Single-Ply Roof Restoration


While single-ply roofs (TPO, EPDM, and PVC) are excellent economical choices for your new roofing system they don’t last forever. The seams will fail and the penetrations will begin to leak. In most cases they require a full tearoff of the existing roof which will cost you a fortune in disposal and labor fees.

Our Smartsolutions provide you one of our Single-Ply Fluid Applied Restoration Systems, which offers you a low life cycle cost alternative with a sustainable renewable warranty. Warranties are available from 10-25 years and can be renewed for an additional 10-years when the warranty expires.


Single ply membranes are strong, flexible sheets composed predominately of synthetic polymer. Thickness is in the range 40 – 80 mils. Some products are homogeneous, others reinforced with glass fiber or polyester, depending upon the application. They are sealed at joints by either hot air welding or using self-adhesive tape to form continuous waterproofing. When combined with insulation and continuous support they form complete, durable roof systems. Single-ply technology offers maximum freedom of choice in roof design, performance and appearance to suit new construction and refurbishment.

There are basically 3 common types of single ply roofing used in the commercial and industrial roofing industry today.

EPDM- (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer): is basically a synthetic rubber material. It has many useful purposes due to its flexibility when used as a gasket, tubing and has excellent electrical insulating properties and roofing membranes. It has satisfactory compatibility with fireproof hydraulic fluid, hot & cold water, ketones, but is non-compatible with most oils, gasoline, kerosene, certain solvents or concentrated acids. The problem with the older black EPDM membranes is they retain heat and will begin to shrink and suffer from seams opening creating hard to find leaks.

TPO- (Thermo-Plastic Polyolefin): is a hot air welded thermo-plastic single-ply roofing membrane. TPO is manufactured by several manufactures and was created to be better than EPDM. TPO is a fairly newer roof system only 15-25 years and in some cases is in its fourth generation of reformulation. In a study done by WSRCA (Western States Roofing Contractors Association) “TPO Study” showed TPO roofs lose a minimum of 1mil of thickness per year and some TPO’s lose as much as 2 mil per year (in 10 yrs. that will be 20 mil-imagine that on a 45 mil membrane) TPO essentially consists of 3 ply’s of material (top ply, scrim and bottom ply). Average top ply is 12-15 mils, which means once you’re down to the scrim, the roof is gone, and the UV will eat the scrim and bottom ply; not to mention that the scrim is a wicking scrim which means that during rain it wicks moisture within the membrane causing leaks. Therefore it requires caulking on the cut seams of all newly installed TPO roofs.

PVC- (Polyvinyl Chloride): is also known as a vinyl roof and is typically reinforced with fiberglass mats or polyester. Both TPO and PVC roof systems are highly resistant to tears, impacts, punctures, and are algae resistant. These roof products contain colorants and flame retardants and come if a variety of colors, with white being the most popular. The white roof is considered to be a “cool roof” as it is an energy efficient product that reflects the suns heat. TPO and PVC roofs are environmentally friendly and recyclable products. Like TPO, PVC roofs lose about a mil of thickness per year from UV degradation.

There are three standard application methods for TPO, PVC & EPDM Roofing:

  • Fully Adhered – this system requires using a solvent or water-based adhesive to adhere the membrane to the substrate or insulation board.
  • Mechanically Fastened – This method is done by attaching the membrane to the deck using mechanical fasteners along each loose edge of the material.
  • Loose Laid / Ballasted– this application is done by fastening the perimeter of the membrane and then the roof is covered with gravel to secure the loose laid sections into place.
  • All 3 roof types when new can provide reliable protection but as they begin to break down you basically create a “pool” with a hole in it, which can cause large scale damage and loss of business.

Problems with Single-Ply Roofs

  • We have performed 1000’s of roof inspections and the common problem that we see with all 3 types of Single-Ply roofs are:
  • Membrane shrinkage, which leads to tears and leaks, wind damage, and ultimate premature roof failure
  • Seams fail and open up allowing water to enter the roof system and ultimately the inside of the building
  • The membrane deteriorates rapidly each year from the UV Light leaving the scrim showing typically as early as 5-10 years. Once this happens it is time for one of our Smartsolutions Fluid Applied Coating Systems.
  • Fasteners will come loose and puncture the membrane rather easily leaving the roof to leak.

Smartrestore Fluid Applied Coatings can solve your single-ply problems
and offers you a 10-25-year warranty.