What is PVC?
Poly Vinyl Chloride, is a thermoplastic material that is heat welded, which makes it more resistant to leaks. It is a highly reflective and durable single ply membrane. Its ease of installation and heat welded seams makes it a common choice for flat roofing. It can be installed either mechanically fastened or fully adhered. It is designed to be flexible and conform to the movement of the roof. They maintain their flexibly because its formula contains plasticizers as well as salt that is derived from the chlorine used in its production.
It is available in rolls that that are larger than most other roofing systems, in return it has less seams which can mean less chance of failure. PVC is known for its lack of water permeability which can decrease incidents of water ponding. PVC is available in many colors, most commonly used is white. This makes it highly reflective and considered a “cool roof” which can provide significant savings in energy costs and have less of an impact on our environment.
What you should know about PVC!
Seems like PVC would be the top choice for your flat roofing system right? Although PVC has been the major building material in the last 40 years, and now totals more than 30 million tons per year, it poses serious environmental and human health hazards. Listed below are main components of PVC and their impact on our environment as well as human health:
- PVC and Chlorine: Vinyl is the largest use of chlorine gas in the world, PVC is the largest production by volume of organochlorine which is toxic to humans, animals and our enviornment. Formation of organocholorine begins with the production of chlorine gas which is used in the making of PVC.The other by product of the production and lifecycle of PVC are dioxins, formed when chlorine gas is burned in the formation of PVC. Dioxins are global pollutants and is the most potent synthetic carcinogen tested, and is a known human carcinogen.
- Plasticizers: When PVC is in its purest form it is very brittle, to make it flexible for roofing materials they add plasticizers, the most common used plasticizer in the formation of PVC is known as phthalates, which pose serious health and environmental hazards. They are used due to their plasticizing performance and low cost.
- Lead and stabilizers: Because PVC naturally decomposes over time, metal stabilizes are added to the vinyl to extend its life for construction purposes. One of the most commonly used stabilizer in PVC production is lead, and because metal does not degrade into the environment it has become a global pollutant.
Chase Construction’s Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
Not only are the ingredients and bi products of PVC environmentally hazardous, chlorine production used in the making of PVC is one of the worlds largest energy-intensive processes. Not only that but PVC is rarely recycled because the compounds in vinyl do not decompose. Because of its environmental impact almost all European Union nations have restrictions on the use of PVC.
Chase Construction North West, Inc. is a certified green roofing contractor. We proudly recycle our asphalt roofing shingles and install sustainable building products. If you are interested in re-roofing your home or commercial building with green products or cool products contact us today at 253-445-8950. We specialize in all types of roofing. Chase NW has been servicing the roofing needs of the Puget Sound for over a decade including: Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, Auburn, Puyallup, Fife, Federal Way, Tacoma, Olympia and the surrounding cities. Fill out our free estimate form or call us today at 253-445-8950.