TPE versus PVC – there’s no competition

June 25th

Sustainable, high performance single ply roofing, no compromise

Not all single ply membranes are created equal. So, if you’re not aware of the differences between traditional PVC membranes and innovative TPE membranes, we’ve written this blog to fill you in. Hopefully it will aid the decision making process when you next come to specify a flat roofing system – especially if cost-effectiveness, sustainability and durability are top of your agenda.
Single ply roofing membranes are made of plastics. Plastic waste has been a hot topic in the news of late, with the nation waking up to the horrendous damage that plastics are doing to the natural environment. We all know that their poor biodegradability has consequences for our oceans and wildlife.
PVC is one of today’s most common plastics, yet its production entails the creation of numerous toxic chemicals – known as dioxins.  These chemicals are carcinogenic, hormone disrupters and accumulate in the tissue of living organisms. More worryingly, when PVC is in use and finally incinerated, it releases its chlorine content and more dioxins, further threatening the environment and human health.
That’s why it’s so worrying to see PVC single ply roofing systems being installed on our buildings. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Alternatives to PVC are readily available for almost every use and you don’t have to compromise on performance. Of all the plastics it’s thermoplastic polyethylene (TPE) that offers the safest environmental solution – it’s the future of sustainable single ply roofing.
At Bailey we care about the environment and understand the need for innovative, eco-friendly systems, especially in today’s construction market. Our single ply roofing system, Bailey Atlantic, is a TPE membrane, which is a non-PVC product. The materials used in manufacture of Bailey Atlantic single ply contain no chlorides, fluorides or plasticizers resulting in a completely environmentally neutral and chemically inert product. The best part? It’s 100% recyclable.
There is nothing in the product that can leak out into runoff water, contaminating water courses and rivers. We know this because Atlantic has been subject to the ‘Fish Test’, as defined by DIN 38412 Part 31, where fish are introduced to a tank lined with single ply to see what affect it has. Bailey Atlantic is one of few single ply membranes to pass this test, with the fish remaining unharmed by the end of the test – where as with other single ply membranes the fish do not last for more than two hours before dying.
We know that being environmentally friendly is one thing, but this shouldn’t be at the cost of system performance. But don’t worry, TPE membranes take the best features from PVC and EPDM membranes, while offering homeowners and businesses an innovative, energy-efficient and great whole life value roofing solution. TPE roofs are extremely durable; resisting dirt, bacteria, algae and debris build-up. In fact, TPE is a live membrane, meaning it contracts and expands with the building depending on our wonderful British weather, reducing the chance of the product splitting. Plus, the membrane reflects the sun’s ultraviolet rays, again reducing the chance of damage.
The life span of Atlantic, backed by BBA certification and full warranty, along with its ability to be repaired easily, make this a truly remarkable, high quality system. If you would like to talk to us about your next roofing project, please get in touch.