Roof construction contractors
WRITTEN BY The Embry's Team 6 minutes READ

If you’re a homeowner contemplating a roofing project, you’ve probably come across two popular options: EPDM and TPO. While these might sound like alphabet soup, they are actually two different types of roofing materials with their own set of pros and cons. Choosing the right roofing material is crucial to ensure the longevity and performance of your roof, so let’s dive into the EPDM vs. TPO debate and help you make an informed decision.

Inside this blog:

  • A brief overview of EPDM and TPO roofing
  • Pros + cons of EPDM and TPO roofing materials
  • 5 factors to help you decide which roofing membrane is best for your home

For the best info, always reach out to a certified roofing professional.

For now, keep reading to become an expert on EPDM vs TPO and learn which roofing material will bring your home the most benefits!

What Are EPDM and TPO? 🏠

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) are both single-ply roofing membranes, which means they are installed as a single layer on your roof. But there are some key differences between the two:


  • Material: EPDM is made of synthetic rubber.
  • Installation: Typically installed using adhesive or mechanically fastened.
  • Appearance: Black or white sheets.
  • Durability: Generally has a lifespan of 20-30 years.
  • Cost: Moderately priced.


  • Material: TPO is made of a blend of rubber, ethylene, and propylene.
  • Installation: Usually heat-welded for seams.
  • Appearance: Typically white.
  • Durability: Tends to have a lifespan of 15-20 years.
  • Cost: Often slightly more expensive than EPDM.

Now that we have a basic understanding of these materials, let’s break down the pros and cons of EPDM and TPO roofing.

Pros and Cons of EPDM Roofing


Read below to see the key pros and cons of EPDM roofing to determine if it’s the right choice for your home.

Pros ✔️

  • Cost-Effective: EPDM is generally more affordable than TPO, making it a budget-friendly option for homeowners.
  • UV Resistance: It has excellent resistance to UV rays, which can extend its lifespan.
  • Ease of Repair: EPDM is relatively easy to repair in case of damage, as it can be patched up seamlessly.
  • Energy Efficiency: Black EPDM can absorb heat in colder climates, helping to reduce heating costs.

Cons ✖️

  • Shorter Lifespan: An EPDM roof tends to have a shorter lifespan compared to TPO, so you may need to replace it sooner.
  • Limited Color Options: These roofing systems typically come in black or white, limiting your aesthetic choices.
  • Susceptible to Punctures: It’s more vulnerable to punctures from falling branches or sharp objects.
  • Less Environmentally Friendly: EPDM is not as eco-friendly as TPO due to its petroleum-based composition.

Pros and Cons of TPO Roofing


Below, we’ve made a rundown of the pros and cons of TPO roofing. Read on or reach out to your locally preferred commercial roofing experts to see if this type of roofing membrane could work for you.

Pros ✔️

  • Longevity: This roofing system can last 15-20 years, making it a durable choice.
  • Energy Efficiency: TPO reflects sunlight and heat, helping to keep your home cooler and reducing air conditioning costs.
  • Variety of Colors: A TPO roof comes in a variety of colors, allowing for more design flexibility.
  • Environmentally Friendly: TPO is more environmentally friendly as it’s recyclable and doesn’t contain chlorine.

Cons ✖️

  • Higher Cost: TPO roofing is generally more expensive upfront compared to EPDM.
  • Susceptible to Tears: It can be prone to tears and punctures, which can be challenging to repair.
  • Limited UV Resistance: While it reflects heat, it may not be as resistant to UV rays as EPDM.
  • Complex Installation: Heat-welding TPO seams requires specialized equipment and professional installation.

Which Roofing Material is Right for You? 🤔

Now that you know the pros and cons of both EPDM and TPO roofing, how do you decide which one is the best fit for your home? Here are 5 factors to consider:

1. Budget

If you’re on a tight budget, EPDM may be the way to go due to its lower upfront cost. This can free up funds for other essential home improvements or unexpected expenses.

2. Climate

In areas with harsh sunlight and high temperatures, TPO’s reflective properties can help keep your home cooler and reduce energy bills. This not only saves you money but also enhances your overall comfort during scorching summer months.

3. Aesthetic Preferences

If you want a wider range of color options to match your home’s design, TPO offers more flexibility. Whether you prefer a classic white roof or want to explore custom colors, TPO can cater to your creative side and boost your curb appeal.

4. Longevity

If you plan to stay in your home for the long haul, EPDM’s longer lifespan might be worth the investment. Choosing EPDM can provide peace of mind knowing that you won’t need to replace your roof as frequently, saving you both time and money in the long run.

5. Maintenance

Consider how much effort you’re willing to put into maintenance. EPDM is easier to repair, but TPO may require less frequent repairs due to its durability. The choice between the two materials can influence your long-term maintenance schedule and costs, so weigh your options carefully.

The Verdict: It Depends on Your Needs

Ultimately, the choice between EPDM and TPO roofing depends on your specific needs and priorities. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and both materials have their strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective option that’s relatively easy to maintain and offers UV resistance, EPDM could be the right choice. On the other hand, if you’re willing to invest a bit more upfront for a roofing material that’s energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and comes in various colors, TPO might be the better option.

Which Roofing Membrane Will You Choose? 🏘️

When it comes to deciding between EPDM and TPO roofing for your home, there’s no definitive winner. It’s all about evaluating your budget, climate, aesthetic preferences, and long-term plans. To make an informed decision, consult with a roofing professional who can assess your specific situation and recommend the best material for your home.

Remember, your roof is a critical component of your house, so choose wisely to protect your investment and ensure your home remains safe and comfortable for years to come.

We hope this homeowner’s guide has shed some light on the EPDM vs. TPO debate and will help you make the right choice for your roofing project.

Contact our pro team of contractors at Embry’s Roofing and we’ll ensure your next roofing project goes off without a hitch! Give us a call and we’ll have your inspection scheduled within 24 hours!

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