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TPO roofing is an increasingly popular choice for large-scale residential and commercial applications due to its simple installation process, cost-effectiveness, and workability in most climates. It is most commonly used on flat or low-slope roofing and is prized due to its relatively lightweight construction and durability.
If you’re considering installing this type of roofing membrane, you should continue reading for a comprehensive breakdown of TPO roofing costs, pros and cons, and more.
TPO roofing is a single-ply rubber-like roofing membrane that is made of three bound sheets. TPO itself stands for thermoplastic polyolefin, which comprises two of the three layers:
This roofing material is extremely thin, despite its three-layer construction. It is commonly sold in gauges of 45 mil, 60 mil, and 90 mil, which are .045”, .06”, and .09” thick, respectively. Rolls usually come in widths of six, eight, ten, and 12 feet, at varying lengths.
TPO and EPDM roofing are both forms of rubberized flat roof deck coverings with different positives and drawbacks. We’ve outlined a few leading differences here.
EPDM roofing has been in use for the last 60 years and typically has a far darker coloring than TPO roofing. Installation methods vary greatly, too, as fasteners are exclusively used to secure it to the roof decking. Adhesive is occasionally used for TPO roof installation.
TPO roofing has been in use for 20 years and has a higher UV resistance rating than EPDM. The lighter colors reflect heat while keeping building interiors cooler. This makes it an ideal choice for commercial roofing systems, especially on buildings that house machinery or larger workplaces.
This single-ply roofing membrane has been on the market for well over two decades but is still relatively new compared to other common roofing materials. It is commonly used for residential and commercial roofing applications; luckily, you can expect lower installation costs for a TPO roofing membrane than EPDM.
Fully installed, you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $12,000 for a TPO roofing product. This considers all factors, including the potential removal of an existing roof, installation methods, and installation for homeowners and commercial buildings.
Like any roofing option, TPO roofing costs can be divided into materials and labor.
TPO roofing is usually sold in bulk rolls that are 100 feet in length. Widths vary from ten to 20 feet, with varied roll sizes in between. A roll of Firestone 60 mil TPO roofing material currently costs $3,750 on Amazon, which comes to $1.88 per square foot. The low unit cost will go up as you purchase smaller bulk quantities. Common roll sizes include 10’x50’, 20’x50’, 10’100’, and 20’x100’.
You can purchase TPO roofing material from Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, or any similar big-box hardware outlet. You can also purchase rolls from commercial and residential roofing companies.
If you’re looking to purchase a new roof for your home or a commercial building, we’ve put together an important list of discussion points to consider. Single-ply roofing systems such as TPO can provide many benefits, including energy savings, relatively affordable installation and maintenance, durability, and more.
A TPO rubber roofing system is one of the best options for flat roofs and can last between 20 and 30 years. Regular maintenance will push this life expectancy towards the higher end of this range and beyond. Professional roofers can conduct maintenance fairly easily. Beyond this, each roofer will offer warranties to cover varying periods.
TPO roofing has now been in use for the last 20 years. This makes it a relative newcomer among other roofing materials. With each subsequent iteration, clients will see improvements and longer expected lifespans for their TPO roofs.
Like many metal roofing materials, TPO roofs come in many colors to match the building they’re being applied to, with the most common choice being white. That said, single-coat elastomeric paint for TPO roofing is the best option available for such applications. You’ll have to ask your professional roofing company about your choices in this area.
TPO roofing is somewhat flame-resistant, but the solvents and adhesives used in the installation process can cause issues if exposed directly to fire. A thick insulation layer between your TPO roofing and substrate will make your roof effectively flame resistant.
TPO rolls are extremely heavy. This is one of the many reasons why professional installation is recommended, aside from the specialty tools you’ll need to get the job done. Given the areas each roll is able to cover, the total weight isn’t egregious but definitely makes getting TPO rolls into position a multi-person job.
Expect a 10’ by 100’ roll of 80 mil TPO to weigh between 400 and 430 pounds.
A standard low-power pressure washer (under 2,000 PSI) can be used to get the majority of dirt and grime off of your TPO roofing. Use a gentle household cleaner with a soft-bristle broom to scrub and get your roof’s bright color back to its original shine. Cleaning semi-regularly will help to maintain the reflective properties that make it a great insulator from ultraviolet rays and the sun’s heat.
TPO roofing systems give clients a few options for installation. Depending on your exact roofing needs or preferences, you’ll be able to secure your roofing sheets via fasteners, adhesive, or ballast. Here is a basic step-by-step guide to installing TPO roofs.
Here is a great visual step-by-step guide for TPO roofing installation:
(T&G Roofing – Los Angeles)
We advise hiring a professional roofing contractor to install or repair TPO roofing. TPO itself is not a difficult roofing material to install, but the tools needed — such as a heat welder — will make it difficult for the average DIYer to complete easily. Commercial-grade hot air welders typically sell for $2,000 to $3,000 at the low end. While you can find these tools available to rent, it is better to leave it to someone with the needed expertise.
Small repairs are doable on your own. Small hot air welders are available on Amazon for under $200 and could be worth a purchase if you’ve had a TPO roof installed. For small holes and patch jobs, you’ll have to wait for a dry day to begin.
After cleaning a hole or tear in your TPO membrane, you can apply a rounded patch over the affected area. Rounded rather than squared patching will help to ensure that edges don’t peel over time. Using your heat welder, fuse the edges of your TPO patch to the existing layer. If you don’t have a heat gun and would rather not purchase one, then patching with specialized adhesive and silicone caulk is a secondary option, as shown in this video.
You can walk on your TPO roof for maintenance and repairs. That said, it is not suited to regular heavy foot traffic. You should try to keep your rooftop excursions to a minimum once you’ve installed TPO.
It’s relatively safe to walk on, but TPO can be slippery in wet or rainy conditions. Maintenance techniques aside, this is another reason why you should stay off of your TPO roof unless it’s totally dry.
TPO roofing’s light color is a big part of why it is such an energy-efficient roofing solution. Cleaning debris and regularly washing it with a typical household detergent or soap can help to preserve the heat insulation properties that make this a great roofing option.
Arranging for a home repair of this scale is going to be a fairly involved project. If you haven’t conducted renovations like this – either via a contractor or on your own – then it can be a bit overwhelming. At House Method, we pride ourselves on being able to take all of the guesswork out of the equation for you.
We’ve thoroughly evaluated each roofing type to make your selection process easier. Through exhaustive research into hundreds of different roofing providers throughout the United States and analyses of thousands of individual homeowner experiences, we’ve broken our roof rating system down into the following categories.
All roofs receive an aggregate rating between (0.0) and (1.0). This rating is comprised of six key evaluation criteria, which we’ve outlined below. The rating between (0.0) and (1.0) will correspond to a secondary rating out of five stars, which is displayed more visibly in our articles across this category.
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