Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO)

TPO membranes are single-ply roof membranes constructed from ethylene propylene rubber. They are designed to combine the durability of EPDM rubber with the proven performance of hot-air weldable seams. They have been tested as having excellent resistance to ozone, are algae-resistant, environmentally friendly and safe to install.

  • Sheet widths range from 6 feet to 12 feet wide
  • Sheets are typically 40 mils to 100 mils thick
  • Seams are sealed by heat welded with hot air
  • TPO membranes commonly are white

Pros

  • Economical

One of the factors that makes TPO roofing attractive both in residential and commercial construction is its reasonable cost. TPO offers many of the same benefits as PVC roofing, such as hot-air weldable seams and energy efficiency, but at a lower cost.

  • Fits different home styles

Many homeowners appreciate the fact that TPO is manufactured to look great on many different types of homes. TPO is available in white, light grey and black reflective color options. Now you do not need to get a white roof to enjoy the energy saving and reflective properties. Latest technologies enable all colors of TPO roofing membranes to be UV resistant and “cool”.

  • Durable

In comparison to other thermoplastic membranes, TPO resists mold growth, dirt accumulation, tears impact and punctures. It is made to be flexible and can allow for a home’s or building’s movement or settling. Reinforced TPO membranes can handle a building’s thermal expansion and contraction more effectively than other single ply roofing products.

  • Ease of installation

In general TPO membranes are manufactured with wider sheets and are light weight. This means that the material is easier to install and there is less seams. Less work and time associated with the installation translates into direct savings for you for the cost of installation.

  • Energy Efficient

The energy efficiency of TPO roofing membranes makes them highly attractive to home owners who want to have the benefits of savings on their cooling costs as well as help the environment by reducing the carbon footprint. TPO’s membrane’s white reflective surface exceeds the EPA’s ENERGY STAR requirements and white, tan and gray are listed with the Cool Roof Rating Council. This means that having a TPO roof on your home or building will keep the interior thermally comfortable on hot summer days while reducing your air conditioning costs.

 

Cons

  • Questionable longevity

One of the biggest disadvantages of TPO is that it is a really young roofing technology. It has been around only for about 10 years and manufactures are still trying to figure out the best chemical formula that will make the product durable and long lasting while maintaining a competitive price. So it is advisable to get it from a manufacturer (Firestone) that has been around since the beginning of TPO production, as they will most likely have the most long lasting formulation available on the market today.

  • Does not stand up well to heat load

TPO roofing membranes have been noted to have an issue of accelerated weathering when subjected to high thermal or solar loading. This problem has been specifically documented in the Southern states that get a lot of heat and sun throughout the year. The MRCA committee that issued the report based on their research, recommended the following to contractors: “If situations exist that may commonly elevate temperatures over 160 degrees or increase solar loads beyond “normal” question the manufacturer as to the suitability of their product for the situation; consider changing the product to a material that will clearly withstand the loading.
PVC and TPO roof membranes can be installed fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted. Most PVC and TPO membranes do not receive surfacing. Our manufactures, Firestone, and Versico offer total system warranties ranging from 5 to 30 years depending on system type, material thickness and Factory Mutual (FM), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) ratings.

 
(502) 618-2535