Two Brands Covering All Your Needs

Whether your building requires unmatched performance and longevity or standard industry performance at a cost-effective price, Sika Sarnafil has you covered with our Sarnafil and Sikaplan roofing and waterproofing PVC membranes. Both Sarnafil and Sikaplan offer multiple mechanically-attached and adhered system options to meet your building’s unique needs as well as required fire and wind uplift requirements. To help you choose which membrane brand is right for you, take a look at the differences.

Thickness Guarantee Versus Standard Industry Thickness

Simply put, you get more with Sarnafil membranes than any single-ply roofing membrane in the industry. It is the best of the best. That is because with Sarnafil, the membrane thickness listed on the datasheet and product label is the ACTUAL thickness (or more) guaranteed. ASTM standard for single-ply roofing membranes allows for sheets to be produced and sold up to 10% thinner (referred to as “nominal” thickness) than stated. And because you are getting more membrane, which has a direct correlation to resiliency, durability, and longevity, Sarnafil membranes and systems offer longer warranty coverage up 30-years. Owners looking for the best long-term return on investment should select a Sarnafil membrane.

Sikaplan membranes provide PVC performance at a TPO Price! Sikaplan, like practically all other single-ply sheets on the market, is produced to the ASTM standard of a nominal thickness (not guaranteed thickness like Sarnafil). Owners looking for a cost-effective, long-lasting roofing solution should select a Sikaplan membrane. You don’t have to settle for US made commodity TPO membranes and potentially expose your building, operations, and employees to unwanted interruptions due to leaks. Sikaplan membranes and systems are available with warranties up to 20-years.

The Sarnafil Difference

When asked what makes Sarnafil membranes different from all the other PVC roofing membranes, it is impossible to give a simple answer. Sarnafil has over 55 years of proven performance history with just as many years of test data, research papers are written, third party evaluations done, etc. that to try reference all of that can get a bit overwhelming. To make it easier for our customers, instead, we have boiled it down to our “Top Five” reasons which are highlighted below. *

Features Sarnafil All Other PVC
Membrane Formulation 50+ years of creating the ideal blend of premium grade raw materials to achieve the industries longest lasting thermoplastic membrane Produced to meet ASTM standards
Proven Perfomance 50+ years Less than 40 years
Membrane Thickness (Thickness Guarantee) Membrane will meet or exceed the thickness indicated on the package label ASTM standard allows up to 10% less than labeled thickness
Third Party Certification BBA Certifies stating that Sarnafil membranes should have a life expectancy in excess of 35 years No other U.S. PVC membranes have a BBA life expectancy certification
NSF/ ANSI 347 Sustainability Rating Platinum (Highest Rating) Sarnafil is the only Platinum Rated Single-Ply Membrane

Sarnafil "G" and "S" Membranes

Actual performance proven in the field over time is the only true test of a roofing system’s quality. Billions of square feet of Sarnafil membrane have performed with distinction over the past 55+ years in climates of every description. Many installations are still performing after 30 years or more of service. Sarnafil G and S membranes are available in a variety of guaranteed thicknesses (60,72, and 80 mil), and both standard and custom colors.

Sarnafil “G” membranes developed in the ‘60s, were the first fiberglass-reinforced, single-ply membranes in the industry. Specifically designed for adhered systems, they deliver exceptional dimensional stability to extend the service life of the roof.

Sarnafil “S” membranes are polyester-reinforced and used in mechanically-attached roof systems. The polyester reinforcement is exceptional at resisting membrane tearing at the high point loads imposed on the membrane in these types of systems.

Roofing Membranes

Sikaplan Membranes

PVC Performance at a TPO Price

As mentioned above, Sikaplan is a cost-competitive, PVC roofing membrane produced to the ASTM industry standard nominal thickness like practically all of the single-ply roofing membranes on the market. This allows for building owners to get a proven PVC roofing system, at an inexpensive price, from the world's most trusted thermoplastic roofing manufacturer. Building owners are no longer stuck with US made unproven TPO membranes as their only budget-conscious solution.

Sikaplan has a successful track record of more than 30 years on buildings throughout the world. And like all Sika Sarnafil PVC roofing and waterproofing membranes, Sikaplan seams and flashings are hot-air welded using an automatic hot-air welding machine. When welded together, the sheets of membrane become one monolithic layer of material impervious to water and moisture infiltration. Sikaplan membranes are available in 60 mil thicknesses and in standard colors of white, reflective gray, and tan.

Sikaplan FB3

Sikaplan FB3 is a single-ply re-cover solution that saves time and money as it is designed to go directly over all types of existing single-ply membranes including TPO, PVC and EPDM roofs while meeting local fire code requirements.

The solution utilizes the new Sikaplan Fastened membrane with a 3-ounce felt backing (FB3) rather than the standard 9-ounce felt backing. This mechanically attached system is designed specifically for use in single-ply re-cover applications over TPO, PVC and EPDM. And for those who are thinking of just coating an old failing single-ply roof, Sikaplan FB3 gives you a new, far superior option that will last a lot longer.

PVC Roofing Membrane FAQ

What does PVC stand for?
PVC stands for “Polyvinyl Chloride.”

What is PVC made from?
PVC is composed of two basic components: chlorine derived from common salt, and ethylene derived from natural gas. By taking these two components and adding other components, PVC can be made rigid, flexible or semi-flexible. This is why PVC is considered one of the most versatile plastic materials.

What is the difference between PVC, Vinyl & Thermoplastic?
The terms PVC and Vinyl are often used interchangeably. PVC is short for Polyvinyl Chloride and Vinyl comes from the first word “Polyvinyl”.

What is the history of PVC membranes?
PVC was discovered accidentally in the 1920s when a scientist was searching for a synthetic adhesive. Soon after the discovery, PVC was being used as shoe heels, shower curtains, wire insulation and waterproofing fabric for raincoats.

Around the ’50s and ’60s, methods for enhancing PVC’s durability opened the door to using PVC in other areas, such as the construction industry. In 1962, a small Swiss-based company named “Sarna” (known today as Sika Sarnafil) developed the first reinforced PVC membrane - “Sarnafil.” Sarnafil was used first as a temporary tent structure, and then shortly after to waterproof tunnels and roofs.PVC products quickly became the popular choice in the construction industry; the plastic’s resistance to corrosion, light, and chemicals made it ideal for building applications. PVC’s low cost, versatility, and performance make it the material of choice for industries such as healthcare, communications, aerospace, automotive, retail, textiles, and construction, where it is the most commonly used plastic. Rigid as a pipe or pliable as a sheet good, PVC is a true performer.

What type of roof system is PVC considered?
What type of roof system is PVC considered PVC is considered a “single-ply” roofing system. This is because the system only requires a single layer of membrane to keep the roof watertight. Other systems, such as an asphalt-based “built-up” roof system (BUR), involve multiple layers of asphalt-soaked felt to make up the system.

Are PVC and TPO the same?
While PVC and TPO are both in the thermoplastic, single-ply roofing family, they are very different in their base chemical composition and physical properties. They are also not compatible with each other. PVC has been used as a roofing material since the 1960s and has over 50 years of proven performance

How is PVC installed on a roof?
Both PVC and TPO can be mechanically attached (using plates and screws) or adhered to the roof substrate. Unlike PVC however, TPO membranes do not adhere readily, especially with water-based adhesives. They also have higher coefficients of expansion and contraction resulting in much greater movement through temperature cycles. Whereas adhered PVC roofs have performed exceptionally well over decades, the properties previously mentioned create challenges when adhering TPO.

PVC’s overlapping seams are “hot-air welded” together to prevent water from penetrating the building. Once welded together, the seams are one of the strongest parts of the system and do not break down over time like other roofing systems that use glues, double-sided tape or asphalt to bond their seams.

What are the main differences between PVC and TPO membranes for roofing?
Aside from the different chemistries used to create the membranes, PVC and TPO have other important differences worth mentioning. TPO manufacturers are still continuing to modify their formulations to try and achieve the required level of performance, while PVC has been performing very well for over 50 years. PVC membrane’s resistance to fire performance is significantly greater than TPO membranes, as evidenced in the video below. Another important difference is TPO’s sheet flexibility. TPOs are much stiffer than PVC, making them harder for contractors to work with. This is especially important when having to flash penetrations or any other detail work, possibly leading to areas not being watertight, and when working in colder weather. For a complete list of the differences between TPO and PVC, click on the link to download the Sikaplan Versus TPO infographic below.

Why do contractors prefer installing PVC?
There are many reasons why building owners choose to trust a proven PVC roof membrane over a TPO membrane. One of the most important reasons is that most, if not all, TPO manufacturers are on their third or fourth formulation of the membrane, while PVC boasts 50+ years of real-world performance. For a roofing contractor, however, the reasons they prefer to install PVC over TPO have a lot to do with them being able to give you a water-tight system.

In general, PVC is a much easier membrane for the contractors to work with, even in cold temperatures. TPO membranes are stiffer, making sheet handling and detailing more difficult, especially in cold weather. If the membrane is challenging to work with and a contractor needs to flash penetrations or a wall/curb, it increases the risk of an improper application.

TPO also requires all cut edges of the membrane to be sealed from water migration, and seams are much more sensitive to probing. All of this leads to extra time, money and an increased potential for mistakes. When TPOs fail prematurely, contractors run the risk of tarnishing their reputation. No contractor wants to get a call that the roof they installed has failed. No matter what the reason, all parties involved usually take the blame.

What is the difference between Sarnafil "S" and "G" membranes?
Sarnafil “G” series membranes are a unique fiberglass-reinforced, single-ply membrane. Specifically designed for adhered and loose laid systems, they deliver exceptional dimensional stability and a low coefficient of thermal expansion and contraction to extend the service life of the roof.

Sarnafil “S” series membranes are polyester-reinforced and used in mechanically-attached roof systems to resist the high point loads imposed on the membrane.

What is the Roofing Membrane True Test?
Actual performance proven in the field over time is the only true test of a roofing system’s quality. Billions of square feet of Sarnafil membrane have performed with distinction over the past 50 years in climates of every description. Many installations are still performing after 30 years of service.

Selecting a roofing system should be a decision based on choosing the best long-term value. Sarnafil roofing and waterproofing systems are widely recognized for exemplifying the highest standards of quality, reliability and watertight protection — a claim that has been proven through the test of time.

What makes the Sarnafil warranties different from the Sikaplan warranties?
Sarnafil S & G Membranes warranties include 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 & 30 Year (Membrane and Systems Warranties available). In addition, there is a high wind warranty coverage & hail warranties available.

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered warranties include 5, 10, 15 & 20 Year (Membrane and Systems Warranties available)

What are the available widths for the Sarnafil membrane and the Sikaplan membrane?
Sarnafil "S" and "G" membrane widths: 5’, 6.5’, & 10’

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered membrane widths: 5’ & 10’

What is the thickness range for the Sarnafil and Sikaplan membranes?
Sarnafil S & G Membranes: 48mil, 60mil, 72mil & 80mil

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered: 45 & 60mil

Are custom colors for a more flexible design available on the Sarnafil and Sikaplan membranes?
Sarnafil S & G Membranes: Yes

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered: No

What colors are available for the Sarnafil and Sikaplan membranes?
Sarnafil S & G Membranes: EnergySmart Colors: Reflective Gray, Tan, Patina Green, and White; Evergreen, Copper Brown and Lead Grey.

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered: EnergySmart White, Reflective Gray, and Tan

*All colors not available as standard stocked items in all configurations. Please contact us for more info.

What is the thickness guarantee on the Sarnafil and Sikaplan membranes?
Sarnafil S & G Membranes: Membrane will meet or exceed the thickness indicated on the package label.

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered: Meets ASTM Standard

These standards for various single-ply membranes allow a manufacturer to produce a membrane 10 percent thinner (or thicker) than its labeled thickness, meaning that a membrane labeled 60 mils could actually be 54 mils and still be in compliance. Testing was conducted internally by Sika and the results indicate that virtually all manufacturers other than Sika produce membranes at or near the bottom of the 10 percent ASTM tolerance in thickness. Click here to see how you can truly "get what you pay for".

What systems are included in the Sarnafil and Sikaplan membranes?
Sarnafil S & G Membranes: Adhered, Mechanically Attached, RhinoBond, Plaza Deck & Green Roof.

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered: Mechanically Attached, Adhered & RhinoBond.

How is the Solar Reflective Index (SRI) of the Sarnafil membrane different from the Sikaplan membrane?
Sarnafil S & G Membranes: 104 (meets the requirements of Title 24, LEED & Green Globes)

Sikaplan Fastened & Adhered: 104 (Fastened) / 107 (Adhered) (meets the requirements of Title 24, LEED & Green Globes)