Single Ply Roofing: All The Details You Need To Know

Single Ply Roofing All the Details You Need to Know

When it comes to roofing materials, there are a variety of options available. Each type has unique benefits and drawbacks, from traditional shingles to metal panels. One lesser-known but highly effective roofing material is single ply roofing.

Single ply roofing refers to a type of membrane roofing that consists of a single layer of synthetic polymer or rubber material, typically reinforced with polyester or fiberglass. This lightweight yet durable material is gaining popularity in the construction industry for its many advantages.

This guide will explore a single ply roof membrane details and how much it costs. 

What Is Single Ply Roofing?

What is Single Ply Roofing

Single ply roofing is a type of membrane roofing made from synthetic polymer or rubber. The two most common types are thermoset membranes (EPDM) and thermoplastic membranes (TPO and PVC). These materials are manufactured in large rolls and then installed on flat or low-sloped roofs.

The installation process usually involves attaching the membrane to the roof deck with adhesive, fasteners, or heat welding. Single ply roofing can also be ballasted with gravel or pavers for added stability.

Single Ply Membrane Roof Cost

Single Ply Membrane Roof Cost

The cost of single ply roofing can vary depending on several factors such as the type of material used, the size and complexity of the roof, and location. On average, a single-ply membrane can cost anywhere from $3 to $7 per square foot.

EPDM is typically the most affordable option, with an average cost of $4 to $5 per square foot. TPO falls in the middle range at $5 to $6 per square foot, while PVC is usually the most expensive option at $6 to $7 per square foot.

In addition to materials, labor costs are also a significant factor in the overall cost of single-ply roofing installation.

Location can also play a role in the cost of single-ply roofing. Areas with higher costs of living and stricter building codes may have higher labor and material costs, which can drive up the overall price.

Keep in mind that while single-ply roofing may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional materials like asphalt shingles, its durability, and longevity can save you money in the long run

Single Ply Roofing Installation: Step-By-Step Guide


  1. Plan And Prepare: Before beginning any roofing project, it’s important to thoroughly plan and prepare the area. This includes measuring the roof, clearing debris, and ensuring all necessary tools and materials are on hand.
  2. Install Insulation Board: Single ply membranes require a flat surface for installation, so an insulation board is typically installed first to create a smooth base. This also helps with energy efficiency by providing an added layer of insulation.
  3. Lay Out Membrane Sheets: The single ply membrane sheets are then rolled out over the entire roof surface, starting from one end and working towards the other. The sheets should overlap each other by several inches to ensure a watertight seal.
  4. Secure Membrane Sheets: Once all of the sheets have been laid out, they are secured in place using adhesive or mechanical fasteners. The type of attachment method will depend on the specific membrane being used and the condition of the roof.
  5. Heat-Weld Seams: To create a completely watertight seal, the seams between each membrane sheet must be heat-welded together. This process involves using a hot air gun to melt the edges of the sheets and fuse them.
  6. Install Flashing Details: Flashing is important for directing water away from areas where different materials meet on the roof, such as around vents, chimneys, and skylights. It is typically installed after the single ply membrane is in place.
  7. Complete Finishing Touches: Once the single ply membrane is installed and the seams are heat-welded, there are a few finishing touches that need to be done. This includes installing edge metal, which serves as a protective barrier for the roof edges, as well as adding any necessary caulking or sealant to ensure a watertight seal.

Single Ply Roof Membrane Types 


Thermoset Membranes (EPDM)

Thermoset membranes, also known as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), are made from a synthetic rubber material. They are highly durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions. These membranes come in large sheets that are adhered together with an adhesive or secured with mechanical fasteners.

Thermoplastic Membranes 

Thermoplastic membranes, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPO (thermoplastic olefin), are made from plastic materials. They offer excellent resistance to UV rays and chemicals, making them ideal for commercial and industrial roofing applications. These membranes are also heat-welded at the seams to create a watertight seal, providing extra protection against leaks.

Modified Bitumen Membranes

Modified bitumen membranes are made from asphalt and provide a more traditional roofing option. They come in rolls that are laid down on the roof and then adhered together with heat or an adhesive. These membranes offer good flexibility and can be installed in various ways, including cold adhesion, hot mopping, and torch application.

How Thick Is Single Ply Roofing?


The thickness of single ply roofing membranes can vary depending on the specific material used and the manufacturer’s specifications. Generally, they range from 45 mils (about 1.14 mm) to 90 mils (about 2.29 mm). Some manufacturers may offer thicker options for increased durability or added insulation.

Thin single ply membranes, around 45-60 mils, are typically used for residential or low-slope commercial roofs. They provide adequate protection against weather elements and UV rays while also being cost-effective.

Thicker membranes, around 80-90 mils, are more commonly used in high-risk areas such as regions with extreme weather conditions or buildings with heavy foot traffic. These thicker membranes offer better resistance to punctures and tears, making them ideal for buildings with higher exposure to potential roof damage.

Single Ply Roofing Lifespan


The lifespan of a single ply roofing system can vary depending on factors such as thickness, material, and installation quality. However, most manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 20-30 years for their single ply membranes.

Proper maintenance and professional roof inspections can also help extend the lifespan of a single ply roof. This includes removing debris and inspecting for any signs of damage or wear. In areas with harsh weather conditions, it may be necessary to conduct more frequent inspections.

Single Ply Roofing Pros And Cons



  • Cost-Effective: Single ply roofing systems are generally more affordable than traditional built-up roofs due to their simpler installation process and use of less material
  • Light Weight: Single ply membranes are significantly lighter than other roofing materials, making them ideal for buildings that can’t support heavy loads.
  • Energy Efficient: Single ply roofs have reflective properties that help reduce heat absorption, resulting in lower energy bills for the building owner.
  • Durable: With proper maintenance, single ply roofing can last up to 30 years, making it a long-term investment for the building owner.


  • Vulnerability To Punctures: Single ply membranes are susceptible to being punctured by sharp objects or foot traffic on the roof, leading to leaks and damage.
  • Limited Repair Options: Single ply roofs can be difficult to repair due to their membrane structure, unlike other roofing materials due to their membrane structure. Sometimes, a damaged area may need to be completely replaced rather than repaired.
  • Not Suitable For All Climates: Single ply roofing is best suited for moderate and warm climates, as extreme temperatures can cause the material to expand or contract, leading to potential damage.
  • May Require Professional Installation: Installing a single-ply roof requires specialized equipment and expertise, so it is recommended that a professional roofing contractor be hired for the job.


Single-ply roofing offers a modern and efficient solution for residential and commercial roofing needs. Its lightweight, flexible, and durable nature makes it popular for various projects. With its ease of installation and energy efficiency, single-ply roofing presents a compelling option for those seeking reliable, cost-effective roofing solutions.

For all your residential and commercial roofing needs, DKG Roofing is dedicated to providing top-quality services tailored to your specific requirements. Contact us at (940) 497-2833 to explore how we can help you achieve the perfect roofing solution for your project.

About DKG Roofing

With over two decades of serving homeowners in North Texas and Denton Roofing, DKG Roofing has established itself as a highly sought-after roof repair and replacement contractor.

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