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PVC Roofing: Is PVC Good For Roofing

May 18, 2022
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PVC is a perfect go-to option for replacing a roof with a low slope. However, it has its advantages and disadvantages. However, that doesn't stop it from shading you and your family. Besides, is made of very solid materials (chlorine and ethylene). Read further to find out if PVC is good for roofing.

What Is PVC?

The full meaning of PVC is Polyvinyl Chloride which is made up of chlorine and ethylene. They are derived from natural gas or processed salt. It could be installed mechanically using plates and special screws and adhered together using a bonding adhesive such as the Fleece Back roof system.

Additionally, just like TPO, the seams of PVCs are welded together using a heat welder.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of PVC

Polyvinyl Chloride has its advantages and disadvantages. Those are major factors that determine whether or not they're good for roofing. Let's go over some of them.

Advantages Of PVC

Below are some of the major advantages of using PVC for roofing:

  • Variety of Colors

PVCs are designed in different colors. Aside from the most commonly used white, there are other colors like gray and tan.

  • UV Resistance

PVC has a high capability to resist UV radiation. The white-colored PVC helps in reflecting the sun's rays. This helps to save money as it lowers the cost of cooling in warm climates. It also helps to minimize the heat island effect which occurs in urban areas.

  • Fire Resistance

This roofing type has all the requirements of a Class A fire rating and contains special chemicals which allow it to act as a self-extinguisher. In fact, PVC is more fire-resistant than TPO. Different tests have been carried out to prove that.

  • Variation in thickness

PVCs come in a variety of thickness sizes, allowing consumers to have multiple options to choose from. The thickness size is usually between 40 mils to 80 mils.

  • Puncture Resistance

Another major advantage of PVC is that it is highly resistant to punctures and tears. Research shows that it has withstood the 2-ich sized hail test and has a Class 4 hail damage rating.

  • Chemical Resistance

When it comes to resisting chemicals like grease and oil, PVC does that greatly. Thus, it's a perfect option for fast-food restaurants that use a lot of grease and oil when cooking. However, the grease trap exhaust fan sometimes allows grease to leak on the roof, which isn't so good.

  • Cost

Even though PVC is more expensive than EPDM, it's less costly than TPO. Averagely, PVC is priced between $75 to $250 per square. That excludes the cost of installation.

  • Lifespan

The life expectancy of PVC is between 20 to 30 years, and that's very normal for any good roof, including asphalt shingles.

  • Welded Seams

PVC's seams are heat welded using a special heat welder. These welded seams help in keeping water out. Anyway, that's if they're done properly. Note that heat-welded seams are more efficient than any other seam bonded together using adhesive tape.

  • Wind Resistance

PVC doesn't fall off even when there's a strong wind. Its wind uplift rating is high. Plus, it's known for withstanding category 3 hurricanes which are wind speeds between 110 mph to 130 mph.

  • Recyclable

Just like TPO and EPDM, PVC is recyclable. So, if your PVC roof gets old, you can get a recycling agency to turn your old roof into a new roof material, shipping material, picture frame, or athletic field.

  • Strength and Weight

PVC has a break strength of about 300 lbs per square inch, which is proof that it has strong durability. Also, it is a lightweight roof which means that as a single-ply roof system, you won't need multiple layers of PVC membrane. It weighs about 51 lbs per square.

  • Versatility and Flexibility

PVC can be used for both commercial and residential roofing. Aside from flat roofs, it can hold low slope roofs in place perfectly. In addition, it is more flexible than TPO. Most roofing contractors prefer using PVC rather than TPO because of its flexibility.

  • Temperature

This roof doesn't have temperature restrictions. As far as the temperature is above 58°F, it can be installed during winter seasons and cold temperatures. Using the heat welder to welder the seam will hold it in place, as long as the heat welder can increase the temperature of the PVC membrane to at least 1094°F to seal it properly. The weather can only make the welding process longer.

Disadvantages Of PVC

Here are some of the disadvantages that come with installing a PVC:

  • Toxic Chemicals

During production or burning, PVC releases toxic chemicals. One of the toxic chemicals it releases is dioxin which can cause cancer, developmental and reproductive problems, changing hormones, and damage to the immune system.

  • Removal of Old Roof

PVC can only be installed on a clean and smooth surface. If there is extra debris, it can puncture the membrane and cause leakage on the road. Most importantly, the old roof must be removed completely before PVC can be installed on top. This will take some extra time and labor costs.

  • Cold Climates

PVC does not do well in extremely cold environments. When it becomes too cold, PVC becomes brittle and can easily shatter or crack if walked on. The temperature range for PVC is between 50°C (58°F) to 175°C (347°F). If the temperature is not within this range, it may cause damage, rendering the roof useless.

Is PVC Good For Roofing?

PVC is the perfect option for roofing. It's especially good for those who need a roof that is flexible, and resistant to chemicals, animal grease, and fire. It's even a better option than EPDM.

TPO is no doubt another good option as it's more strong and more durable than PVC. PVC has more resistance qualities which makes it able to suit more specific needs than TPO.


You'll first have to decide on what your needs are. That way, you know if a PVC roofing system is what you need. Nevertheless, we highly recommend that you settle for PVC. If you have any doubts as to why you should use another roof, don't make the decision yourself. Contact a professional roofing contractor as there are certain things every roofer must know. At GAF Master Elite Flat & Shingle Roofer, we offer expert roofing services and we're capable of settling roofing needs.

Visit our office at 553 Prospect Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215 or call (646)-838-0441.

Royal Renovators Inc is Fully Licensed and Insured, with Offices Throughout the NYC Area.
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