TPO Roofing Pros and Cons

June 8, 2021

If you've seen a commercial building with a flat white roof, than you have almost certainly seen a TPO roof

TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) belongs to the family of roof materials known as single-ply membranes, and is one of the most popular commercial roofing materials being used today. TPO is affordable, durable and it’s reflective white color makes it an energy efficient option. There are some things however, that you as a building owner should know before deciding which membrane to go with.

Here are some of the advantages and potential disadvantages of TPO roofing.

Benefits of TPO Roofing

  • Fast Installation
  • Easy Maintenance
  • Energy Savings
  • Low Cost

Problems with TPO Roofing

  • Newer to the market
  • Has Seams
  • Poor Installation
  • Quality Variations

TPO Roofing Maintenance

TPO roof membranes are very resistant to mold and algae growth, as well as being resistant to punctures and tears. The flexibility of TPO roofing allows it to adapt to movement and settling in the building, or thermal expansion and contraction, without developing leaks.

As with any commercial roof system, it is still important to have a TPO roof inspected on a yearly basis, to check the condition and catch developing problems before they get serious.

At Hertzler Commercial Roofing we offer inexpensive yearly maintenance plans for most types of commercial roof. Having a professional inspection done every year can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your building.

Learn more about our roof maintenance plan

TPO Roofing Installation

TPO Roof membranes come in wide sheets so there are fewer fasteners and seams. This decreases the number of potential leak points on your roof. TPO is quick to install, reducing labor costs for installation. All seams and details are heat-welded which is far more reliable than a membrane with glued seams such as EPDM.

TPO Roof Energy Saving

TPO Roofing’s reflective white color keeps your roof significantly cooler in hot weather. According to data from the U.S. department of energy a white roof can save an average of $0.08 to $0.10 / sqft. per year over a black roof such as EPDM or asphalt. 

On a 12,000 square foot building, this would add up to a savings of $960 - $1200 per year!

As you can see, choosing a white “cool roof” can add up to significant energy savings over the life of your roof.

TPO Roofing Cost

The main advantage of TPO roofing over PVC is the up-front cost. TPO is normally less expensive than PVC which is attractive to cost conscious building owners, especially on a large roof. There are many different TPO manufacturers out there however, and it’s important to make sure that you’re using a good quality product from a reputable manufacturer. 

At Hertzler Commercial Roofing we only install high quality TPO membranes from top manufacturers such as Carlisle or Conklin, ensuring that you get the best value for your investment. 

If you would like to schedule a free on-site roof inspection and recommendation for your commercial roof, you can get in touch using the button below.

Potential Problems with TPO Roofing

Newer to the market

TPO roofing is relatively new and due to it’s popularity, many different manufacturers have brought a TPO product to the market. Some of these can be of questionable quality and it’s important to buy from a reputable brand. 

Your roof replacement is a major investment and we can help you make sure that you’re getting a roof solution that will serve you for many years.

TPO roofing has seams

As with any membrane roof, the seams are a potential weak point, and usually the first place to develop leaks. This risk is dramatically reduced by hiring an experience roof contractor to install the membrane. 

At Hertzler Commercial Roofing we use only trained and experienced installers to do all of our seam welding. After heat-welding the seams, we double check every inch of seam for skips or mistakes.

Ask us about our innovative, seamless poured-in-place roof membrane!

Poor Installation

While this is not an inherent problem with TPO roofing itself, it is the most important factor to consider when you’re shopping for a new roof. No matter how good your commercial roof membrane is, it will only be as good as the installation. Unfortunately, the industry is filled with roofing contractors who are only too happy to hire inexperienced crews, slap your new roof on, take your money and run. Details are often done incorrectly resulting in leaks within a few years. Then if you want to get the problem fixed the contractor is nowhere to be found, or else they want a hefty fee to come fix their own mistakes.

We are committed to doing our part to change the reputation that commercial roofers have developed, and invite you to connect with us if you have any questions about the ongoing maintenance and well-being of your roof.

Quality Variations

Along the same line we already covered, not all TPO roofing is manufactured to the same quality standards. The last thing you want is to make the investment in a new roof, and have it start breaking down in a few years. At Hertzler Roofing we only install TPO from reputable manufacturers who have long-standing reputations in the roofing industry. 

To summarize,  TPO is the most popular cool roof covering commercial buildings. It's extremely water resistant and uv-resistant, affordable, and if it’s installed correctly, it will last for many years.

However, if you want to spend a little more for the best possible white roof membrane, PVC is the best choice. it stays more flexible in cold weather and is usually a longer-lasting roof than TPO. Get in touch below to discuss your roofing project—we would love to hear from you!

Need a reliable commercial roofing solution?

Ask us about 30% Energy Savings over mod-bit, BUR, or EPDM!

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