing.