What Is TPO Roofing? Everything You Need To Know
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What Is TPO Roofing? Everything You Need to Know


When it comes to choosing a roofing material for flat or low-slope roofs, the options can seem overwhelming. One roofing solution that has gained popularity in recent years is Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) roofing.

TPO roofing offers a range of advantages, but it’s essential to understand:

  • What it is
  • Its pros and cons
  • The cost to install it
  • Alternative flat roofing materials

What is TPO roofing? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know! And reach out when you’re ready to upgrade your commercial roofing system.

What is TPO Roofing?

TPO roof next to a brick wall

TPO roofing is a type of single-ply roofing membrane made from thermoplastic materials, specifically Thermoplastic Olefin compounds. It is a versatile and energy-efficient roofing system that has become increasingly popular in commercial and residential applications. TPO roofing membranes are typically white or light-colored and are designed to reflect sunlight and heat, making them an eco-friendly and energy-efficient choice.

👍 Pros of TPO Roofing

  • Energy Efficiency: One of the significant advantages of TPO roofing is its energy efficiency. The reflective surface of TPO helps reduce heat absorption, keeping the building cooler in hot weather. This reflective property can lead to lower energy bills, especially in regions with scorching summers.
  • Durability: TPO roofing membranes are highly durable and can withstand various weather conditions, including UV rays, ozone exposure, and extreme temperatures. Their resistance to chemical and bacterial growth makes them a long-lasting roofing solution.
  • Easy Installation: TPO roofing is relatively easy to install, which can save on labor costs and installation time. It is available in wide rolls, allowing for quicker coverage of large roof areas. The ease of installation also minimizes disruptions to your daily activities during the roofing project.
  • Low Maintenance: TPO roofs require minimal maintenance. Routine inspections and occasional cleaning are typically all that’s needed to ensure their longevity. This low maintenance requirement makes TPO roofing a cost-effective choice over its lifespan.
  • Environmentally Friendly: TPO roofing is considered environmentally friendly due to its energy-saving properties and recyclability. Many TPO manufacturers offer recycling programs for old membranes, reducing the environmental impact of roofing waste.

👎 Cons of TPO Roofing

  • Limited Color Options: TPO roofing membranes are primarily available in white or light-colored options to maximize reflectivity. If you prefer a specific color for your roofing material, TPO may not be the best choice.
  • Susceptibility to Punctures: While TPO roofing is durable, it can be susceptible to punctures from sharp objects or debris. Proper care must be taken during installation and maintenance to avoid damaging the membrane.
  • Complexity of Repairs: Although TPO roofing is relatively easy to install, repairs can be more complex. Finding and fixing leaks or damage may require the expertise of a professional roofing contractor.
  • Variability in Quality: Not all TPO roofing products are created equal. Quality can vary between manufacturers, so it’s crucial to choose a reputable brand and ensure that the roofing membrane meets industry standards.

The Cost of TPO Roofing Installation

Roofer on a flat roof

The cost of installing a TPO roofing system can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your roof, the complexity of the installation, and your location. On average, the cost per square foot for TPO roofing installation ranges from $5 to $8. This price includes the materials, labor, and any necessary additional components like insulation or flashing.

Keep in mind that while TPO roofing may have a higher upfront cost compared to some other roofing materials, its energy-efficient properties can lead to long-term savings on heating and cooling expenses. Additionally, its durability and low maintenance requirements can further offset the initial investment.

5 Alternative Flat Roofing Materials

If TPO roofing doesn’t seem like the right fit for your project or if you want to explore other options, several alternative flat roofing materials are worth considering. Here are a few popular alternatives:

1) EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer):

EPDM roofing is another single-ply roofing membrane that is made from a synthetic rubber material. It offers excellent durability and weather resistance. EPDM is available in black and white and can be an attractive choice for those seeking a different color option.

2) Modified Bitumen:

Modified bitumen roofing consists of layers of asphalt and rubber or plastic modifiers. It provides durability and flexibility, making it a good choice for low-slope roofs. It comes in a variety of colors and can be installed using various methods, including torch-applied, cold-applied, and self-adhesive.

3) PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride):

PVC roofing is another single-ply roofing membrane that is chemically similar to TPO but with different properties. PVC is highly resistant to chemicals, UV rays, and fire, making it suitable for commercial and industrial applications. It is available in a range of colors.

4) Built-Up Roofing (BUR):

BUR roofing consists of multiple layers of asphalt-saturated felt or other reinforcing materials, alternated with layers of hot asphalt or cold adhesive. While it is an older roofing system, BUR is still used in some applications due to its proven durability and long lifespan.

5) Metal Roofing:

Metal roofing, typically made of steel or aluminum, is a durable and long-lasting option for flat and low-slope roofs. Metal roofs come in various styles and colors and can provide an attractive aesthetic while offering excellent weather resistance.

Get Help With Your TPO Roofing Systems

TPO roofing’s reflective properties, durability, and ease of installation make it an appealing choice for many property owners. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and consider the cost of installation.

If TPO roofing doesn’t align with your preferences or budget, there are alternative flat roofing materials to explore, each with its unique characteristics and benefits. Ultimately, the choice of roofing material should be based on your specific needs, budget, and aesthetic preferences, so be sure to consult with a professional roofing contractor to make an informed decision for your roofing project.At Trust Roofing, we have the experience that you need to make sure that your flat roof keeps your property safe for years to come. Contact us today to learn more about your TPO roofing costs!

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