TPO Membrane is a Popular Choice for Flat Roofers in Denver
TPO membrane (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is one of the newer flat roofing materials, yet it is a popular choice for many flat roofers in Denver, Colorado. What makes TPO flat roofing material selected over EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)? Well, below we have listed many of the advantages of TPO membrane and some of the disadvantages. There isn’t a one size fits all flat roofing material out there, hence all the different choices that roofing contractors have.
Which roofing material is used depends on several factors such as building use and local weather. A black EPDM roof does not offer the heat reflective properties of a white TPO roof. If you live where the sun shines all the time, especially in Denver and the west, this Energy Star rating is important. And if hail is common in your area, PVC would not be first choice in flat roofing material. The PVC roofing material becomes brittle over time and is more susceptible to cracks when hit with hail. See this GAF report for more information on TPO vs PVC.
Here are some of the advantages of TPO:
- Energy Star Rated – TPO offers heat reflective properties because it is smooth and white.
- EPDM only comes in black but can have a coating of white applied to increase the reflectivity.
- Cost-effective because it is less expensive than PVC.
- TPO smooth surface resist bacteria, algae and build-up of dirt and debris.
- Resistant to tears and punctures.
- Flexible – TPO allows for settlement in buildings.
- TPO membrane can withstand ultraviolet rays. This is one characteristic that all the top TPO manufactures have successfully formulated into the membrane.
- Hot-air (heat) welded seams are very strong with seam strengths reportedly greater than EPDM adhesive and tape seams.
- TPO does not contain environmentally hazardous chlorine.
- TPO membrane is 100% recyclable.
- All roofing materials have weather-resistant qualities but TPO and EPDM hold up to hail better than PVC.
Disadvantages of TPO membrane:
- Fairly new material so it is still being modified to age better in high heat.
- Since it is newer, there is less of a track record for performance as compared to EPDM and PVC.
- Current lifespan is not a s long as EPDM which is 30-40 years. TPO membrane is around 20 years.
- PVC has better chemical resistance so it is a better choice for roofs with grease traps.
- Costs a little more than EPDM but is still less than PVC.
- Most TPO failures come from poorly welded seams. A quality installation is key to a quality roof.
What to Look for When Deciding on Flat Roofing Material
The first decision when replacing or repairing your flat roof is to find a quality flat roofing company. Remember, when it comes to a quality roof, a quality installation is critical. Check how long the company has been in business and if they have a local address. BBB accreditation, general liability insurance, warranties and certified installers are also very important. Rock’s Roofing, Inc. has all of the above and has been in business since 1968.
The manufacturer of the TPO is also an important consideration. Is the manufacturer a new company or is it a well established company in the roofing industry? What type of warranty is offered? Not all TPO membranes are created equal and it is important to select one from an established, reputable manufacturer.
When deciding on a new roof, discuss the characteristic of the building and which factors are most important. Is having a cool roof and Energy Star Rating important, or is the longevity of the material most important. Talk with the roofing contractor about the pros and cons of each material and the long term maintenance of each. A quality flat roofing contractor will be knowledgeable about EPDM, PVC, TPO and even Modified Bitumen. At Rock’s Roofing, Inc. we have installed all of these types of flat roofing materials. Contact the experts to discuss your flat roof.