TPO Commercial Roofing: All You Need to Know

TPO roofing is undoubtedly one of the most common roofing systems among business owners due to its incredible energy-saving and considerable lifespan. Whether you want to upgrade to a TPO roofing system or are shopping for a new and effective roof for your commercial property, our commercial roofing experts will walk you through all you ought to know about commercial TPO roofing in this guide.

What is TPO Roofing?

Thermoplastic polyolefin, popularly known as TPO is among the most popular commercial roofing systems today. Like Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM), TPO is a single-ply roofing membrane. This means that TPO is a flat and synthetic polymer made from rubber and other synthetics. As a result, TPO provides excellent water protection and energy efficiency. Additionally, TPO membranes are available in rolls of different sizes, usually 10, 12, and 20 feet wide.

Single Ply Roofing Membranes: TPO Roofing Vs. EPDM Roofing

TPO and EPDM are the two main single-ply membrane roofing types. Although both roofing systems share some similarities, they are pretty different. To start with, EPDM has been around longer than TPO. Also, TPO reflects sunlight while EPDM roofing systems absorb heat from the sun. Unlike EPDM, which is only available in black, TPO is available in different colors like tan, gray, white, and more. Another significant difference is that TPO membranes are either attached to the cover by a bonding adhesive or mechanically fastened while EPDM membranes are mechanically fastened.  

What is Better EPDM or TPO?

TPO roofing systems have the edge over EPDM systems due to their energy efficiency, puncture resistance, stability, Installation convenience, and seam strength. Discover why TPO is the better option below:

1.  Puncture Resistance

When it comes to puncture resistance, TPO roofing systems offer business owners more puncture resistance than EPDM roofing systems.

2.  Ease of Installation

Thanks to its versatility, TPO offers greater installation convenience than EPDM. Commercial roofers can install TPO in various ways, including fully adhered or mechanically attached.

3.  Repair Convenience

Since TPO can be welded, it is easy to repair. On the other hand, EPDM may be difficult to repair since it cannot be welded.

4.  Dimensional Stability

If you prefer a commercial roofing system that does not shrink quickly, then TPO should be your go-to roofing system.

5.  Energy Efficiency

EPDM roofing has a dark surface, meaning it retains most solar heat. EPDM roofing membranes might struggle to maintain an optimal thermal balance inside your commercial building. On the other hand, TPO reflects heat from the sun, leading to increased energy savings.

6.  Maintenance Requirements

EPDM membranes don’t require routine maintenance at the beginning of their service. However, your EPDM membranes might require regular maintenance after some time since the adhesive might start to come apart. In addition, EPDM reacts poorly to oils, harsh cleaners, and other solvents.

However, TPO membranes are more difficult to maintain since they lose their flexibility and thermoplastic capabilities with time.

7.  Seam Strength

Seams in TPO roofing membranes are welded to enhance longevity and waterproofing. On the other hand, EPDM seams are sealed with adhesive, meaning they don’t offer the same water protection and durability level.

Is TPO a Good Roof?

Although it’s relatively new, TPO offers several benefits when installed and maintained correctly. With TPO roofing membranes, business owners can expect:

  • Strong resistance to punctures and tears

  • Greater resistance to fungi and mold growth

  • More color options, including white, gray, and tan

  • Greater UV resistance

  • Improved impact resistance

  • Increased installation convenience

  • Low environmental impact

  • Better flexibility and versatility

  • Increased energy savings

However, TPO also has its fair share of concerns. First, not all TPO manufacturers produce the highest quality products. Also, TPO is relatively more expensive than other low-slope roofing systems. Luckily, you can work with experienced commercial roofing specialists at Lone Star Roofing to find the highest-quality TPO products in the market.

Can You Improve the Life Expectancy of a TPO Roof?

A properly installed and maintained TPO roofing system should protect your business for approximately 15 to 20 years. You can extend the lifespan of  TPO roofing by keeping a close eye on it to identify punctures, tears, and separated seams early. Since you may not have the time to check your TPO roofing every day, it is advisable to enroll in our maintenance program. Our roofing contractors are ready to inspect your TPO roofing system at least once every year to extend its lifespan and improve efficiency.

Can You Walk on a TPO Roof?

We highly discourage heavy foot traffic On TPO roofing systems. First, heavy foot traffic may damage your TPO roof. Also, TPO is quite slippery when wet, and walking on it may result in serious injuries.

How Much Does TPO Roofing Cost?

One square foot of TPO roofing will cost you anywhere from $3.5 to $14 depending on:

  • The size of your roof

  • Warranty

  • Insulation choice

  • Condition of the current roofing system

  • Roof penetrations

  • Ease of Installation

  • Membrane choice

  • Installation company

Are you looking for the highest-quality TPO roofing? Schedule your free estimate to learn more.