The Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing system is a single-ply roofing membrane made of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. TPO roofing is available in various colors and is usually used for flat or low slope roofs.
TPO is an elastic, durable, highly reflective membrane that is one of the fastest-growing choices in commercial buildings and among homeowners because of its industry-leading energy efficiency and resistance.
This post will take a closer look at TPO roofing material, its main components, and how it is installed. We'll also explore different types of single-ply roofs, such as EPDM and PVC roofing.
1. Energy Efficiency
One of the main benefits of the TPO roofing system is energy efficiency. Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membranes offer superior energy efficiency and durability, especially in warm southern climates. In fact, many homeowners choose white TPO because it can withstand higher temperatures and UV rays—which prevent cooling costs during the summer months.
TPO membranes come in different thicknesses, ranging from 0.40 mil (0.04 inch) to 0.90 mils (0.09 inch). The thicker the TPO membrane is, the more it costs; however, less expensive options are available for those with a limited budget.
A TPO roof is insulated with polyisocyanurate (Polyiso), available in thicknesses ranging from 0.5" to 4.5". It has versatile options for meeting energy code requirements and a budget.
Another reason why TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofs are cost-effective is that they reduce labor costs. Usually, labor costs are high when installing a new roof. However, TPOs do not require extensive labor, so contractors can cut down on costs and pass the savings to homeowners.
The lifespan of the TPO roof can reach 25 to 30 years if installed correctly, and all seams are welded well.
4. Easy to maintain
Repairs to TPO roofs are easy and can often be made quickly, with little time or effort. It's easier to spot issues in TPO roofs than in other roofing materials.
5. It’s lightweight
TPO roofs are relatively lightweight, making them an attractive option for homeowners who want to upgrade their roofs but don't want to deal with the added weight on their buildings.
6. Eco-friendly option
TPO is an excellent environmentally-friendly choice for roofing membranes. In the event of a fire, it does not discharge poisonous fumes, making fire situations safer to deal with on your property.
As a homeowner, you will spend between $400 and $500 for a square of TPO roofing. 1 square = 100 square feet. The average 2000 sq ft roof (20 squares) costs between $8000 to $10000. To learn more about roofing squares, read our article "How to Measure Roofing Squares".
The main difference between EPDM and TPO roofing is that they have different reflective properties. TPO roofing reflects sunlight, allowing a house to stay cooler in the summer. In contrast, EPDM has a dark surface, which will absorb heat in summer, forcing electric bills to go up. Another drawback of EPDM is its tendency to hold moisture, so it may be wise to choose TPO roofing in climates with high humidity.
TPO and PVC are both excellent roofing materials. Still, they have different characteristics that make each one more suitable for certain types of buildings. For example, TPO is ideal for most general-purpose buildings like retail, offices, and residential buildings. However, PVC's heat resistance makes it better than TPO for restaurants, chemical plants, and factories. Also, TPO performs well in most climates, whereas PVC tends to crack when exposed to temperature differences.
When choosing a single-ply material for your roof, it's essential to weigh all your pros and cons and consult with your roofer. Ultimately, it all comes down to the more popular options in your area because of city codes, climate, and other conditions.
The right brand-certified contractor is the best way to ensure you get a quality roof. They have received specialized training and certification from the manufacturer, so they can professionally install your roof and help you choose the best material for your needs.
Consult a professional roof contractor to install a TPO roof on your home. They will advise you on the best configuration for your home and budget. To begin your roofing project, find certified, vetted roofing professionals near you on Directorii.