What is Membrane Roof?

Today membrane roof is one of the most modern types of roofing. Technology of its arrangement allows you to get almost monolithic structure with excellent waterproofing features.

Membrane roofing material is made from plasticized polyvinylchloride. This material has several sufficient advantages, such as:

  • Long lifespan – about 50 years;
  • High elasticity and strength;
  • High speed of assembly – over 2000 square foot for one day;
  • Membrane roof has bright colors, which reflect sun rays and don’t allow the roof to be heated;
  • High resistance to ultraviolet rays;
  • High resistance to frost;
  • It is perfect waterproof material.


There are following types of membrane roof:

  • PVC roof membrane;

    Installation of PVC roof membrane
    Installation of PVC roof membrane

  • EPDM roof membrane;
  • TPO membrane (thermoplastic polyolefin).

PVC membrane is very reliable and durable material. Mounting of this roofing is performed with the use of welding. After the welding of joints, construction becomes really durable.

EPDM membrane is relatively cheap, flexible material with high roof life expectancy. This material will be especially suitable for mobile home. On the other hand, it has the necessity of bonding the membrane covering with rubber adhesive.

It is need to stress that joints of EPDM membranes have high risk of leak appearance. Therefore you will have to repair the roof more often.

TPO membranes can be unreinforced or reinforced with the use of polyester and fiberglass. Connection of material is performed by using the hot air welding. Therefore the seam becomes especially durable.

TPO membrane
TPO membrane


The most tangible advantage of this material is the fact that it can be laid directly on the old coating. This material does not require the construction of special deck. Also you can use roofing membrane for laying under tiles or under shingles.

Video: Torch Applied Modified Bitumen Membrane Roofing Installation.

Professional and well prepared membrane roof installation can avoid further problems with its repair. Therefore, it is recommended to trust this work to experienced workers. But if you want to perform the installation by yourself, you should learn some useful information.

There are following methods of mounting membrane coating:

  • Welding;
  • Ballast mounting method;

    Ballast membrane roof
    Ballast membrane roof

  • Mechanical mounting.

Thus it will be perfect waterproof layer. The only requirement that you must comply with is that the surface of old coating must be completely dry.

At first, to perform the installation of membrane roof you should have simple tool kit, which must contain following elements:

  • Welding machine;
  • Stitcher roller;
  • Special nozzle for lap welding;
  • Rubber adhesive;
  • Adhesive tape.

There are different methods of connecting the membrane roof. But one of the most widely used ways of connecting is welding with the use of hot air. In this way connection is provided by special machine.

Welding of membrane roofing
Welding of membrane roofing

This device is able to maintain optimum temperature (the jet of air with temperature – 400-600 degrees of Celsius), pressure and speed of moving along seams. The width of the weld may vary between 20 and 100 mm.

In addition, in remote places (near holes and flashing details) you should use manual welding. Also you can seal roofing rolls with special tape with two-side adhesive base.

It is important to roll surfaces of membrane roof with stitcher roller to make sure that material is tightly stuck together.

Using of stitcher roller
Using of stitcher roller

Ballast mounting can be performed if the slope of the roof is not more than 15 degrees. Also it is the cheapest method of installation for flat roofs. In this case membrane is fixed on the perimeter and in places of its adjunction to vertical surfaces.

In order to fix coating tightly to the base you should use ballast. Its weight must be not less than 50 kg on 1 square foot. You can use following objects and materials as load:

  • Large pebble or crushed stone (20-40 mm);
  • Concrete blocks;
  • Paving slabs;
  • Any other massive objects.

Of course this type of membrane material installation requires a solid roof, which is able to withstand a heavy load.

If you use as load objects, which can damage the roof, it is important to cover roofing with special elastomeric materials.

Mechanical method of installation should be performed, when large roof load is not allowed. It is also recommended, when construction has no parapets and drains.

In this case the best option is to provide fixing of roof with screws in areas of seams. You can use concrete, decking or wood as a base for the mounting.

In general, installation of membrane roof is not a difficult process and it is possible to cope with it by yourself if you have some experience and knowledge in construction.


If you want to repair, do it yourself (DIY) guide will be the best assistant for you. Although mounting of membrane roofing has some features and complexity, its mending will be easier process. Therefore this material is one of the best solutions for roof, it is quite comfortable in maintenance.

Also it is important to read some useful instructions, which will help you to know how to perform repair of membrane roofing system.

The repair process involves removing of old covering and replacement of damaged parts of roofing. Also, when it is possible, you can put patch on damaged place and then fix it with special sealants. That will make this place more reliable.

Cutting a patch for roofing repair
Cutting a patch for roofing repair

Technical capabilities of membrane roof allow you to perform repair work in all environmental conditions. But for safety reasons it is not recommended to conduct high-attitude work in the rain and string wind.


Here you can see the comparison table with average prices for membrane roof in different US cities. Using this information you can make plan of future costs.

There are a lot of manufacturers, which offer membrane roofing materials for sale. For example, you can order all necessary components at Lowes or Home Depot.

It is need to say that you should be really attentive during the selection of roofing material supplier. Right choice will save a considerable amount of money and will improve the quality of covering.

City/State Cost per square foot, $
Albuquerque/New Mexico 20-25
Chicago/Illinois 20-28
Houston/Texas 20-25
Denver/Colorado 22-30
Atlanta/Georgia 20-28
Dallas/Texas 20-30

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