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WRITTEN BY The Embry's Team 6 minutes READ

Are you considering TPO roofing for your building? TPO is recognized for its adaptability to meet diverse roofing needs. With its reflective properties lowering cooling costs and a range of colors and thicknesses, TPO offers a compelling balance of aesthetics and performance. This article will provide all the details on this incredible roofing option, helping you to determine if it’s the right fit for your roofing project.

Inside this blog:

  • What is TPO?
  • The Process of TPO Roof Installation
  • The Advantages of Choosing TPO Roofs

What Is TPO?

TPO is essentially a single-ply TPO roofing membrane composed of synthetic materials and reinforced scrim. TPO roofing materials are designed specifically for flat roof coverage. This material comes in wide rolls or sheets, reducing the need for seams and mechanical fasteners, which not only leads to a stronger, more durable roof, but also speeds up the installation process.

Therefore, if you require a durable, visually appealing, and efficiently installed roofing option, TPO might be the perfect solution.

Composition of TPO Membrane

The TPO membrane is a truly engineered marvel, crafted from ethylene-propylene rubber combined with fillers, such as talc, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. The membrane is designed with three core layers: a top layer fortified with UV blockers, a middle scrim layer for added reinforcement, and a base layer that provides essential strength and flexibility.

To optimize the durability and performance of TPO membranes, additional elements such as pigments, fire retardants, antioxidants, lubricants, and UV absorbers are integrated into the composition.

The Process of TPO Roof Installation

The installation of a TPO roofing system involves several steps:

  1. Prepare the roof deck by removing the previous roofing material or cleaning the existing roof surface.
  2. Install proper insulation to ensure energy efficiency.
  3. Add a cover board to provide support for the TPO membrane sheets.
  4. Install the TPO membrane sheets, ensuring they are properly sealed and secured.
  5. Consider factors, like experience with TPO installations, when selecting a commercial roofing contractor.

After the roof deck is properly prepared, the TPO membrane installation process includes the following steps:

  1. Roll out the TPO membrane and attach it to the roof deck using mechanical fasteners or a bonding adhesive.
  2. Heat-weld the seams of the membrane to create a watertight seal.
  3. Secure the trailing edges of the membrane to the roof decking to ensure a tight fit.
  4. Take proper measurements for membrane width and spacing of fasteners.
  5. Calculate potential uplift load to ensure the TPO roofing system can withstand environmental stresses.

These steps are crucial for a successful TPO membrane installation and to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of the roofing system.

Preparing the Roof Deck

Before the TPO material can be laid down, the roof deck must be properly prepared. This process may require cleaning the existing substrate or the removal of the entire old roof if its condition is deemed unsuitable. In addition to cleaning or removal, it’s essential to evaluate the building design, such as the roof slope, and the condition of the substrate to ensure compatibility with the TPO roofing material.

Laying Down the TPO Material

After preparing the roof deck, the next step is to apply the TPO material. This involves rolling out TPO sheets over the roof deck one at a time, ensuring that each new sheet overlaps the previous one to cover the entire area. The TPO material is then secured onto the roof deck using either adhesives or mechanical fasteners, depending on the specific roof situation.

Mechanical attachment involves fasteners and plates, with adjoining sheets connected seamlessly via a hot-air weld. In certain scenarios, TPO can also be attached with adhesives or heat welded around roof penetrations for additional reinforcement.

The Advantages of Choosing TPO Roofs

tpo roofing-roof tech cutting roofing materials

One of the main reasons for the growing popularity of TPO roofing is its host of advantages. Here are 3 of the benefits of TPO roofing:

  1. TPO roofing membranes are considered the most affordable option with protective properties on the market today.
  2. TPO roofs exhibit heat-reflective and energy-efficient properties, making them cost-effective by reducing cooling costs.
  3. TPO roofing membranes are environmentally friendly, as they do not contain chlorine and are 100% recyclable, contributing to their overall positive environmental impact.

Besides its practical advantages, TPO roofing also excels in aesthetic value. It is available in various colors, including white, black, and gray, offering different aesthetic options to suit different architectural styles. This feature allows building owners to choose a color that best complements their building’s exterior, adding an extra layer of visual appeal.

Energy Efficiency | Reflect UV Rays

When it comes to energy efficiency, TPO roofing truly shines. Here are some reasons why:

  • TPO roofing membranes possess a highly reflective surface that effectively reflects UV rays and heat.
  • This capacity to direct away ultraviolet radiation results in less heat accumulation.
  • Lower heat accumulation leads to lower energy use for cooling.

By reducing the need for air conditioning, TPO roofing offers the following benefits:

  • Maintains cooler building interiors, leading to significant energy savings
  • Provides energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness, resulting in substantial savings on utility bills
  • Particularly effective in warmer climates with high cooling demands

Longevity and Performance

The durability of TPO roofs is another key advantage. TPO membranes come in various thicknesses, typically ranging from 40 to 80 mils or more, with thicker top layers recommended for better performance and longevity. The lifespan of TPO roofs is generally between 15 to 20 years, however, with proper maintenance, some commercial single-ply membrane roofs can last up to 30 years. TPO membranes are durable against chemicals, mold growth, and physical damage, and warranties of up to 30 years are offered by some manufacturers.

Give Your Roof an Upgrade

Overall, TPO roofing presents a compelling choice for those seeking a cost-effective, durable roofing solution. While it does have some potential challenges, such as aging and seam integrity, these can be effectively managed with proper installation and regular maintenance. For building owners, TPO roofing offers a winning combination of affordability, performance, and aesthetic appeal.

To get started with your TPO roofing project, contact Embry’s Roofing. Our skilled contractors will make sure that your commercial roof is built to last.

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