Q: How are PVC roofing systems sustainable?
A: More than 26 Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) confirm that PVC roofing membranes are an outstanding sustainable choice for many reasons:
- Energy efficiency.
- Mitigation of urban heat islands that cause elevated levels of air pollution.
- Waste reduction throughout their life cycle: production, shipment, installation, post-consumer disposal.
- Only 43 percent of PVC membrane composition is derived from nonrenewable fossil fuel feedstocks, compared with other single-ply and built-up systems that contain a much higher percentage.
- PCV requires less energy to produce than competitive products.
- They typically last for 20 to 30 years, reducing the rate of waste flow into landfills.
- There is virtually no scrap in PVC roof manufacturing or installation.
- PVC roofs can often be installed directly over old roofs.
- Many PVC roof manufacturers have post-use recycling programs.
- PVC roofing membranes are inherently recyclable, and are the only roofing material that can be recycled back into roofing products.
- Extremely low contribution to greenhouse gases and hazardous emissions, due to closed-loop manufacturing.
- There are at least 10 categories in which white PVC roofing systems can help earn points under the LEED® rating systems.
Q: Why do PVC roofing systems last so long?
A: Among the reasons that PVC roofing systems typically last between 20 and 30 years with very little maintenance are the following:
- Reflective properties extend the useful life of the roof substrate materials by reducing the rate of deterioration by as much as 75 percent.
- Waterproof characteristics that prevent PVC from rotting, rusting or corroding.
- Custom prefabricated systems from some manufacturers that help ensure optimal installation and long-term performance.
- Heat-welding properties that create seams that are stronger than the membrane itself while eliminating the need for chemicals, torches or other hazardous installation methods.
- Inherent flame resistance strengthened by the addition of flame retardant additives, which facilitates Underwriters Laboratories Class A ratings and Factory Mutual Class 1 ratings.
- High resistance to chemicals, grease, and other harmful substances that is common on rooftops.
- Simple repair procedures normally accomplished by heat-welded patches or seams.