Single-Ply Installation Concerns


seamless roofing system such as a silicone roof coating or a spray foam roof offers many benefits that aren’t present in a roofing system with seams, such as single-ply. Single-ply roofs and their seams can’t retain heat as well as a monolithic system. They aren’t as leak-proof as a monolithic roof system. Let’s look at some of the other concerns surrounding single-ply installation and performance, and how they can be overcome with a monolithic system.

Installation Process Takes Much Longer

The single-ply installation process isn’t exactly difficult, but it can be very time consuming. Single-ply material is almost always packaged in rolls that are rolled out on the roof and then fastened, glued, or heat-welded to the next sheet of material. This process inherently takes more time than applying spray foam or a roof coating because there is simply more going on with single-ply. The heat-welding or gluing process just takes a while and slows everything down.

How Silicone Helps

Installing a silicone roof coating is the exact opposite of single-ply – extremely simple and extremely fast. Rather than laying down individual rolls and adhering them to one another, roof coatings can be installed in multiple passes and the material just cures together as if there were no seams, because there aren’t any seams.

single-ply installation concerns

A silicone roof coating is custom-made for your roof on the surface – it fits perfectly.

Single-Ply Roofs Aren’t Custom Made

Single-ply materials are made in a factory in only a few sizes. Different roll widths and different material thickness are about the only choices you get. Any time there is a unique feature on a roof: a drain, a vent, a skylight, the single-ply material has to be cut and modified to go around that feature. This takes significantly more time and creates extra labor to flash in around these features.

How Silicone Helps

In contrast to a single-ply roof, silicone roof coatings are “manufactured on the roof.” Sure, the material is made in a factory and then shipped to the jobsite, but it is not yet in its final state. Once it is fluid-applied on the roof, then the material cures and is “manufactured” in real time. This gives you a custom roof designed specifically for your building.

In addition to the customization of a silicone roof, it also has major benefits around penetrations. If you’ve got a pipe to roof around, simply apply your roof coating to that pipe and tie it in to the rest of the silicone. No cutting, no additional flashing materials, just apply the coating right where you want it.

Single-Ply Installation Produces Waste

Because single-ply roofing materials aren’t custom made to fit your roof, they require you to cut the materials to fit them around flashings, into corners, around skylights, etc. This leads to wasted materials, which is wasted money. Once you’ve cut the membrane, it’s difficult to find other places to use those scraps on the roof. They often are truly just scraps that can’t be used again.

How Silicone Helps

Because silicone roofs are custom made on the surface of your roof, they do not produce waste like other roofing systems such as single-ply. The single-ply installation process is full of waste, while you can use every bit of silicone that you take to the jobsite. The only “waste” comes if you overestimate how much material you need, and if that happens you can just put the lid back on the material and use it later for repairs or another roofing project!


Single-ply installation is rife with pitfalls for you as the building owner. Whether it’s going to drag out your installation process, give you a cookie-cutter roof, or produce waste and waste money, single-ply has serious problems. Most of these problems can be eliminated if you switch instead to a silicone roof coating. Give us a call today to learn about silicone for your roof.

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