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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a building that needs a new roof and I'm trying to get a good comparison on Fibertite roofs vs. EPDM.

I'm wondering if it is worth spending the extra money on fibertite and if so, why?
 

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the heat welded seams on fibretite seem to be more reliable than the glued seams of epdm but a good installation makes that a moot point and therefore fibretite aint worth the money.
 

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Low Slope Roofing
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As we have never installed fibertite I can not give you a good or bad with that product. I might be able to help you see the difference though.

Epdm is more like the base single ply material. Lowest cost, but good performance. The problems EPDM use to have was the seams. The old seams were glued, now they use a primer and a tape, and have held up strong. A ballasted EPDM (rocks hold epdm in place) is generally the cheapest and shortest lasting "flat" roofing system there is. A fully adheard EPDM will be a little more costly depending on a number of factors but much of it is insulation.

Next in line is TPO. TPO's have been around for a number of years but had very bad luck at the start. They did not reinforce them with fabric between the layers at first. This allowed them to more or less shatter. Now the formulas have improved and they have the reinforcement. Pros would be the heat welded seams and details. When done properly they will last as long as the sheet its self. Comes in colors and is a "cool" roof. Cons cost, they are more expensive product. Types of attachment are mechanically attached, where they seams before htey are welded have a screw and plate installed in them. Or fully aheard glued to the insulation like EPDM.

Next up is PVC. PVC has been around for even longer and has a better track record. Some brands are alot better then others. The Pros are the same as with TPO, and the Cons are +1 PVC is more expensive then TPO. It also has the same attachment systems.

Fibertite seems to be like a PVC? So its going to be expensive. I would guess it will last along time but im sure someone learking around here has installed one or two and would be able to tell you better.


If you could give us some more details about the project, and the quotes you got we might be able to help you out more. I hope this kind of explained a little more about the different types of single plys for flat roofs.
 

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Low Slope Roofing
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the heat welded seams on fibretite seem to be more reliable than the glued seams of epdm but a good installation makes that a moot point and therefore fibretite aint worth the money.

I disagree.

EPDM is a good product. A TPO and PVC are mainly white, have generally better seams. IMO are worth a little more money. It all boils down to what you can afford and how long you going to be in the building.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your help.

Do you happen to know what (typically) the cost per square foot is of Fibertite and EPDM?

The property is a one story property in the Mid-Atlantic Area, currently it has a ballasted EPDM roof that has started to leak and needs to be replaced. The estimates we have gotten on Fibertite ran around $20psf.
 

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Low Slope Roofing
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Thanks for your help.

Do you happen to know what (typically) the cost per square foot is of Fibertite and EPDM?

The property is a one story property in the Mid-Atlantic Area, currently it has a ballasted EPDM roof that has started to leak and needs to be replaced. The estimates we have gotten on Fibertite ran around $20psf.
Oh fibertite I have no idea, But as with any system it will depend on what insulation, and fully adhered or other type.

We have installed some epdm anywhere from $5 a sq foot to $15. The $5 would be if you just swapped out EPDM and left the ballast and insulation.

TPO's anywhere from 8-16-17ish.


This one PVC was some place around 25-30 but it had an whole lot of insulation all tapered, and a bunch of stuff in the way and the tear off wasnt fun.

Also depends on the size too. Smaller jobs are a little more $ per sq foot then bigger ones.

So with that being said, there is too much going on to compare prices, adn the areas are different. Best bet is to get 3 quotes by good Flat roofers who have a good back ground. Dont be scared to show them the quote from the other guys, just blank out the price. Make a copy of it and cover over the price, that way they all are compaired apples to apples. Make sure the quotes are detailed. How the proposal is wrote up can give you a clue oh the work also. If they take the time to write up a good proposal chances are they may acutally care about the work. Do not hire the guy who writes it up in one or two lines. Even on 1-2 sq jobs there is atleast a full page of write up on what we will and what we will not do (ie painting fasica and such).
 

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Good standard advice about collecting bids from different contractors.

I would add just one thing about contractors.

Its OK for contractors to bid/estimate a job but dont let them spec it unless its very simple/small job or youre 100% sure of whats needed and what you want.

Hire a roof consultant to spec/design it. Unlike most contractors, a roof consultant places the owners interests first.

Its a conflict of interest for a contractor to advise on a project that he is also hoping to get.
 

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Low Slope Roofing
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Good standard advice about collecting bids from different contractors.

I would add just one thing about contractors.

Its OK for contractors to bid/estimate a job but dont let them spec it unless its very simple/small job or youre 100% sure of whats needed and what you want.

Hire a roof consultant to spec/design it. Unlike most contractors, a roof consultant places the owners interests first.

Its a conflict of interest for a contractor to advise on a project that he is also hoping to get.

I agree somewhat, some "consultants" are not all they are cracked up to be. We have one around here that over does everything, I dont think many building need an R value of 50, but alot of them he spec's that way. Generally if you find and honest roofing company they will explain your options. For example, and EPDM on a wood framed home with 0 slope and two roof drains or scuppers. One option would be 1/2 fiberboard, EPDM, edge metal and done, Or an option to replace the 1/2 fiberboard with a 1 1/2 of ISO. More R value, still wont drain a bit. Option #3 tapered ISO Crickets at the Scuppers or drains. Option #4 could include all of hte above but instead of EPDM could put TPO or PVC, cost more sure but doesnt absob the heat. Heck you could even put a Asphalt roof in there.

The point of all this is some times roofing consultants dont have your interest in mind. Its just another person to pay. If the roofing company your talking to doesnt listen, ask questions to find out what you want, and explain what you could and may or may not want to do, they are not worth paying. You will just end up unhappy in the end.
 

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Just another input

Just a few things from a newbie;


I would like to share an encounter I had recently on a well known collage flat roof who hired a roof consultant. After talking with him for a few hours (actually had to deal with him for almost a week) it came out that he had never ever physically even put a roof on. He had some training in class rooms and from seminars but absolutely no field knowledge so make sure you ask the consultant a lot of installation question before deciding on which one to go with.



As for product instalation, I am not a company rep, just a commercial roofer who has installed almost every type of roofing, and I know if it was my building and I was planning on staying in the building for an extended period of time I would look at a product called Duro-Last ( http://www.duro-last.com/ ). It is a little pricier than TPO or EPDM, but from my experiences the inspection is more rigorous by the factory rep providing the warranty, and the final product is a much nicer looking finish. There are a few more perks to this type of roof, factory made solar panels, no dollar limit warranty, a TRUE cool roof. I hope this helps a little.
 

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Low Slope Roofing
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Just a few things from a newbie;


I would like to share an encounter I had recently on a well known collage flat roof who hired a roof consultant. After talking with him for a few hours (actually had to deal with him for almost a week) it came out that he had never ever physically even put a roof on. He had some training in class rooms and from seminars but absolutely no field knowledge so make sure you ask the consultant a lot of installation question before deciding on which one to go with.



As for product instalation, I am not a company rep, just a commercial roofer who has installed almost every type of roofing, and I know if it was my building and I was planning on staying in the building for an extended period of time I would look at a product called Duro-Last ( http://www.duro-last.com/ ). It is a little pricier than TPO or EPDM, but from my experiences the inspection is more rigorous by the factory rep providing the warranty, and the final product is a much nicer looking finish. There are a few more perks to this type of roof, factory made solar panels, no dollar limit warranty, a TRUE cool roof. I hope this helps a little.

Part #1 agree totally, alot of them have never installed a roof in thier life. Books can only get you so far in the field.


Part #2 IMHO I wouldnt put duralast on my dog house. I dont buy in to the whole prefab concept. Everyone I have been on was in bad shape and the way the walls sag are painfully ugly. Now alot of this could be installer. But I have seen them spiderweb crack after a hail storm. Yes they were older systems but I havent seen a TPO or other PVC do this. I belive most companys are coming out with some type of solar panel, never installed any and more then likely wont for a very long time. As far as A NDL, no dollar limit warranty, you can get that with all most every system as long as its on a commercial building. Also PVC and TPO is a cool roof also. They are also a green roof.
 

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I agree with 1985, I wouldn't use a durolast for a pondliner.

Back to the original question. You're comparing apples to oranges. There is no comparing the products except on price point.

EPDM, in plain english, it's cheap. Possibly the cheapest roof system available, especially if you install a ballasted system. Most big box buildings have Ballasted EPDM roof systems. Don't confuse what I'm saying, it's inexpensive.

Fibertite on the other hand is probably one of if not the best Elvaloy PVC membrane on the market. It's been around the longest and has the longest track record. The other single ply manufacturers are coming around on the Elvaloy PVC membrane because they've seen the success Fibertite has had with it.

Pricing is all over the board, depends on what part of the country, how much insulation, new metal? also depends on the distributor, a roofers relationship with the sales rep and the manufacturer, etc etc

Fibertite is not inexpensive. But in my opinion it's worth it. Especially over EPDM and Duro Last
 

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Well I understand and respect every ones opinion, as for the sagging walls. I was recently on my first durolast roof which was installed about 8 years ago and everything was in impeccable shape.. still tight as the day it was installed. As for the "spider webbing", I have only come across one roof which this has happened in the 8 years or so I have been dealing with durolast. I live in the Snow Belt of Ohio so hail is not very frequent but snow is almost expected in 9 out of the twelve months and I have never had a issue with the snow or ice on any durolast roof.

Now for the warranty, I am only on the "field" side of the industry but as far as I understood it Firestone has a limit and will not cover internal damages (computers, furniture, ect, inside the building), and also must be purchased aside from the material cost( which I understand is less than durolast), but in regards to all of this I could be wrong. I also understand some or maybe most on here have more experience with other methods/installs than me, I am only here to give opinion that I have come to by installing various roofing materials for over 15 years. Maybe I can learn a little more from just reading and keeping my mouth/fingers shut in the future.....:shutup:
 

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Low Slope Roofing
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Not tryin to bash anyones thoughts, I just have seen alot of problems with duralast roofs. Granted installation as with any roof is a big key to it all. From what I have seen in my area is they are a throw together and walk away type of deal.

as far as warranty goes, are you saying duralast covers the buildings contents? Most of the the time NDL is in reference to materials and workmanship, now if the contractor is on the job thier insurance covers the contents of the building if anythign happens. As far as after the job is over it would be the building owners. Now this also leaves alot of gray area. But as far as a person's home very few manufactures have warranty coverage its a contractor warranty.
 

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Not tryin to bash anyones thoughts, I just have seen alot of problems with duralast roofs. Granted installation as with any roof is a big key to it all. From what I have seen in my area is they are a throw together and walk away type of deal.

as far as warranty goes, are you saying duralast covers the buildings contents? Most of the the time NDL is in reference to materials and workmanship, now if the contractor is on the job thier insurance covers the contents of the building if anythign happens. As far as after the job is over it would be the building owners. Now this also leaves alot of gray area. But as far as a person's home very few manufactures have warranty coverage its a contractor warranty.

Now as far as I have read and been told the warranty covers contents inside the building as well. The warranty falls on the installer for the first two years then after that it becomes Duro-Last's. As for residential there is no warranty excluding the material warranty of 15 years. The commercial warranty comes in either a 15 or 20 (must be 50 mil + installed).

As for installation is concerned I totally agree it is all about craftsmanship, but I have come across all types/materials of roofs that were put on with the shottiest craftsmanship. It all boils down to pride. I am actually going to be getting a little more experience with Sarnafil so I will start a new thread after a few weeks of working with it to give my opinion on the differences between the two. Also going to be installing a few Rhino Bond roofs which as I was told were created to compete with Duro-Last, so I will also be giving an opinion on that. If you are Interested in seeing a Duro-Last warrenty let me know I'll see about getting you a copy of both the 15 and 20 yr.
 

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It will be interesting to hear your comments on Sarnafil. We do alot of Sarnafil based green roofing and waterproofing. We've also been doing alot of Rhino Bond in the last 2 years.
 

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Learn about your Flat Roofing Options

I really really prefer the heat welded seams you get with PVC. I don't use fibertite but use Flex, marketed through versico as Versiflex. It's a good product. Either membrane will be xcellent however a roof will often first fail from the seams or penetrations. Adhesives with epdm seem to fail before the heat welding from pvc.

Understand that a roof is more than just the membrane. it is an assembly and a process. Is the old roof being torn off. How thick is the new insulation to be installed? Is it going to be tapered? How thick is the new membrane? What types of terminations or flashings are being installed? and on and on. It's hard to compare the two solely on price without looking at all the details involved in the entire project.

cost is also relative to the project as a whole. Now we need to look at more factors than just the assembly, we need to look at staging, access to the job site, height, material and debris storage and handling etc... Have I done jobs for $20 a foot, yet but it's on the high end of the scale and usually a very complex job.


I disagree completely about allowing the contractor to spec the job. I spec 99% of my work and I usually give a much much more detailed specification, for free, than the average architect, engineer or roof consultant. I don't do what's right for the customer, I do what's right for the building. Sure I give the customer their options but I refuse to let them make a bad decision just to save a buck. Does it cost me work? Sure sometimes it does. I take ALOT of offense to your comment Rodeo, ALOT of offense. I understand what you are saying, there are contractors out there who will purposely cut corners, but to say all are like that is just plain WRONG!

Durol.ast is kind of a joke in my area. Not saying the product is bad, but I have seen some of the jobs and the inspector must have forgotten his ladders those days because there is no way some of the chit I have seen from durolast contractors would pass. KJ as a certified installer of Genflex roofing products what you are talking about is No Dollar Limit warranty that nearly every commercialr oofing manufacturer will issue to their certified installers for an added cost. As for the durolast warranty and what it covers you can find alot of threads in a lot of forums from people sayign that Durolast doesn't often honor their warrantys. I am not for or against this product, just repeating what I have heard.

1985, IB is the only single ply manufacturer that warrants residential, that I am aware of. there may be more, I just don't know. Even genflex wants a surcharge for condominiums.
 

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Low Slope Roofing
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Now as far as I have read and been told the warranty covers contents inside the building as well. The warranty falls on the installer for the first two years then after that it becomes Duro-Last's. As for residential there is no warranty excluding the material warranty of 15 years. The commercial warranty comes in either a 15 or 20 (must be 50 mil + installed).

As for installation is concerned I totally agree it is all about craftsmanship, but I have come across all types/materials of roofs that were put on with the shottiest craftsmanship. It all boils down to pride. I am actually going to be getting a little more experience with Sarnafil so I will start a new thread after a few weeks of working with it to give my opinion on the differences between the two. Also going to be installing a few Rhino Bond roofs which as I was told were created to compete with Duro-Last, so I will also be giving an opinion on that. If you are Interested in seeing a Duro-Last warrenty let me know I'll see about getting you a copy of both the 15 and 20 yr.
I guess ive never seen a manufacture cover inside contents. Usally thats the contrators insurance, thats why the boss gets so pissed when it leaks :). Yes craftmanship or lack there of is key.

We've bought in to the rhino bond idea last year and have done a handful or two of the roofs. very quick seems to work real good. Only problem I have notice and its not really a problem its the way it looks, hard to get it to laydown nice and flat like a F/A system. No performance problems unless you get a big wrinkle by a drain (if you do thats your fault learn how to lay out sheets :) ). If your planing on doing bigger jobs with rhino bond buy two machines and a extra set or two of the magnits/heatsinks, will help with production.
 

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Sorry to jump in mid way thru your discussion, but I'm new to the flat roof ownership, and I've got an attached garage with a flat roof that needs replacing.
All I know about these roofs is from this thread and what the contractors have told me, which helps alot.
What I'm not sure about now is if the EPDM is the right one to go with or this "modified bitumen membrane" they suggested. Is that the kind you guys are talking about here?
One contractor can actually do a 60g EPDM with vapour barrier, bonded to 1/2" hi density fibre board, and 10yr warranty for $1000 less than the other. And I have no reason to mistrust either of them. I'm just not sure which is the better type for a 1 car garage, with moderate snow from Dec-March. It's not a heated garage either.

Any tips would be great. Thanks.
 
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