What is TPO roofing? A dazzling white roof is the perfect example of TPO roofing. It offers some of the best energy savings for single-ply membrane roofing systems and remains one of the most popular in the roofing industry.
This article explores all you must know about the TPO roofing system and its benefits.
What Is Single-Ply Membrane Roofing?
The single-ply membrane roofing system is a flat roof installation with synthetic materials. It is either mechanically tied to a roof or attached to the insulation, creating a protective barrier on the flat roof surface to enable it to stick to the surface.
Single-ply works for both commercial and residential roofing systems. However, it is more popular with the former. Two varieties of single-ply membrane roofs are available to accommodate the financial constraints and construction requirements of commercial roofing systems.
- Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)
- Ethylene Propylene Diene (EPDM)
These two single-ply membranes differ in material composition, energy effectiveness, and installation techniques.
What Is TPO Roofing Membrane in Flat Roofs?
The single-ply TPO membrane is a fast-growing commercial roofing system. You can cover flat roofs with TPO roofing systems consisting of a single layer of synthetic materials and reinforcing scrim.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin membranes are produced as 10, 12, or 20-foot wide sheets. After that, the sheets are wrapped up and brought to the commercial building.
The naturally reflective surface of TPO roofing has won the industry’s recognition for reflecting UV rays. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), the TPO roofing system accounts for roughly 40% of the commercial roofing market.
TPO Flat Roof System Installation
Installing the TPO roofing system is distinctive compared to how other roofing materials are installed. The TPO membrane is usually fastened to the roof deck with mechanical fasteners and plates.
Adhesives may affix TPO membranes to the deck or a layer of insulation material, but this is less common.
The insulation is put in after the existing substrate has been cleaned or the old roof has been removed. The facility manager or owner has a few insulating alternatives to pick from:
Polyiso or Polyisocyanurate
It is expensive but has a high R-value rating, which gauges how well a material resists heat flow. With such a high insulation factor, it has a tremendous capacity to withstand heat.
EPS or Expanded Polystyrene
With one of the highest R-values, this insulation is utilized for roofing, floor, and wall insulation. You can use it when insulation involves contact with or connection to the ground because it is water-resistant.
The hues that make up this insulation are blue, green, blue, or pink. Its price and performance fall between those of EPS and Polyiso. It has a perm rating of 1, making it a semipermeable substance.
Perm rating is the water vapor flow rate through a square foot of material. A material with a high perm rating will allow more water vapor to travel through it than one with a lower perm rating. Lower numbers indicate that less water vapor will travel through a roof or other material.
TPO Roofing Costs
There are a few things to consider regarding the costs of single-ply materials and their installation for domestic architecture. Despite being a reasonably inexpensive material to utilize, there are things to consider to get the best roofing material for a reasonable price.
Consider these factors to arrive at a cost-effective solution:
- Roof condition
- Roof size
- Roof access
- Insulation selection
- TPO roofing Membrane selection
- Roof protrusions/penetrations
- Warranty options
- Benefits of TPO
Advantages of TPO Roofing Systems
A single-ply roofing membrane for businesses can last for decades if installed and maintained correctly. Numerous other advantages of single-ply membrane roofing systems include:
Customer Choice of Insulation
As a customer, you have additional alternatives for insulating the roof of your business because single-ply does not consider insulation.
Class A Fire-Rated
TPO membranes and EPDM can attain Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Class A fire resistance designations by including fire retardant chemicals during production.
Reflective or Retentive
TPO often comes in white and is quite reflecting. EPDM is frequently called “Black Roofs” on the other end of the spectrum because of the membrane’s inherently dark tint.
How TPO Roofing Saves Money
The most popular TPO substance is bright white and has excellent reflecting qualities. This installation of a bright white roof can reflect heat and UV rays away from the building, reducing the need for air conditioning during the summer and frequent roof cleaning.
How Is a TPO Roof Repaired?
A TPO has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. During this time, the membrane may become pierced; flashings may fail; seams may break apart, etc., leading to a roof leak.
The first indication that a TPO roof needs repair is when water starts to enter the building. This typically occurs when seams become less adherent, allowing water to penetrate the insulation in the roofing.
Once the insulation has accumulated enough water, it leaks inside your building via your roofing deck.
Contact a contractor with expertise in commercial roofing systems for a roofing inspection.
An inspector for a roofing company will be able to determine the following:
- Where your insulation is being accessed by water
- The TPO roof’s age
- The number of layers the roof has
- How well have the seams been preserved
Repair Options When TPO Roofs Have 25% Saturation
The roof has an excessive amount of saturation, according to the results of the thorough infrared inspection. It would be impossible to repair the roof. A silicone restoration membrane system is not helpful in this case.
Unfortunately, the only option is to remove the insulation and TPO to expose the roofing deck.
A new TPO system can now be installed. It might be more cost-effective to attempt a new roofing method, given what happened the last time.
TPO Roofing System Lifespan
In the roofing market, TPO Roofing is a relative newcomer. With a history that can be traced back just over 30 years, several material advancements, and ongoing system enhancements, a precise lifespan has not yet been established.
A preventative maintenance program can help all roofing systems. These advantages of TPO include:
- Early discovery of issues
- Preventive maintenance
- Inspections and repairs for storm/severe weather damage
Due to these advantages, there are fewer instances of material or component failure and a longer lifespan.
How to Choose a TPO Roof
Selecting the right materials and roofing contractor ensures your TPO roof will last as long as possible. When purchasing and putting in TPO roofing, keep the following in mind:
The TPO membrane thickness you select should be at least enough for your particular application. Your TPO membrane’s top layer should be the thickest for optimal performance and longevity.
Measurements and Calculations
To properly install a TPO roof, your roofing contractor must be able to take accurate dimensions. Possible uplift load to your roof must be calculated to determine the optimum membrane width and fastener spacing.
The best TPO roofing materials are those with a large weldability window. As a result, stronger seams may be made by joining each TPO strip more uniformly and at various temperatures.
The availability of wide rolls or sheets of roofing materials like TPO is one of their advantages for building envelopes. Fewer seams are required by your roofing contractor the wider your TPO material is. As a result, the roofing will be more substantial and durable overall. It will also be easier to install quickly because fewer mechanical fasteners and joining procedures will be needed.
Rubber Roofs Comparison: TPO, EPDM, and PVC
Many of the benefits of PVC and EPDM roof systems are combined in thermoplastic polyolefin, but what are the differences between TPO, EPDM, and PVC?
TPO vs. EPDM
Another well-liked “rubber roof” alternative for flat roofs in the Bowie area is EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).
The cheaper alternative, EPDM, is frequently promoted, and this may be the case in many circumstances. However, this more cost-effective feature of EPDM typically only applies to its default color choice of black. EPDM is also available in white, but it costs more.
TPO roofing is more cost-effective and environmentally beneficial because it is often white. Because TPO offers more color options than EPDM, most consumers also favor it for its curb appeal.
Both EPDM and TPO roofs have lifespans of around two decades. However, TPO roofs with fiberglass reinforcement may be more durable.
TPO frequently has stronger seams than EPDM due to its hot air-welded seaming method, which lowers the risk of leaks.
TPO vs. PVC
A rubber roof is comparable to TPO in that it is built of thermoplastic materials PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Both types of roofing materials can be hot air welded and are energy-efficient. Both forms of roofing require mechanical fasteners or adhesives for installation.
The primary distinction between TPO and PVC is that the latter has been used as a roofing material for over 50 years. Roofing specialists are more likely to comprehend PVC roofing and know how to install it properly.
This difference, however, becomes less significant if you select a roofing contractor who has experience with TPO roofing and uses only the best TPO.
The Best Flat Roofing Materials
You now better understand TPO roofing, how long it will last, and how much it will cost. You might feel prepared to contact a roofing contractor after reading this.
However, you must first be aware of alternative flat roofing materials. You must be aware of your alternative possibilities to ensure you make the best purchase.
Get an Experienced Roofing Contractor
We have spent years fixing new roofs and repairing those destroyed in Cedar Park after a storm.
Whether you want minor fixes or a complete roof replacement, you can depend on quality service supported by a lifetime warranty to get the most out of your money.