Last Updated on December 7, 2023
What is TPO?
TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is one of three most common used commercial roofing systems in use today. The other two roofing assemblies are EPDM and PVC. While it’s easy to understand why any of these roofs are a quick go-to, one reason is the skill level to install most single-ply roof systems today is minimal. A good crew may only need one really experienced installer for the details, and to oversee the roofing project. The other is that they’re budget-friendly. TPO typically has the lowest cost of the three single-ply roof systems.
TPO and other single-ply roof systems are often used because of the varieties of options that are available. Some options listed below are quickly realized for most projects. However, it’s what can be left in place or installed under the TPO that makes it very appealing. Single-ply roof applications are great, especially if the option to overlay another roof is available. The light weight and ease of installation can quickly prove to be financially rewarding. You can save money and get a new roof, with a warranty for labor and material on your new roof.
Again when using this roofing material, it allows for many options, such as:
- TPO can be fully adhered to the roof substrate.
- It can be mechanically attached quickly, for time-saving install.
- TPO has highly reflective properties for energy savings.
- It’s available in multiple colors that are UV resistant.
A good thing to consider when installing a new roof, be it a built up roof (BUR) or a modified roof membrane, is insulation. Roof insulation is a fast way to help get your building to be more energy efficient. There are several types of roof insulation, however one common one used with single-ply roofs, is polyisocyanurate (polyiso). The average R Value per inch is around 7. So, as you can see, it can quickly add up.
Most flat roofs today have an energy requirement. It would be wise to check your local building regulations to see if this applies to you. You could also visit www.energycodes.gov to verify what may be needed in your area. An additional advantage to roof insulation is that it can be tapered (tapered insulation) to increase roof slope for positive roof drainage. Typically you can increase the slope of your roof in 1/8″ increments, with the most common being 1/4′-1/2″ slope per foot of rise.
There are very few downsides to TPO roofing membranes. One of those, perhaps, may be that extreme heat can cause degradation of the membrane. Another may be the overall useful life cycle. Since TPO is relatively new to the industry, only time and severe weather will prove how well TPO really performs over the long term. From what I have experienced, issues with TPO roofs tend to result from poor workmanship. Incorrectly installed roofing materials will cut the performance factor or life cycle of any roof substantially.
TPO Roofing Performance and Applications
Based off of everything I have experienced with installation of TPO membrane roofing, and from my observation of how well these roofs have performed in areas highly prone to hail and hurricanes, I would say that you will always be safe in using this product. Manufacturers work hard every day and invest millions of dollars annually to improve their roofing materials. That can only mean we all win. As roofing products improve, that helps everyone out, especially financially.
TPO roofing membrane has so many great uses. For example, you can install TPO on flat roofs or steep slope roofs. It can simulate standing seam metal roofing. TPO can quickly be made fire resistant and meet a hail impact rating – both of which can qualify you for additional savings with your property insurance provider. Ballast roofing materials such as creek or river rock can be placed over the top of TPO. When using rock, always refer to the manufacturer’s recommended application standards. You can install roof pavers, and several other roof coverings, so that your flat roof can serve as more than just a roof.
A flat roof, when installed properly, can make a great outdoor patio, sun deck, or spa area. If you decide to use your roof as such, it is vitally important that a structural engineer evaluate your roof. Another consideration would be local building codes. Using your flat roof as an outdoor area can quickly add value to your property. Some newer commercial properties now use their flat roofs for outdoor dining, weddings, spa areas and more.
More Reasons to Choose TPO Roofing
TPO roofing products are a great choice for any building owner, developer and commercial roofing contractor. This roofing still has many more great benefits (pros) than it does cons.
The overall fact that it is environmentally friendly and energy efficient is a great reason just by itself. TPO membrane is available in multiple colors, giving you great flexibility in design of your home or commercial building – especially if your roof is in your line of sight, and aesthetics is a part of your decision making.
Like most types of single ply roofing membranes, TPO can be quickly installed and in many different manners. TPO is available in a variety of thicknesses and is also available in a fleece-back, which will even extend further uses for your roof.
In today’s competitive roofing market, consumers are critically aware of the rising cost of a new roof. As a property owner, the decision to replace your existing roof or perform roof maintenance to extend the life cycle plays a critical role in the decision process.
Choosing the Right TPO Roofing Installer
Flat roofs can be tricky. The existing roof design, the intended use, what’s under the roof, fire protection, energy efficiency, and the overall life cycle all must be evaluated. That way, you can determine whether you should use a TPO material, or if perhaps a PVC roofing system may be a better option.
Regardless, the most critical part to a successful, long lasting roof is installing quality roofing products, and installing them in a way that benefits the protection of the building and the owner. The second most important part is that the roofing contractor that is installing the roof is competent. Installation errors and using the wrong products account for well over 90% today’s premature roof failures. This includes installations that use materials in a way they were never intended to be used.
Cook Roofing Company is a family-owned and operated roofing company that has been around since 1913! We’ve been providing roofing services in cities across the Midwest like Springfield MO and Branson for over 100 years and have enjoyed being of service to our clients. Although the industry has changed over time, we’ve kept on top of the latest tools, practices, roofing materials, and techniques.
That’s why we’ve made a point in providing a lifetime workmanship warranty for all of the work we perform on your property. We are one of the few businesses nationally that offer a warranty like this, so take advantage in selecting Cook Roofing Company as your chosen roofing company. We’re confident that you’ll be satisfied with your end results.
Suppliers of TPO Roofing Materials
If you’re looking for more information about TPO roofing material and more from the manufacturers, then we recommend you look at the following manufacturers:
- Firestone Building Corp. www.firestonebpco.com
- Carlisle Syntec www.carlislesyntec.com
- Johns Manville www.jm.com
Contact Us For More Assistance
If you’re in need of TPO repair or TPO replacement in Springfield MO and Branson contact our roofers for assistance. If you think that there may be issues with your roof, bring us out to do a roof inspection for you.
When you’re looking for a roofing material that will provide you with ample capabilities in protection consider TPO installation in Springfield MO and Branson. With over 30 years in roofing experience, you can expect attention to detail no matter how big or small the project. Cook Roofing Company is equipped with the right knowledge and tools for your job. To learn more give us a ring at (417) 334-4238. We look forward to communicating with you!