TPO Roofing

Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, roofing is a single-ply membrane roofing system is widely considered the most affordable, energy efficient, and easy to repair roofing systems since its inception in the 1980’s.

TPO roofing systems are by far the most common commercial roofing system available today, making up roughly 40% of the commercial roofing market share and becoming increasingly prevalent and requested. If you’ve ever seen a bright white roof on a commercial building, chances are you’ve seen a TPO roof!

Want to learn more about our TPO roofing services? Check out the Unlimited Blog HERE for an in-depth overview of project costs, details, and expectations.

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What is TPO?

TPO roofing is a single ply membrane roof, meaning it’s made of one single sheet of synthetic material reinforced with a polyester scrim. TPO sheets are heat-welded together at the seams.

TPO and PVC have nearly identical installation methods, whereas the seams of EPDM roofs need to be cleaned, primed, and sealed using EPDM seam tape.

To go deeper into TPO roofing, check out our blog HERE!

TPO Roofing Costs

TPO is one of the most cost effective commercial roofing systems available thanks to its lower material cost versus EPDM and PVC.

TPO is generally about $0.50 per square foot for material, whereas EPDM and PVC usually cost around $0.55 and $0.77 respectively. With labor included, the price for TPO can be anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot.

Complete TPO installation costs are lower than other traditional roof systems due to less system components and ease of installation.

TPO Roofing Advantages

Thanks to its heat-welded seam technology, TPO roofs are monolithic and offer a much higher water resistance. TPO material is more cost effective than most other roofing systems and is generally less expensive to install and maintain.

TPO offers a variety of installation options and insulation types, allowing the building owner/manager additional flexibility. Because of its polyester scrim reinforcement, TPO membranes can easily expand and contract with movements of the building, changes in temperature, and wind uplift pressures. In addition, a scrim affords the TPO roofs with an above-average puncture resistance over EPDM. TPO roofs look aesthetically pleasing and are very energy efficient thanks to their high Solar Reflectivity Index (SRI), low emissivity, and long term heat aging and UV resistance.

The abundance of prefabricated and custom TPO accessories offer wider roof compatibility and easier installation.

TPO Roofing Installation

The two most common methods of TPO roof installation are mechanically fastened and adhered.

Mechanically fastened roofs are screwed through the seam and the insulation down to the structural deck with special barbed plates and #14 or #15 fasteners. This is a more cost effective method but doesn’t offer as much wind uplift performance.

We also install Rhinobond, another mechanically fastened system with a unique membrane plate that allows for heat-induction between the top of the rhinobond plates to the bottom of the TPO membrane using a specialized rhinobond machine. Thermoplastic single-ply membranes may be mechanically fastened via Rhinobond technology utilizing induction welding insulation plates as the form of membrane attachment.

Adhered roofs are chemically glued and maintain a smooth, flat surface flush with the insulation and substrate, which offers a higher wind uplift performance and a more aesthetically pleasing look. Adhered TPO roofing assemblies are on average more expensive than mechanically-fastened.

Ballasted roofs are single-ply membranes loose-laid over the substrate and/or insulation, and then secured by overburden (river rock, gravel, concrete pavers, green roofing, etc.). Although optional, this approach is unconventional as it defeats TPO roofing’s energy saving quality and can make it much more challenging to identify and find leaks.

These installation methods can provide manufacturer warranties ranging from 5 – 30 years. Please consult our roofing specialists to design the correct system for your property.

TPO Roofing Repairs

Like all single-ply membrane roofs, TPO is naturally more vulnerable to membrane punctures that can lead to leaks since there is only one layer of protection.

Thanks to its heat-welded components, repairing typical punctures is often as easy as cleaning the TPO membrane and heat welding a new piece of TPO over the area. That said, TPO roofing repairs require special equipment (i.e hand and robotic welders) and experienced roofers to be performed effectively.

TPO Roofing Insulation

There are 3 major types of TPO insulation, all different costs and R-values.

Polyisocyanurate, or polyiso, is the most common insulation type because it has the highest R-value per inch of insulation. In most cases polyiso is a great fit but because of its flammability, it may not be suitable for buildings with certain fire restrictions or combustible deck types such as wood (ex. Class A).

Expanded Polystyrene, or EPS, is a more cost-effective option with a lower R-value per inch of insulation, but does show to be a cost effective option when used in fully tapered insulation systems.

Extruded Polystyrene, or XPS, is defined by its blue, green, or pink color and falls in between polyiso and EPS for price and R-value.

Curious to know more about TPO? Check out our blog HERE for an even more in-depth look at what our TPO services provide.

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