Why Consider a TPO Roof?
If you are thinking about installing single ply roofing on your home or business, before you make your decision and call in a professional roofing contractor to do the work, TPO (thermoplastic olefin) is an option you should most definitely consider.
TPO is energy efficient and just as strong as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber)—a type of synthetic rubber—or PVC (Polyvinyl chloride), but significantly less costly. Generally, what that means is a TPO roof has the UV-resistance and heat resistance of EPDM, but the heat welding ability of PVC. TPO is relatively new and was first introduced to the roofing market nearly 30 years ago as a cheaper and more efficient alternative to PVC roofing products. TPO is single ply and consists of a thermoplastic polyolefin membrane, which is composed of three layers:
- TPO polymer base
- polyester-reinforced fabric center (scrim)
- thermoplastic polyolefin compounded top ply
Common TPO fillers include talc, fiberglass, carbon fiber, wollastonite, and Metal Oxy Sulfate, while common rubbers used in TPO include ethylene-propylene rubber and EPDM. There are also disadvantages to using TPO, so before you call your local roofing company to use it for your commercial roofing or home construction project, you should take the proper time to investigate and weigh both the pros and cons of TPO roofing.
Pros of TPO Roofing
TPO roofing can be a desirable option in home and business construction because the cost is relatively low. As a frame of reference, PVC is far more expensive than TPO, yet TPO offers comparable energy efficiency and ability to weld hot-air at a fraction of the cost of PVC. If you are on a tight budget, this is an especially attractive option because it not only saves money on this aspect of home or office construction, it allows for greater allocation of budget resources to be diverted to other areas.
Adaptable to various home styles
TPO is constructed in a manner that allows it to look really good on a wide variety of homes. It is available in numerous different colors—black, white, and gray—and with its strong level of UV-resistance, all colors of TPO (not just white) can deliver energy savings for you. This is a nice benefit because it allows you to have multiple color options while still being able to reap the benefits of energy efficiency that normally can only be had by using the color white.
Strength and durability
TPO is able to resist dirt build-up, punctures, tears, and mold growth. This means a strong roofing product, but also one that will save you money in the long run on cleaning and repair costs. In addition, TPO is the best single ply roofing product when it comes to dealing with expansion and contraction, and its flexibility allows for a wide array of options when it comes to moving or settling a building.
Cost savings and environmentally-friendly products do not always go hand in hand, but with TPO roofing they do. TPO eases cooling costs due to UV resistance and reduces carbon emissions as well. The amazing thing about environmental impact with TPO, though, is the fact that it not only meets but far exceeds the EPA Energy Star requirements and is highly rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council. In the summertime, that means TPO will keep your energy bill low while simultaneously helping the environment and keeping your home cool. So, whether you are concerned about the environment, saving money, keeping your home cool, or all of the above, the outstanding energy efficiency TPO roofing provides is a huge boon to any potential purchaser.
Simplicity of installation
TPO is usually very light in weight and put together using wide sheets. This means a lower amount of seems and a product that is much easier to install. So, if you are hiring Vancouver roofing contractors to install TPO in your home or business, you should strongly consider the fact that the use of TPO roofing is synonymous with less time needing to be spent working on a roofing project than with other roofing options. Less time working on a project results in significantly lower labor costs, which means this ends up being another area in which TPO roofing can save you money.
Cons of TPO roofing
Does not do well when subjected to very high heat
TPO roofing can save you a remarkable amount of money on your energy costs and make your home or office building cooler, but when the heat gets too high, it can cause serious problems. Southern states that are generally warmer over the course of the year than northern states show this to be the case. If temperatures are pushed to a tremendously high level on a regular basis or if solar loads are increased far beyond usual amounts, it is entirely possible TPO roofing could fail to withstand those conditions. So, if you live in a climate where those are issues you will regularly encounter, TPO roofing may not be your best option.
TPO roofing has proven to be strong and durable, but it must be kept in mind that it is still a young technology. Thus, the formula that is used to produce TPO material is still being perfected as the manufacturers attempt to find the proper balance between durability and affordability. Along the way, there have been some TPO models that had seam and material failures involving cracks. While improvements are constantly being made, it is impossible to know precisely how long TPO roofing product will last.
The uncertainty around durability may sway you in the direction of opting for a different roofing option, but if you do decide to go with TPO, your best bet is definitely to purchase from a experienced roofing company with extensive knowledge about the material.