Choosing A Single Ply Roof Solution

The nature of single-ply membranes allows for a lightweight, safe and rapid roof waterproofing installation.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and FPO (Flexible polyolefin) single ply membranes often come in various grades of thickness and can include fleecebacked versions for adhered systems and non-fleecebacked grades for mechanical fastening, providing the specifier a versatile single-ply roofing solution for a wide range of projects types and building constructions.

PVC and FPO membranes are heat welded at the seams giving superior protection against leaks as the two sheets are fused together which forms a complete and durable roofing membrane system.

Single-ply membranes are given UV stabilisers allowing for long term use in exposed roof applications.
Single-ply membranes may have polyester or glass reinforcements.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and FPO (Flexible polyolefin) share many common characteristics, neither can claim an overall superiority over the other, however particular characteristics of each of these two polymers can be exploited by the specifier to enhance the specification of their single ply roofing system.

The table below illustrates the general characteristics of these two polymers.   

PVC Membranes FPO Membranes
Track Record PVC membranes have been in use since the 1960s and therefore have many decades of proven life.

FPO’s are a more recent development, but have decades of proven life.

FPO’s possess excellent weathering properties.

Installation PVC’s are soft and highly flexible. FPO’s are flexible but do not contain plasticisers which makes them slightly stiffer in feel compared to PVC’s.
Green, Inverted, and ballasted roofs PVC’s can be more susceptible to mico-organism attack, and so special grades of membrane are required for use in buried applications, such as inverted or green roofs. FPO’s are resistant to micro-organism attack which makes FPO’s suitable for use in buried applications such as ballasted or green roof applications, without the need for special grades of membrane.
Fire Resistance The manufacturing formulation of PVC roof membranes gives them inherent properties in relation to fire performance. FPO’s have additives to enhance their fire performance
Compatibility PVC’s are not compatible with bitumen and other oil based products such as polystyrene insulations (eg expanded and extruded polystyrenes). FPO’s are compatible with bitumen making them ideal for use in both new and refurbishment projects.

FPO’s are compatible with other oil based products such as polystyrene insulations.
Environmental PVC’s can be recycled, and may be used to form lower grade products.

Icopal is supporting and giving commitment to the Roofcollect® PVC recycling system.
FPO’s can be recycled at the end of their life. If the products have been contaminated and cannot be recycled then their incineration does not produce any harmful gases.

FPO’s are generally considered environmentally friendly and long lasting.

FPO’s contain no harmful chlorines.


Read more about;

Monarplan PVC Membranes

Monarfin FPO Synthetic Membranes


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