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How TPO Roofing Compares to Other Commercial Roofing Materials

Posted on March 25, 2023

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How TPO Roofing Compares to Other Commercial Roofing Materials

TPO is a type of commercial roofing material that has gained popularity in recent years. It is known for its durability, weather resistance, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. In this blog post, we will explore the details of TPO roofing, compare it to other commercial roofing materials, discuss its installation and maintenance, and provide insights on how to choose the right TPO roofing product.

By the end of this post, you’ll learn the following points:

  • What TPO roofing is
  • TPO vs. PVC & EPDM roofing
  • TPO roofing cost and comparison
  • TPO membrane manufacturers
  • The details about 60 mil TPO roofs

Let’s learn how TPO roofing compares to other commercial roofing materials.

TPO Roofing Details

TPO roofing is made from a blend of thermoplastic materials and ethylene-propylene rubber. It is a single-ply membrane roofing system that is installed in large sheets to cover the entire surface of a roof. TPO roofing is available in different thicknesses, typically ranging from 45 to 80 mil. The thickness of the TPO membrane affects its durability, with thicker membranes generally being more durable.

The average lifespan of TPO roofs is 25 years. One of the key benefits of TPO roofing is its white or light-colored surface, which reflects sunlight and reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the building. This makes TPO roofs an energy-efficient option for commercial buildings, particularly in hot climates. TPO roofs are also resistant to damage from ultraviolet (UV) light, chemicals, and punctures.

In addition to their energy efficiency and durability, TPO roofs are also a cost-effective option compared to other commercial roofing materials. Its lower installation and maintenance costs make it an attractive choice for building owners and facility managers. Overall, TPO roofs are a reliable and versatile option for commercial buildings in need of a new, or replacement, roofing system.

Let’s learn how well this roofing material performs compared to other membranes and if it is suitable for your building.

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TPO Roofing vs. Other Commercial Roofing Materials

When it comes to choosing a commercial roofing material, building owners and facility managers have several options to consider. Here’s how TO compares to other popular commercial roofing materials such as EPDM, PVC, metal, and more.

TPO Roofs vs. EPDM

TPO is a newer membrane than EPDM, which can only reap benefits when you choose a reputable and tested product like the GAF EverGuard TPO membrane. On the other hand, EPDM membranes have been used as a commercial roofing material for decades and have proven themselves reliable and durable. EPDM roofs can last for 30 years with proper care and timely repair. It can also withstand hail and other impacts better than TPO.

However, EPDM roofs may not be as energy efficient during the summer. So, one of the main advantages of TPO over EPDM is its energy efficiency. TPO membranes are available in white or light-colored hues that reflect sunlight and reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the building. This can lead to significant savings on energy bills. In contrast, EPDM roofing is typically black and absorbs more heat, making it less energy efficient than TPO roofing.

In terms of maintenance and repair, both TPO and EPDM roofs are relatively easy to repair. However, a TPO roof is known to be easier to repair due to its thermoplastic properties, which allow it to be welded together. EPDM, on the other hand, requires a more involved process of patching and gluing.

In short, when we discuss EPDM vs. TPO roofing, we can say that EPDM is better for hail-prone areas, and TPO is more effective in extreme temperatures.

TPO vs. PVC Roofs

A PVC membrane is made from a plastic polymer called polyvinyl chloride. It is also known for its durability and resistance to chemical damage. PVC roofs are flexible and can be manufactured in a range of colors, making it a versatile option for commercial buildings. PVC is also resistant to fire, which can be an important consideration for some buildings. They also offer good UV resistance, but it is more susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures and weather events such as hail, high winds, and heavy rain. 

One good thing about PVC roofs is that they are highly resistant to chemicals and acids, making it a popular choice for buildings that are exposed to harsh chemicals or have chemical processing facilities on site. 

A TPO roof is also resistant to many chemicals, but it may not be as effective as PVC in certain chemical environments. It’s worth noting that both TPO and PVC are designed to withstand a range of weather and chemical conditions, and they typically come with warranties that cover these types of damage.

The conclusion of TPO vs. PVS roofing is, TPO is considered more weather-resistant, while PVC is more chemical-resistant.

TPO vs. Metal Roofs

Durability is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a roofing material, as it directly affects the lifespan of the roof. Metal roofing systems are generally considered more durable than TPO roofing systems, as it is resistant to damage from hail, wind, and fire. Where TPO roofs last for 20 years, metal roofs can last for 40 years!

Metal roofs are also less likely to suffer from punctures or tears, making them a popular choice for buildings located in areas with severe weather conditions. However, metal panels can be prone to corrosion over time, particularly if they are not properly maintained.

Energy efficiency is another key consideration for commercial roofing. Metal roofs can become very hot in the sun, which can lead to increased costs on air conditioning bills. However, metal can also be coated with reflective materials to improve its energy efficiency.

Cost is a major consideration for building owners and facility managers when choosing a roofing material. TPO roofs are generally less expensive than metal roofs, both in terms of material and installation costs. TPO is also more cost-effective to repair than metal, as it requires less labor and fewer materials.

While a metal roof is more sturdy and durable, a TPO roof is more energy-efficient and cost-effective.

TPO vs. Modified Bitumen Roofs

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Modified bitumen roofing is a type of asphalt-based roofing that has been modified with synthetic rubber or plastic. It is a multi-layered roofing system that typically consists of a base layer, a reinforcement layer, and a cap sheet. Modified bitumen roofing is known for its durability, flexibility, and resistance to damage from UV light and chemicals.

When it comes to durability, both modified bitumen and TPO are strong and resistant to damage from UV light and chemicals. However, modified bitumen roofing has the advantage when it comes to puncture resistance, as it is less likely to be punctured than TPO membranes. This is because modified bitumen typically has multiple layers. However, these layers can also be more susceptible to water damage, while TPO is more resistant to moisture intrusions.

In terms of cost, TPO is generally less expensive than modified bitumen. However, the overall cost of each roofing system depends on the size of the roof, the complexity of the installation, and other factors. 

Since TPO is more energy efficient, it will save you more money in the long run. Plus, if you’re looking for a superior water and snow-resistant roof, TPO is better than modified bitumen.

These were some common roofing materials that are used for commercial buildings other than TPO. While each has its own pros and cons, you should always consider your local weather conditions and business activities while making a choice.

Let’s learn some additional details about TPO roofing, to get a better understanding of how it will perform under different conditions and whether it is a cost-effective choice for a business.

TPO Roofing Costs

The cost of a TPO roofing system depends on several factors, including the size of the roof, the complexity of the installation, and the quality of the materials used. In general, TPO is one of the more affordable commercial roofing options available. The cost of TPO roofs typically ranges from $7,000 to $11,000 after installation.

It is important to note that a TPO roof price can vary depending on the thickness of the membrane. TPO roofing is available in different thicknesses, with 45 mils and 60 mils being the most common. A 60 mil TPO roofing membrane is thicker and more durable than a 45 mil membrane and hence, costs more.

TPO Roofing Colors

If you live in a cold region, you can also get your TPO roof coated with a darker color to absorb more heat during winter. Some of the colors in which TPO roofs are available include gray, tan, brown, and black. TPO roofing is also available in custom colors, which can be used to match the color scheme of the building or create a unique visual effect.

It is also essential to choose a high-quality TPO membrane from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that the color does not fade or degrade over time. Reputable manufacturers offer warranties that cover color stability and ensure that the membrane will maintain its color and appearance over the lifespan of the roof.

TPO Roofing Manufacturers

In recent years, TPO roofing membranes have gained immense popularity in the industry. There are several reputable TPO roofing manufacturers on the market, each with its own unique product offerings. Here are some of the top TPO roofing manufacturers and their TPO products:

GAF Materials Corporation

GAF is a leading manufacturer of TPO roofing systems and has been in the business for more than 100 years. Their flagship TPO product, EverGuard Extreme, is a popular choice for commercial roofing applications. It is time-tested and has a thickness of 60 mils, making it highly durable and resistant to punctures, tears, and impacts. The membrane has a smooth surface, which helps to reduce dirt buildup and makes it easy to clean. GAF’s TPO roofing products are also available in various colors and come with solid warranties that cover both materials and workmanship.


Firestone is another well-known manufacturer of TPO membranes. They offer a range of TPO membranes, including the UltraPly TPO XR membrane, which is designed for use in high-temperature environments. The membrane has a thickness of 80 mils and is reinforced with a polyester scrim, making it highly resistant to punctures, tears, and impacts.

Carlisle Syntec

Carlisle Sure-Weld TPO is known for its exceptional performance and durability. It is available in thicknesses ranging from 45 mils to 80 mils and comes in different colors. The membrane has a uniform surface and is highly resistant to weathering, tearing, and impact damage.

Building owners and facility managers should work with a knowledgeable roofing contractor to select a TPO roofing system that meets their specific needs and is backed by a reputable manufacturer. Like any other roofing material, TPO is not invincible and can suffer damage over time. If you are wondering what type of problems can occur with TPO roofs and how you can avoid them, let’s dive into the details.

TPO Roofing Problems & Solutions

All single-ply roofing membranes can suffer some amount of damage due to weather, foot traffic, heavy tools, and machinery. Let’s understand the specific impact on TPO and how you can avoid such damage.


TPO roofing systems can develop leaks due to punctures, seam failures, or damage caused by foot traffic. It is vital to conduct regular inspections and address any issues promptly to prevent leaks. Installing walkways or using roof pads can also help reduce foot traffic damage.


TPO roofing can shrink over time, mainly if it is not properly installed. To solve the issue of shrinking TPO roofing, it is crucial to properly install the roofing system in the first place. However, if your TPO roof has already shrunk, you can call your roofing contractor to repair it using specialized methods, like heat welding and patching.

If you live in Pennsylvania and want to learn more about TPO roofs and their installation, we can help.

Free Consultation & Estimate On TPO Roofing

If you are a property owner in Pennsylvania who is looking for reliable and trustworthy roofing services, we are here to help. At Hepler Contracting LLC, we are committed to providing the highest level of care and expertise when it comes to TPO roof installation and other commercial roofing materials and services. We understand that a damaged or poorly installed roof can be a major headache, and that’s why we offer a free consultation and estimate to help you make the best decision. Our experienced professionals will work closely with you to understand your unique roofing needs and develop a customized solution that fits your budget and timeline. You can trust us to take care of your roofing needs, so you can focus on what matters most. Call us at (412) 694-8785 to learn more about our commercial and TPO roofing services.

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