Shingles are often the go-to option for residential roofs, but roof membranes don't get nearly as much attention. Sure, most residential homes will benefit from some level of shingle installation, but there are instances when it also makes sense to add a membrane to your home's roofing plan.
Roof membranes are an ideal option for homeowners who have areas of their roofs that are flat, such as the area over an enclosed porch or sunroom. On flat surfaces, water intrusion is a constant issue because the water does not have a natural slope to follow and drain away from the roof.
The membrane works by creating a watertight barrier that prevents the water from seeping through the roof, while also helping to facilitate the movement of the water off the roof. In addition to water protection, membranes can also help add a layer of insulation and UV ray blockage. The membrane material is derived from thermoplastic or synthetic materials, which gives it its rubber-like appearance.
Should you decide to add this roofing option to your home, the color of membrane you select will be critically important to the energy efficiency you receive from the addition. First, make sure you choose the appropriate color of membrane, and not in terms of its appearance.
Generally, darker colored membranes, such as black or brown, should be reserved for homes in cooler climates. Membranes in these hues can absorb heat, which can help warm the space below the membrane. A lighter color works better in warmer climates, as brighter colors do a better job at reflecting heat, which will keep the space cooler.
A roof membrane isn't just a far-less complicated option than traditional shingles in terms of installation; it also comes along with fewer maintenance needs. The greatest risk homeowners face is oxidation. With regular exposure to the environment, the membrane will start to oxidize, which will make it degrade over time.
Once this breakdown process occurs, water intrusion becomes an issue and any energy efficiency gains achieved from the membrane installation will likely be lost. The best way to minimize this risk is to clean the roof regularly. The type of solution you need to use will depend on the material makeup of the membrane, but a simple cleaning solution and scrub brush are generally all that is necessary to complete this task.
If you want to know how a roof membrane can benefit your home, speak with a roofing contractor for assistance.