What is a TPO Roof?

tpo roof

If you’re in the market for a new roof, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the types of roofs and building materials. If the building you need to re-roof is an industrial or commercial building, you’ve probably heard of TPO. But what is TPO, and what makes it a more attractive roofing option than the others? Below, Triple 777 Construction will take a look at what exactly a TPO roof is and why you would consider using it as you re-roof your building.

What is TPO?

Also known as Thermoplastic Polyolefin, TPO is a single-ply reflective roofing membrane. It’s made from polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber that are polymerized together. This type of roof is typically installed with a mechanically attached system that leaves the white membrane of the material fully exposed for the lifetime of the roof.

TPO falls into the thermoplastic membrane category of the singly-ply roofing industry. Most buyers of a TPO roof are concerned about keeping the interiors of a large building protected from the elements and installing a roofing system that will last a long time.

TPO Roof Characteristics

Now that you know what TPO stands for and the materials it’s made of, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that set a TPO roof apart from the other options:

  • TPO is made up of a single-ply thermoplastic membrane.
  • It's installed in a single-membrane application without using multiple layers.
  • The membrane can be installed several ways, including: mechanically attached, adhered, ballasted, and plate bonded.
  • TPO membranes come in a variety of colors (but most often come as white, tan, or gray).
  • TPO seams and flashings are completed using hot-air welding equipment.
  • TPO membranes are grease resistant.
  • TPO roofing membranes receive high wind ratings.
  • Manufacturer warranties are widely available.

When to Choose TPO

TPO roofing is not like the typical roof tiles that are installed on houses, and there are several reasons why a business may choose this type of roof:

  • TPO roofs are often installed for commercial or industrial buildings.
  • TPO roofing membranes are used when building owners require a high quality heat welding roofing system for protecting their building and the contents inside.
  • TPO roofs are used when the roofing assemblies might be exposed to contaminants, like grease, or where other single-ply membranes will not withstand the environment.
  • The high wind rating allows TPO roofs to be installed in areas that are bombarded by harsh weather.

Other Benefits of TPO

Along with having a long lifespan, there are many other benefits of having a TPO roofing system installed on your building:

Durability, Flexibility, and Versatility - TPO is highly resistant to tears, impacts, and punctures but still remains flexible to the building’s movements. The material can be heated and reshaped numerous times, which is helpful when working on roofing details.

Economical and Easy to Install - TPO roofs are fully adhered and require little maintenance. When you install a TPO roof, it’s money well spent.

Welded Seams for Long Lasting Use - TPO membranes are heat welded with a hot air gun. The end result is a fused seam that’s even stronger than the field of the membrane.

Cooler Roofing - TPO roofs come in light colors that reflect the sun’s rays back off the building instead of holding onto the heat. This results in lower cooling costs inside your building. It also helps the environment by reducing the urban heat island effect.

Sustainability - TPO membranes contain no toxic or hazardous materials, and they are recyclable when replaced.

Whether you’re replacing your building’s old roof or installing one on a new construction, TPO is a great option to consider. While there’s no single system that’s perfect for every situation, the single-ply membrane of a TPO roofing system will withstand the tests of time and the elements and is a great option for most commercial buildings. If you do decide on a TPO system in the Kansas City area, Triple 777 Construction will make the process quick and simple to get your building in working condition as soon as possible!