What is TPO Roofing? (Material, Cost & More)

You may have noticed that many commercial buildings display a bright white roof – and that's no coincidence. As a result of boasting some of the highest energy savings on the market, TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) has become one of the most commonplace commercial roofing solutions in industry.

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What is TPO Roofing?

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply roofing membrane which is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after commercial roofing systems available. TPO is primarily comprised of a single-ply layer with reinforcing scrim, typically used on flat roofs.  

Single-ply membranes refer to sheets of synthetics and rubbers that can be either mechanically fastened, ballasted or chemically adhered to insulation, which in turn forms a protective layer on flat roofs. Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EDPM) are the main types of commercially available single-ply membrane. 

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Advantages of TPO Roofing

TPO material is usually a bright white, which serves to reduce utility expenses by reflecting UV rays and heat from the property.  There are a number of benefits that TPO roofing systems provide:

  • Reflective or Retentive: TPO is bright white and very reflective, which prevents properties from absorbing undue or excess heat. Due to decreased energy consumption from less air conditioning, TPO is very cost effective in hot summer months.

  • Customizable Insulation: Single-Ply membranes and TPO roofing systems don’t come with a pre-existing type of insulation, so the choice is up to you.

  • Class A Fire-Rated: By adding fire retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process, TPO membranes can be designated Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Class A fire resistant.

  • Waterproofing: TPO roofing allows flat roofs to achieve waterproofing, which is crucial as this roofing solution tends to hold sitting water after rainfalls, as opposed to sloped roofs.

  • Longevity: A single application of TPO can last up to or beyond twenty years.

TPO Roofing Costs

In order to correctly assess your roof to determine accurate pricing for TPO roofing systems, roofing contractors consider the following key factors:

  • Access to roof
  • Condition of existing roof
  • Insulation choice
  • Installation choice
  • Membrane choice
  • Size of roof
  • Type of warranty

A ballpark estimation of pricing for an installation of a TPO roofing system is somewhere between $3.50 and $7.50 per square foot in labor and materials, depending on these key factors.


How is TPO Roofing Installed?

Prior to installation of TPO, insulation is attached. A few varieties of insulation that are available to choose from are Polyiso, EPS and XPS – all which have varying degrees of waterproofing and insulation depending on your property’s needs.

By either using a bonding adhesive or mechanically fastening, the TPO single-ply membrane can be attached to the roof cover board. A hot air-gun is then used to weld the seams of the TPO membrane which has been rolled out over the roof.

When Should I Repair TPO Roofing?

If your TPO has lasted approximately 15-20 years, it may be time to have it repaired or replaced.  If you have noticed ripped seams, failed flashing or punctured membranes, your roof may be at risk of a leak. 

One of the most glaring indications that your TPO needs repair is if you have a leak in your property. What this likely means is that one of the TPO seams on your roof have ripped or torn open, compromising your roof’s ability to waterproof your building. If left unchecked, your property could potentially suffer interior or structural damage as a result. It’s recommended that if you observe any of the symptoms that indicate your TPO roofing system is compromised, that you contact a roofing professional immediately for diagnosis and repair.

About Rapid Restore

Our mission at Rapid Restore is to provide a stress-free, refreshingly simple, world-class roof installation experience for our customers in Long Island, NY. We look forward to protecting you. With over 110+ 5 star reviews on Google, you can trust the expert roofing contractors at Rapid Restore to replace your roof on-time and within budget.

For a quick, no-obligation estimate on your next roofing project, fill out our estimate form!


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Joseph Elshazly
Joseph Elshazly is the President and Chief Marketing Officer of Rapid Restoration Group. "Skills are cheap, passion is priceless" is the motto he lives by.

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