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Study Confirms Durability of Sarnafil’s Vinyl Roofing Membrane

Roofing membrane samples from 44 roofs in North America and Europe document the durability of Sarnafil’s vinyl roofing membranes in exposed applications, according to a study released here by Sarnafil Inc., a division of Sarna Group, based in Switzerland. The company is a leading manufacturer of thermoplastic membranes for roofing and waterproofing applications.

The average age of the roofs tested was more than 20 years with the oldest 34 years in age.

This is believed to be the most exhaustive testing ever done on aged vinyl roofing. Considering the age and the condition of the roofs analyzed, the data indicate that a properly formulated, properly maintained, reinforced vinyl roof membrane system performs in excess of 20 to 30 years in various climates throughout Europe and North America. The roofs were chosen based on their age, geographic location (reasonable cost to access and to insure diversity of climate), and owner willingness to allow Sarnafil to access their roof and remove samples.

“The survey provides valuable insight on the ageing behavior of the products and serves as a basis for life cycle costing (LCC) and life cycle analysis (LCA) evaluations,” says Brian Whelan, President & CEO, Sarnafil Inc., a division of Sarna Group.

An on site assessment at each location recorded a general impression of the roof, construction details, surroundings, upstands, gutters, drains, connections, and the status of the membrane seams.

Significantly, all of the 44 inspected roofs were fully functional and none were leaking or in need of repair work.

In all cases, new membrane could be welded to the existing membrane wherever samples were removed. While laboratory evaluation of the field samples showed some material changes over time, the majority of the determined material data revealed values better than the normative requirements for new materials. Laboratory evaluations tested physical properties considered essential in estimating long-term behavior of vinyl roofing membranes according to ASTM (USA), DIN (Germany) and SIA (Switzerland) standards.

Additionally, reflectivity and hail testing were conducted on most of the aged samples. Summary Results The laboratory testing confirmed that although the products tested lost some of their initial physical properties, which is to be expected with any materials as they age, they generally held up very well compared to the standard minimum values for testing new vinyl roofing membranes according to North American and European standards. Overall, the field performance of these reinforced vinyl membranes were found to be without problem. The roofing systems averaging over 20 years of age were performing well without leakage. All membranes were capable of being welded to even after up to 34 years of weathering.

A copy of the full report is available upon request from Sarnafil.

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