TPR Roofing is composed of thermoplastic membrane similar to synthetic rubber, but the seams are typically heat-fused (welded) to form a continuous membrane. The 'lap' seams can also be fused with solvents instead of heat, and can be as strong as the rest of the membrane. Other related materials are CPA, CPE, EIP, NBP, PIB, and TPO. Thermoplastic membranes include a reinforcement layer that provides more strength and stability. The most common thermoplastic membranes are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin).
Advantages Over Asphalt Flat Roofing Systems
These three application types of membrane roofing show distinct advantages over the previously more common flat roofing method of asphalt and gravel. In asphalt and gravel application, it can be very difficult to create a proper seal at all seams and connection points. This can cause a roof to leak early in its lifespan, and require much more maintenance. When installed correctly, newer materials are either seamless, or have seams as strong as the body. This eliminates most of the leakage concerns associated with flat roofing systems.
Repairs for asphalt and gravel roofs can be problematic, largely because it is difficult to locate the exact point of a leak. Newer systems can be patched relatively easily because breaks and leaks are easier to locate.
Originally asphalt roofing required a layer of gravel above it for two reasons. First, asphalt with direct exposure to sunlight degrades much faster, mainly due to the expansion and contraction throughout a day, and also the damage created by UV rays. Secondly, asphalt needs weight above to hold it down, because it sits on the top of a building, instead of being attached to it. Each of the three newer types of membrane roofing systems contain materials that resist expansion and contraction, as well as reflect much of the UV rays. Also, because these membranes either lack seams or have strong seams, what expansion and contraction does occur does not create leaks and breaks at these seams. These newer roofing systems are also attached directly to the top of a building, which eliminates the need for excess weight above.
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