PVC Roofing Systems: Benefits & Issues FAQ
When was PVC or Vinyl roofing systems introduced to the market? Can they be included in the list of the best systems for commercial purposes?
PVC, also called the polyvinyl chloride roofing system, originally came from Europe in the early sixties. During that time, single-ply commercial roofing materials were still new in the market. Since then, the popularity of these commercial roofs has continued to grow. According to research, the PVC or the vinyl roofs occupy the largest percentage of the European market. For more than a decade, the roofing system has dominated the commercial roofing industry in North America and the United States. Due to the high-quality and the rate at which it was growing, the PVC system was certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and given the name Standard Specification for Poly (Vinyl chloride) sheet roofing. However, this label is updated frequently. Today, PVC is known in almost every corner of the world.
Why are PVC roofs better than other roofs?
It is evident that since they were introduced to the market, PVC roofs have continued to not only attract many customers but also beat its competitors. There are various factors that have contributed to this growth and have made PVC roofs to stand out. For example, the roofs can withstand any weather; they are long-lasting, energy-efficient, safe from fire due to their flame resistance and require very little maintenance. Other benefits of installing PVC roofs include easy installation, environmental-friendliness, ability to resist chemicals and the ability to reflect heat and solar energy. The best thing about these roofs is that they are pocket-friendly and can also be recycled or used. This shows that manufacturers care about their customers. These benefits are explained below;
- PVC roofs help in saving energy – There are different ways in which these roofs are energy efficient. To start with, the roofing system is very good at tapping solar energy. If you have installed solar panels on your house, these roofs will reflect the sunlight for you and help you save the money you spend on electricity. PVC roofs have insulation qualities which not only make them long-lasting but also help the underlying insulators perform better. If you live in areas with extreme temperatures, you should consider installing PVC roofs because they reflect heat and cool the air inside the house thus making the place more comfortable. You might not even need air conditioning equipment in your house.
- The sustainability of the PVC roofing systems – Another reason why PVC roofs are special is that they are sustainable. This information has been confirmed by more than twenty six Life cycle Assessments (LCAs). These roofs help in reducing the pollution that is caused by urban heat islands. When these roofs are being manufactured, very little energy is used.
- They are durable – PVC roofs can remain in a very good condition for as long as twenty years. They can even serve you for thirty years if they are well-maintained. These systems are waterproof meaning that they are less likely to rot, rust or corrode. The mechanical fastening systems ensure that they cannot be damaged by storms, strong wind or very high temperatures. The long-term performance of these roofs is also a result of their high resistance to fire and other harmful substances such as chemicals.
- They are affordable and cost-effective – PVC roofs can save the money of the customer in that they do not get damaged easily. This means that customers do not have to keep spending their money on these roofs. During installation, very little manpower is required. Since these roofs can reflect solar energy, they relieve customers the burden of paying huge electricity bills. In the long run, you find that they are very cost-effective.
The roofing system is environment-friendly
Environment sustainability and safety are experienced in the system’s production, installation, and disposal. This information is based on the assessments carried out by various organizations such as the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Environment Health Hazard Assessment, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), British Board of Agreement (BBA) and many others. Unlike those other roofs, PVC roofs can be renewed and recycled because the membrane contains more than 60% renewable materials. When these roofs are being manufactured, very little waste products such as greenhouse gases are released in the air during different stages of the process including the production, the shipment, the installation, and disposal. Since the roofing system is easy to install, there are no scraps left behind to pollute the environment.
Does PVC cause toxic gases during accidental building fires?
The organic substances that burn during accidental fires release toxic gases such as hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. PVC is not different from those organic materials. However, Vinyl is safer because of its fire resistance properties. This means that if you install these roofs in your residence and commercial properties, they will rarely catch fire and if they do, the roofs will prevent it from spreading.
Aren’t PVC roofing systems made from very dangerous substances?
When chlorine is in its elemental form, it can be very poisonous gas. However, this gas occurs naturally and can be found in rocks and huge water bodies. In fact, human beings, animals and plants need to use it as a nutrient. During the production of vinyl, the pale green gas is extracted from salt and then locked chemically into the product. This chemical process ensures that the chlorine will never be released into the atmosphere even when the PVC roofs burn.
Is it true that PVC roofs cannot be recycled?
No, it is not true. Vinyl roofs are different from all others because they can be recycled as many times as possible. For example, Europe and the United States are some of the regions where PVCs are reprocessed and converted into new roofing materials. This process is made easier by the recycling programs invented by PVC roofing manufacturers. This quality is what qualifies PVC products, specifically liners to be used to prevent contamination in landfills.