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Cottage Grove Roofing: Article About The Strengths Of Commercial Roofing Membranes

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If you own a commercial building that has a flat roof, you may be familiar with PVC or TPO as common choices for roofing material. While both of these materials have reputations for being durable, it is important to know which one is best equipped to withstand the damage that is caused by punctures.

Punctures are a common reason for roof repair and can result from sharp roofing tools being dropped during routine maintenance or from a roofer stepping on an errant nail or a jagged piece of gravel. If you are in the market for a new roof and want to choose the right kind of roofing membrane for your building, a Cottage Grove roofing specialist may be able to help you determine which of the two roofing materials will work best for your situation.

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a synthetic plastic that is engineered to withstand tough conditions. It is available in various gauges, the most common of which include 30-mil, 45-mil and 50-mil thicknesses.

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Low-speed and high-speed puncture testing, which drop sharp and blunt objects at varying speeds, are routinely performed on the different gauges; the higher the thickness or weight of the PVC, the better it can withstand punctures. The three standard gauges of PVC membranes made by a variety of manufacturers consistently perform well in puncture tests that use low speeds. However, only the 45-mil and 50-mil gauges perform well under the tests that use objects falling at increasingly higher speeds.

Roofing membranes composed of TPO, or thermoplastic olefin, are single-ply membranes that are known for being extremely resistant to damages from ultraviolet rays and ozone. Like PVC membranes, TPO membranes are also available in a wide range of gauges. The performance of TPO membranes under the same tests performed on PVC membranes indicate that the thicker the TPO membrane, the better it is able to bear punctures. The TPO membranes that have lower gauges but are reinforced with fleece material show the same endurance as the thicker membranes.

For the most part, it is the thickness of a PVC or TPO membrane that determines whether it can hold up against accidental punctures, although a TPO membrane with a smaller thickness can display the same endurance if it is backed with fleece. Your roofing contractor may also recommend TPO roofing membranes because they are easier to install than PVC membranes and are less expensive and more energy efficient.

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