2023 Sarnafil Roofing Cost, Installation, Pros & Cons

Typical Price Range To Install a new Roof
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Thanks to their longevity and unmatched performance, Sika Sarnafil membranes have become a staple in the roofing industry.

Since Sarnafil roofing membranes are also aesthetically pleasing, many homeowners have turned to them instead of conventional flat roofing materials.

The Sarnafil PVC membranes can work with multiple adhered and mechanically-attached roofing systems to create a robust roof at a cost-effective price.

To get started on installing a Sarnafil roofing membrane, contact your local roofing pros for a FREE ESTIMATES!

What Is A Sarnafil Roof?

A Sarnafil roof is a single-ply roofing system manufactured using thermoplastic (PVC). 

The Sika Sarnafil roofing membranes are highly versatile and can be used for various commercial and residential applications.

They are manufactured in Switzerland following the most stringent quality control programs.

The Sarnafil membranes are available in various thicknesses and color options, both standard and custom.

Did you know? Many single-ply flat roofing systems, such as EPDM, have been adapted for roofing applications from other uses. Sarnafil is the only system to be designed specifically for roofing purposes. 

Sarnafil Roofing Average Cost

When it comes to single-ply roofing systems, PVC membranes are the costliest solution.

On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $9 and $15 per square foot for Sarnafil roofing. 

For an average 1,700-square-foot flat roof, therefore, the total cost usually ranges from $15,300 to $25,500

The exact cost will depend on several factors:

  • The scope of the project
  • The membrane type
  • The level of insulation desired 
  • The condition of the roof deck
  • Roof accessibility
  • Local labor rates

Sarnafil Roofing Cost Breakdown

When installing Sarnafil roofing, homeowners should consider two costs: materials and labor.

The Sika Sarnafil membranes cost roughly $3 to $8 per square foot.

The labor prices will vary across different markets in the U.S. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $4 and $7 per square foot for installing this roofing system.

However, the condition of your existing roof can skyrocket the labor costs.

If contractors only need to clean and prepare the existing surface, the additional cost shouldn’t surpass $1 per square foot.

But if they have to strip and remove the existing roof, the additional charges can go up to $4 per square foot.

Roofing Type Average Material Cost per Square Foot Average Labor Cost per Square Foot Average Total Cost for a 2,000-Square-Foot Roof
Sarnafil PVC Roofing $3-$8 $4-$7 $14,000-$30,000

Did you know? Many homeowners believe working on a flat surface is more manageable than working on a pitched roof. For this reason, they expect lower labor rates for this project. However, many roof contractors actually consider flat roofs the more challenging option between the pair. This stems from the fact that these roofs require a layer of insulation, adhesive application, and heat welding.

Typical Price Range To Install new Flat Roof Average: $6,980 - $9,720
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Sarnafil Roofing Systems

The Sika Sarnafil membranes can be used with several roofing systems offered by the company.

Adhered Roofing Systems

Sarnafil adhered roofing systems provide an aesthetically pleasing solution, ideal for low-sloped or uniquely shaped roofing applications. 

As the name suggests, these systems are applied using a bonding adhesive.

This installation method doesn’t penetrate the membrane, minimizing the risk of leaks.

This risk is almost entirely eliminated thanks to heat-welding, which creates watertight protection.

This is the most expensive method of membrane application, with labor rates averaging $5 per square foot.

Mechanically-Attached Roofing Systems

The mechanically-attached roofing systems should be your go-to choice if you prioritize speed and ease of installation.

These systems come in numerous options because each building differs in its needs and complexity.

The mechanically-attached roofing systems can be installed using the standard in-seam or induction welded attachment methods.

The metal plates are fastened in the Sarnafest membrane’s overlaps according to the roof’s wind uplift requirements.

This installation method costs roughly $4 per square foot.

Ballasted Roofing Systems

The ballasted roofing systems are the most budget-friendly option in terms of installation.

With these systems, the membrane is laid down and covered with gravel, river rock, pavers, or similar material. 

This application method increases impact resistance, making it ideal for areas prone to hail and buildings with excessive rooftop traffic.

However, remember that these materials add weight to the building and can damage the membrane underneath.

The average cost of installing the Sarnafil membrane in this way is $3 per square foot.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
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High End

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Sarnafil Roofing Warranty

Sika Sarnafil offers warranties on membrane-only roofs and full-system roofing solutions.

The membrane-only roofs are eligible for warranty coverage lasting 5, 10, 15, or 20 years depending on the type.

The full roofing systems also offer these options for warranty coverage but include two extended options: 25 and 30-year warranties.

The company also offers a hail warranty and high wind warranty coverage.

The exact specifications depend on the roofing system you choose.

Although homeowners often only pay attention to the warranty coverage length, this is arguably the least important factor when deciding which roofing system to install.

After all, the warranty doesn’t guarantee a leak-proof roof.

The only way to minimize the risk of leaks is to:

  • Select a quality roofing membrane and system design
  • Have the membrane professionally installed by certified contractors
  • Inspect the roof regularly and maintain it as you see fit

With this in mind, the Sarnafil roofing warranties offer several advantages:

Proven performance

Sika Roofing is among the few thermoplastic membrane manufacturers with a successful track record of using the same basic formulation for over 50 years.

The long-term performance of Sika Sarnafil membranes can be seen in buildings and homes around the world. 

Increased reliability.

After installation, the Sika Sarnafil membranes become uniform and impenetrable sheets across the entire roof.

As a result, water is unable to penetrate the membrane and lead to issues with standing water, which are typical for flat roofs.

Sika Sarnafil doesn’t include exclusions for standing water in any of its warranties since this occurrence is virtually impossible with their membranes adequately installed.

Superior resistance

Many flat roof warranties include exclusions for gala force winds.

This isn’t the case for Sika Sarnafil membranes. These products can withstand repeated high winds without any uplift.

Final field inspection

Sika Roofing offers inspections by the company’s certified field technical representatives.

These professionals will thoroughly inspect the roof after installation to ensure it meets the company’s high standards of quality workmanship, thus eliminating any potential issues with warranty claims.

A fully transferable warranty

Sika Sarnafil’s warranties are fully transferable to new home and building owners, making the roof an excellent asset during the sale negotiation.

Sarnafil Roofing Certified Installers

Sika Roofing sells its products directly to a limited group of authorized installers instead of distribution centers.

These installers must undergo a rigorous training and evaluation program before becoming Sarnafil-certified. This way, only highly trained and qualified contractors will install the Sika Sarnafil roofing membranes and systems.

However, the evaluation isn’t a one-time occurrence.

These authorized contractors are rated annually based on various technical and business criteria.

Then, they are classified into one of the three categories under the Sika Sarnafil’s Partners Club program: General, Alliance, and Elite. 

Elite is the highest-rated level in the Partners Club program.

Sika Sarnafil Elite level contractors are considered the best of the best, continuously demonstrating a dedication to upholding quality standards and advancing the roofing industry.

Choosing an Elite partner guarantees homeowners peace of mind regarding the quality of the installation and potential warranty claims.

Did you know? Becoming an Elite level contractor with Sika Roofing has nothing to do with the volume of purchases, which is the case for many roofing manufacturers. The company will only invite contractors to become Elite level members after meeting rigorous criteria year in and year out.

The company will publish a list of the General, Alliance, and Elite partners each year, so you can find suitable contractors in your area.

Typical Price Range To Install new Flat Roof Average: $6,980 - $9,720
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How To Install Sarnafil Roofing

It’s recommended to have the Sika Sarnafil roofing professionally installed to ensure the roof performs optimally and reaches its total life expectancy.

More DIY-savvy homeowners can take on this project independently, provided they have the necessary skills, tools, and equipment. 

The exact installation process depends on the Sarnafil membrane you choose.

However, it generally goes something like this:


Once the Sarnafil products are delivered, keep them in the original containers with the labels and seals intact.

You should store the membrane rolls flat, completely protected from moisture, and away from bituminous materials.

As for adhesives and caulks, the storage temperature should be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Any solvent-based liquids should be stored away from direct heat.


The roof surface must be thoroughly cleaned and dry before applying the Sarnafil membrane.


You should only use Sarnafil-approved insulation for this step. Mechanically fasten the chosen insulation boards.


Use the company’s Sarnacol primer to prepare the roofing area for the membrane.

Spread the primer using a solvent-resistant roller. Wait for the area to dry completely before moving to the next step.


Unroll the membrane and fasten it onto the roof.

The exact steps for fastening the membrane depend on your selected roofing system.

For fully-adhered membranes, you’ll only need to use adhesive and press the membrane solidly in place. Using a weighted roller, ensure the membrane lays flat on the roof.


Depending on your chosen system, heat welding can be done by hand or a designated machine.

This step is dangerous and should be performed by highly skilled individuals, preferably those who have completed the Sarnafil training course.

Pro Tip: Run a screwdriver along the welded seam after it has cooled down to ensure continuity. 

After the membrane has been installed, the only thing left to do is to install the necessary accessories.

Arguably the most essential accessories are the Sarnastop flat aluminum bars, which go around the perimeter, penetrations, and vertical flashings.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

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Benefits Of Sarnafil Roofing

The Sarnafil roofing systems offer numerous benefits for home- and business owners:

  • Sarnafil is a cost-effective roofing solution, especially for repair and renovation projects.
  • The Sarnafil roofing membranes are thicker than traditional single-ply membranes in the industry. This thickness directly impacts the membrane’s durability, resilience, and longevity.
  • This roofing is exceptionally durable, lasting over 40 years
  • The Sarnafil roofing membranes can withstand standing water without damaging the product or the house or building they cover.
  • All joints, laps, and details on Sarnafil membranes are permanently welded for optimal strength. The edge trims are reinforced by another innovative product from Sarnafil, Sarnametal, forming solid, storm-resistant roofing edges
  • The Sarnafil roofing membranes are securely adhered to the roof structure, offering maximum protection from wind uplift.
  • Sarnafil roofing is virtually maintenance-free
  • Thermally and dimensionally stable, the Sarnafil membranes don’t expand or contract. They also don’t suffer damage from harmful UV rays. Instead, these membranes reflect the rays, making them an energy-efficient roofing option.
  • Thanks to a unique top coating, the Sarnafil membranes resist air pollution and industrial and biological waste.
  • The Sarnafil membranes are resistant to root growth, making them ideal for green roof applications.

Did you know? PVC roofs like Sarnafil stand out among other single-ply systems for their exceptional strength. These roofs typically feature a minimum breaking point of 300 points per inch. The industry-recommended standard is 200 pounds per inch.

Sarnafil Roofing vs EPDM

EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, is a durable rubber roofing membrane commonly installed on residential and commercial roofs.

This material was designed to withstand harsh conditions, including high temperatures and abrasive chemicals.

Unlike Sarnafil membranes, EPDM membranes aren’t heat-welded. As a result, many users consider visible seams as the biggest downside of these roofing systems.

Trying to mitigate this issue, EPDM manufacturers produce wide-span membranes with minimal seams.

While these broad membranes are great for minimizing the risk of leaks at the seams, they are also quite challenging to maneuver during installation.

Plus, these membranes are essentially installed like a huge sticker, so they require a great deal of precision and focus to avoid air bubbles.

During installation, EPDM membranes also require an insulation layer, like Sarnafil membranes. This layer is even more critical with EPDM membranes since they tend to attract more sun’s UV rays.

Overall, Sarnafil membranes offer better durability, longevity, and performance than EPDM membranes. For this reason, they are also substantially more expensive.

As a low-cost alternative to TPO and PVC roofs, EPDM costs roughly $5 per square foot to install. 

Sarnafil Roofing vs TPO

TPO, or thermoplastic polyolefin, is a single-ply roofing membrane that provides excellent energy efficiency and overall performance.

Did you know? TPO membranes first appeared in the 1990s, but the early product was plagued by performance issues. Since then, these membranes have been entirely reformulated. In fact, TPO manufacturers are still modifying their formulations to improve the final product. In contrast, Sarnafil PVC membranes have over 50 years of proven performance in the roofing industry using the same base formulation.

Similar to Sarnafil PVC roofing, TPO membranes are thermoplastic and require heat-welding.

However, these two products have entirely different base chemical compositions and physical properties.

Sarnafil PVC and TPO membranes aren’t compatible and can’t be combined.

Composition-wise, TPO membranes are more similar to EPDM rubber than PVC.

These membranes chemically bond rubber, propylene, ethylene, and several filler materials.

As for the installation process, both membranes require the use of insulation boards.

Also, both products can be installed using adhesives or be mechanically fastened.

If you choose to use the adhesives, you’ll have more issues adhering TPO membranes than their Sarnafil competitors, especially when using water-based adhesives. 

Regarding performance, TPO membranes are more susceptible to changes resulting from extreme temperatures. They are also less resistant to fire and stiffer.

When it comes to cost, TPO membranes are significantly less expensive.

The costs vary greatly, depending on the project complexity and local rates, but generally range from $4 to $10 per square foot.

Sarnafil Roofing vs Shingles

Sarnafil roofing membranes and shingle roofing are two entirely different products.

Shingles are most often made using asphalt and applied to roofs with a steeper slope.

In contrast, Sarnafil roofing is most commonly used on flat roofs.

In terms of performance, Sarnafil roofing is more durable, energy-efficient, and easier to maintain.

However, it’s also more challenging to install as it requires specialized techniques and products.

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What Is The Minimum Slope For Sika Sarnafil?

The minimum slope for Sika Sarnafil membranes is 1.50%.

However, specific Sarnafil roof systems also have some slope limitations.

While the fully-adhered and mechanically-fastened systems have no limits, the ballasted system can’t be installed on a roof surpassing a 6% slope.

How Long Does A Sarnafil Roof Last?

When installed by a certified installer, the Sarnafil roof is expected to last over 35 to 40 years.

Is Sarnafil A Good Roof?

Overall, the Sarnafil roof is considered a good roof.

These roofs are often used for commercial and industrial applications due to their ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions, including excessive exposure to UV rays, chemicals, and extreme temperatures.

Sarnafil roofs are also durable, long-lasting, and watertight, minimizing the risk of leaks and water damage.

A Wise Investment

Sika Sarnafil roofing is an excellent choice for home- and business owners looking for a durable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly roof.

Although this roofing has a higher upfront cost, it is a cost-effective solution in the long run, thanks to its longevity and low maintenance.

Typical Price Range To Install new Flat Roof Average: $6,980 - $9,720
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Author: Leo B
For over 20 years Leo has run a successful roofing business in New England, specializing in metal roofing, as well as cool flat roofing technologies. Having replaced and installed hundreds of roofs in New England, Leo has first hand experience with pretty much every residential roofing material and roofing manufacturer available in the US.
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