Single Ply PVC or TPE? 

Single Ply PVC or TPE

Choosing the right option for your roof, without professional support, can be a challenge. From designing for insulation or efficiency, to style and visual appeal, there are a number of considerations you will need to bear in mind. And even once you have decided on a single ply membrane, you will then need to choose between a PVC or a TPE type of roofing material. But what is the difference? Which should you choose? Well, here at Enviroply Roofing we take care of all these decisions for you, so you can get on with running your company or business. As the North West’s leading roofing professionals, we provide high quality, professional roofing solutions for properties around the North West region, from Manchester to Blackpool, using both TPE and PVC to create the result and effect we need. As a result, we have produced this guide comparing PVC and TPE single ply roofs, two of the major players in the single ply roofing world.


What is single ply PVC?

To compare these two different options, it’s important to understand what each one is.

PVC stands for Poly Vinyl Chloride and this is the most popular single ply roofing membrane, making up around 80% of the UK market! This is flexible durable, incredibly easy to install, available in a wide range of colours, with heat welded joints.

What is single ply TPE?

TPE stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin Elastomer, and this is a product developed to improve upon some of the characteristics of the earlier TPO. As such, it is very easy to install, with low welding temperature capability, and is also 100% recyclable. TPE also has re-healing capabilities so that small punctures can be resealed using the application of heat.


Single ply PVC compared to single ply TPE

Comparing these two types of single ply roof involves looking at the different areas of functionality including:

  • UV protection
  • Installation
  • Repair

UV protection

PVC was generally thought of as the best option for UV stability and protection throughout previous years. But since the late 90’s, and the development of a uniquely formulated TPE membrane, PVC finally has an effective competitor. Unlike TPO roofing materials, both PVC and TPE provide full UV stability and protection throughout the whole single ply membrane, to ensure that any roof will last a long time and be resistant to all kinds of UV exposure.


The biggest difference between these two types of roof is the welding during installation. TPE single ply roofs can be successfully and efficiently welded at typical temperatures of 200°C to 600°C, while PVC membranes will need at least 360°C. This ultimately means that the TPE membrane will more likely to weld satisfactorily in any challenging site situation or condition. With a PVC roof, you may need to wait for suitable conditions, although it won’t usually be a long waiting period.


Another difference between these two roofing types is the repair process. Although both of these membrane types are durable and reliable, they may very occasionally become damaged. And this means that fast and efficient repair will be top of your agenda. Well, you’ll be glad to know that each of these types of membranes can be repaired very easily and quickly. The PVC membrane will need to be patch repaired though, and this can alter the aesthetic of your roof. TPE can most often be repaired just with heat.

In summary

Ultimately, both PVC and TPE single ply roofs can be a great choice for your property, offering protection, aesthetic appeal, and longevity. But if you are installing a single ply roof in tricky conditions and situations, the low welding temperature capability of TPE could be a big advantage. For professional advice for your roof, why not get in touch with the team today, here at Enviroply Roofing?