Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a versatile flat roof option that roofing contractors recommend for certain applications. This durable, energy-efficient single-ply membrane is one of the fastest-growing roofing systems in the roofing industry, and for good reason. Read on to learn the many benefits of TPO roofing and how your building can benefit from it.
What Is TPO Roofing Material Made Of?
TPO roof membranes consist of three layers―a polymer base, a polyester-reinforced fabric center, and a durable thermoplastic polyolefin compounded top ply. The two materials that makeup TPO roofing are polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber.
TPO membranes are mechanically attached, ballasted, or chemically adhered over flat roof insulation to create a strong and effective layer of protection for commercial buildings. The seams are permanently welded when properly installed by a proven roofing company. This prevents leaks and moisture seepage.
What Are the Benefits of TPO Roofing?
Roofing professionals appreciate the quick and easy application of TPO over existing roof systems or as a new installation, but that’s not why it has become so popular over the last few years. The real reason is the broad spectrum of benefits of TPO roofing, including:
- Durability: TPO membranes have 15 to 20 years of expected service life.
- Resistance: TPO roofs are resistant to mold, dirt, algae, and punctures. They’re also impervious to ultraviolet radiation, ozone, and chemical exposure.
- Flexibility: Fluctuating Minnesota temperatures cause buildings to expand and contract, but the flexibility of TPO allows it to move with the structure to avoid vulnerabilities.
- Lightweight: With a TPO system, you don’t have to worry about the dangers or concerns brought on by heavier materials that may compromise your facility.
- Reflectivity: Unlike EPDM systems, TPO is typically installed as a white, highly reflective membrane that improves your building’s energy efficiency and significantly reduces energy consumption and costs. Additionally, it’s recognized as an EnergyStar product.
- Color variety: Despite white being the most common color, you have a full spectrum of colors to choose from. This is a great way to match your building colors to your business.
- Class A Fire Rated: Like another single-ply membrane, PVC, TPO membranes provide the highest protection standard against severe fire exposure.
- Cost-Effectiveness: TPO requires less investment than a complete replacement and many other roofing systems.
Installing TPO Over Existing Roofs
Along with all the benefits of TPO roofing listed above, another significant advantage of this system is that it can be a budget-friendly alternative to roof replacements. As long as your sloped roof or flat roof insulation material is dry and the decking or roof sheathing is in acceptable condition, roofers can safely install TPO over an existing roof. However, an insulation board must be applied over the current roof system or membrane before TPO application.
Another benefit of TPO roofing is that roofers can install it over a wide variety of existing roof systems, including:
- Old or damaged TPO
- Most roof coatings
- Metal roofs
Out of all flat roofing materials, TPO is considered one of the longest-lasting and durable options. As such, the average cost to install a TPO membrane is currently about $5.50-$6 per square foot. Your total costs depend on several factors, including roof size and complexity, membrane thickness, insulation quality, replacement of damage, and labor charges.
TPO roofing materials range from $160 to $500 per square (one square=100 square feet). Check out this roofing calculator to quickly estimate your flat roof replacement cost using TPO.
Rainville-Carlson Helps You Reap the Benefits of TPO Roofing
Rather than leaving your roof susceptible to human error as so many other roofing contractors in Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, and the Eastern Dakotas do, Rainville-Carlson uses state-of-the-art technology to mechanically attach TPO over existing roofs or as a new system. This results in a seamless, waterproof membrane that lasts and protects longer. If you have any questions or want to discuss your options further, reach out to us today.