Choosing the right material for your flat roof can be difficult. Some roofing materials are cheap, while others are expensive; some are better suited for warmer climates, while others thrive in the cold; some can last decades, while others may start deteriorating after just a handful of years. Without understanding the differences between the various types, you may end up choosing one that’s unsuitable for your particular roofing needs.
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What is TPO Roofing?
Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, is a roofing membrane commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings. It’s a single-ply rubber membrane that is used to cover the surface of a flat roof, providing excellent water and corrosion resistance. It can be either mechanically fastened or chemically adhered to your flat roof structure, giving your commercial building an extra layer of protection.
Pros of TPO Roofing
The main advantage of TPO roofing is that it’s a no-fuss solution. It can easily be applied to any flat roof surface and is one of the cheapest options available. Despite that, it has excellent lifetime potential, lasting up to 30 years if properly maintained. It is also a Class-A fire-rated material when fire retardants are added to the TPO mix during the manufacturing process.
TPO is also highly reflective due to its bright white color. It reflects both sunlight and UV rays, preventing heat and UV from entering the building. This provides an extra layer of insulation, saving you money on cooling costs in the summer months.
The specialized rubber used in the TPO manufacturing process means that it’s also more flexible in the winter months, unlike other rubber-type coatings. This makes TPO roof installation easy year-round and ensures that it is more resistant to weather damage.
Cons of TPO Roofing
The main drawback of TPO as a roofing material is the variable quality of products available on the market. TPO can come in a variety of thicknesses and choosing the right one for your roof can be confusing and frustrating. While you would expect that thicker means better, this isn’t always the case with TPO roofing since it works as an insulator by reflecting light, not absorbing it. Getting the right membrane is the key to getting a TPO roof installation that will last for longer than a decade.
Certain manufacturers also make TPO rolls that are quite narrow in width, which results in seams every couple of feet on a wide roof, allowing for water damage as the material expands and contracts during seasonal temperature changes.
TPO Roofing Installation and Repair
TPO roofing can either be applied over an existing roof structure or directly onto the insulation layer. The membrane is glued or mechanically attached to a cover board which is then installed on the cleaned roof or insulation layer. A hot air gun can then be used to glue any seams together, resulting in a water-tight and weatherproof roof installation.
Unfortunately, due to the significant variance in quality of TPO roofing, many commercial clients are unsatisfied with the state of their TPO roof. Poor installations with inferior materials and rushed work result in shelters that are leaky and don’t protect the interior from heat and UV.
At Polaris Roofing Systems, we take care in selecting the best materials possible and ensuring our clients get the best service. If you’re unhappy with your current TPO installation and want to conduct a TPO roof repair, our consultants can correct existing mistakes and improve the quality and lifespan of your roof, no matter the size or shape of the installation.
Polaris Roofing Systems has a proven track record in roof installations of all kinds, including TPO roofs on commercial and industrial buildings. We can tackle jobs of any size, regardless of whether it’s a new installation or a repair on an old installation. Our roofing experts understand the material they’re working with and will ensure that you have a roof that will protect your building for years to come.