You’ve likely seen these impressively white and bright roofs on top of industrial or commercial buildings. These brilliant coverings are TPO roofing. If you live in any place with a hot climate, TPO rooftops are a familiar image on residential buildings. This roofing material has become a popular roofing choice among property owners who want an affordable and durable roof that’s also easy to install. In this article, we’ll go over the biggest pros and cons of TPO. We’ll share with you everything you need to know about TPO roofing.
What is TPO Roofing?
TPO stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, a single-ply roofing membrane that’s rapidly growing in popularity among commercial roofing solutions. TPO is made from several blends of rubber. The material is manufactured in sheets, usually between 10, 12, or 20 feet wide. While TPO is still known as the “newest” solution for low-slope roofs, TPO is anything but unproven in its effectiveness.
With its unique set of specifications, TPO also comes with individual pros and cons. These factors make it different from other roofing materials. That said, let’s take a look at the biggest pros and cons of TPO roofing.
The Pros of TPO Roofing
A few years ago, the National Roofing Contractors Association published an article on the rise of TPO. The organization’s research found that this roofing material was garnering a 40% share of new construction. It was also getting up to 30% of the re-roofing market.
These numbers have probably gone even more up since then. TPO has gotten more popular and is an excellent choice for both residential and commercial objects. This is mainly due to the many practical advantages this roofing material has to offer. Let’s take a look at the most important ones.
The overall cost of the installation will depend on the size and condition of your roof, insulation, and membrane selection. But TPO is reasonably affordable. It costs less compared to types of rolled tubed roofing and EPDM.
Also, the specific features of the material make it a cost-effective option that will save money on other costs too. For example, due to the bright white reflective attributes of the material, TPO saves money on energy costs during the hot summer. This is especially useful in warm climates like Florida.
Ease of Installation
Aside from its affordable price, the second biggest reason why TPO roofing is becoming increasingly popular is the ease of installation. You can choose how you want TPO installed, and whether you wish the membrane to be directly fastened to the deck or attached with adhesives.
Once the membrane has been installed, contractors use a hot-air type gym to weld the seams of the material together. This creates a completely waterproof, tight seal.
Low Maintenance Requirements
What makes TPO an excellent choice for US homeowners, especially those who live in tropical or subtropical climates, is that TPO material is highly resistant to harsh weather conditions and is easy to maintain. It doesn’t break down upon contact with many other materials and is resistant to corrosion. What’s more, TPO roofing doesn’t promote algae growth or mildew and doesn’t require pressure washing.
The Cons of TPO Roofing
TPO roofing comes with some really advantageous features. But, just like any other type of material, it also has a few drawbacks compared to other roofing solutions. Below are the biggest cons of TPO you’ll want to consider before deciding on a roofing solution.
TPO Roofing Quality Can Differ Between Manufacturers
As we’ve previously mentioned, TPO is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. Different TPO products can considerably vary in quality and longevity. This means that you can get a good quality TPO roll form one manufacturer, and a poor quality roll if you go to another manufacturer. So, if you decide to go with a TPO roof, make sure to do research on the manufacturer and opt for one that has a proven track record of producing quality TPO roofing.
Potential Longevity Issues
This disadvantage comes as a direct consequence of the previous one. With TPO, you can never be exactly sure how long it will last, as the production varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. A general estimate is that this type of material can last between 10 and 20 years. This is not so bad compared to other roofing solutions, but there’s still a big gap between the two numbers, making TPO unreliable if you’re planning long-term. This is partly because this material is laminated.
Laminated materials tend to develop weak points in its structure, which can shrink and deteriorate over time. For this reason, if you opt for a cheaper TPO material, it can develop cracks early in its lifespan.
A Quick Sum Up on TPO Roofing
TPO, just like any other roofing material on the market, has its set of pros and cons. To recap, measuring all of the benefits and drawbacks of TPO roofs doesn’t need to be an arduous or complicated process. This is especially so if you consider the fact that you can avoid these disadvantages if you do a bit of research on the manufacturers, their reputation, and product warranties.
If you’re a homeowner or own or manage a commercial building in Florida, feel free to contact us at any time. We’ve worked on hundreds of TPO roofs all over the Tampa Bay area, providing services to residential homes, as well as multi-million dollar commercial buildings.
Whether you’re looking into the possibility of installing a TPO roof or want to explore other materials as well, we’ll be happy to provide you with a detailed analysis and estimate free of charge. To get your free roofing estimate, call us today at 813.373.9088 or fill out our quick online form, and we’ll get in touch with you promptly.