Behind The Scenes Of Flat Roof Waterproofing Products

Many commercial property managers are unfamiliar with the roofing material that protects their business. If you do not know the difference between PVC and TPO, this message is for you! Today we dive into the popular waterproofing flat roof materials. What are they? What are the benefits each one provides? Who manufactures them? Let’s go behind the scenes to uncover the story behind each protective covering.


Some roofing materials are named using their chemical composition, like ethylene propylene diene monomer, or EPDM. The ethylene and propylene come from oil and natural gas. The diene comonomer allows the whole batch of chemicals to crosslink, making an extremely strong material for its density and thickness.

EPDM is a synthetic rubber, making it inherently waterproof when used as a commercial roof. It can be formulated to resist heat and light better than natural rubber. Moreover, it works well in low temperatures, maintaining elasticity down as low as -40°C (at the other extreme, it can withstand sunny Florida’s summer temperatures easily).

EPDM is available in black or white, but most Floridian property managers select white for its heat reflective properties. It can be purchased in wide rolls up to 50 feet, in two thicknesses (45 mils and 60 mils), and it can be fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted. Seams join with liquid adhesive or specially made tape.

Why should you consider EPDM? If economy is a concern, EPDM is usually less expensive than other roofing materials. It is long-lasting, fire-resistant, environmentally friendly, and can lower your energy costs.

Firestone and Carlisle, two of PSI Roofing’s industrial partners, are leaders in EPDM manufacturing. The more reputable the manufacturer, the stronger the warranty and product.


Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is a thermoplastic roofing material that is made from flexible plastics bonded to a scrim of fiberglass or polyester for strength. Heat-welded seams and factory control allow PVC roofing to be manufactured to very high tolerances and durability. 

Because it is completely human-made, PVC roofing is available in a wide range of colors and many thicknesses, including 50 mil, 60 mil, 80 mil, and 115 mil. An 80 mil roof is a durable, beautiful, tough roof.

A PVC roof is notable for its economy, longevity, and waterproof, fireproof surface. PSI Roofing partners with GAF and Carlisle, two world-class leaders in roofing and building materials, to bring the best PVC roofing materials to you, our Florida clients.


Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) roofing is a synthetic rubber roof made primarily from two polymers: styrene and butadiene. SBS, like PVC, is a thermoplastic elastomer.

It has excellent resistance to abrasion, making it an ideal choice if you have a roof that is walked on often, as with a green roof or a party deck. SBS is often blended with bitumen for a modified bitumen roof, which preserves elasticity and flexibility.

SBS is notable as a roofing solution for several reasons:

  • Simple installation
  • Weather resistance
  • Long life expectancy
  • Dimensional stability even after thermal changes
  • Waterproofing for parking decks, green roofs, and party decks
  • Extremely high precision manufacturing, allowing complete control of the product from raw material to finished roll ready for your roof
  • Puncture resistance
  • Superior adhesion
  • Excellent waterproofing through the multi-layer system of a mod-bit roof

The world leader in SBS roofing materials is Soprema, and that is the company PSI Roofing partners with to bring superior SBS products to the Florida market.


Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply roofing membrane notable for both its performance and its installation advantages. TPO is a heat-reflective, energy-efficient roofing system ideal for Florida’s climate. It resists ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure. 

TPO is similar to SBS in that it is reinforced with a scrim and goes down on your roof as a roll product. The sheets are 10, 12 or 20 feet wide, meaning you can design a seaming pattern that minimizes the risk of water infiltration. TPO is mechanically or chemically adhered to the insulation, and the seams are hot air welded.

TPO is a good fit for your roof if:

  1. You demand high heat reflectivity to lower cooling costs
  2. You want superior insulation beneath the single-ply membrane
  3. You require a Class A fire rating from your finished roof

TPO is manufactured by Firestone, one of our industrial partners, and brought to your building through the experienced hands of PSI Roofing’s highly trained crews.

PSI Roofing recommends silicone-based waterproofing products in combination with the superior low-slope roofing materials we offer. Working with you, your architect, or your general contractor, we can design your company’s perfect roof. Whatever your choice of low-slope roofing materials, the professionals of PSI Roofing in Oakland Park, Florida are ready to work with you. We can install, repair, maintain, and preserve every major type of flat roof surface. Contact us today!