What Is a TPO Roof? 

Here’s What to Know About TPO Roofing

At Moser Roofing Solutions, we’re often asked questions about common types of flat and low slope roofing materials. Because TPO roofing is among the most commonly used materials, business owners and property managers we work with will ask us questions like “What is a TPO Roof?,” “How long do TPO roofs last?,” and “How can I take better care of my TPO roofing system?”

The Moser Roofing Solutions team provides more than just roofing services. Our goal is to educate and empower our customers to better understand their commercial roofing systems, including how various materials differ from each other, the advantages of some materials over others, and the common roofing issues associated with each. If you are considering a TPO roof, here is important information you should know.

What Is a TPO Roof?

TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin, and this material is a single-ply roofing membrane that can be readily installed on just about any flat or low slope roof. The membrane is composed of multiple layers of material, the most important being a layer of synthetic rubbers (typically ethylene-propylene and polypropylene) and a layer of reinforcing scrim. TPO is white in color, lightweight, and features heat-sealed seams to prevent water penetration. 

How Is a TPO Roof Installed?

TPO roofing is very straightforward to install on most flat and low slope roofs. In fact, this ease of installation is part of what makes it an attractive option for many commercial roofs. 

Before installation, the roofing substrate is prepared, such as by cleaning or removing the existing roof. Insulation is then installed first (the type of insulation will vary from roof to roof), followed by a cover board. The TPO membrane is then rolled out and attached to the cover board using adhesives. To finish the installation, the seams between rolls of TPO are then heat-welded to make the roof completely watertight. 

What Makes TPO Roofing a Good Choice for Commercial Roofs?

While the right roofing material will depend on the individual needs and budget of every building owner—as well as the attributes of the building itself—there are several reasons why
TPO roofs have become popular over the years. 

Affordability

Single-ply membranes tend to be among the most affordable commercial roofing options, and TPO roofs are no different. While TPO can be slightly more costly than EPDM or PVC, it is still comparably priced and costs less upfront than more expensive materials such as metal roofing.

Water resistance

The heat-welded seams of TPO roofing mean that, when properly installed, a TPO roof will generally be more watertight than its single-ply membrane counterparts. This makes TPO roofing an excellent option for the roofs of businesses where leaks are an especially major concern. 

Efficiency

Compared to EPDM, TPO roofing is more energy efficient due to its white color. This means TPO roofs reflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption, which can greatly reduce the cost of air conditioning during the heat of summer. 

How to Care for a TPO Roof

TPO roofing has a shorter expected lifespan than materials such as metal or built-up roofing, at around 15–20 years. However, this expected lifespan can be maximized through proper care and maintenance.

TPO roofs are readily repaired, but repairs are most effective when completed sooner rather than later. This means that scheduling regular inspections—important for any commercial roof—is especially critical for TPO roofing systems. Commercial roofers with expertise in TPO will be able to thoroughly examine your roof and diagnose any potential issues long before they become major problems, thereby maximizing the lifespan of your TPO roof. 

Moser Roofing Solutions: TPO Roof Care Experts

At Moser Roofing Solutions, we specialize in helping business owners and commercial property managers get the most from their flat and low slope roofing systems. Our professional roofing craftsmen have years of expertise in the care, maintenance, and repair of TPO roofs, offering professional installation services as well as our highly effective Roof Guardian commercial roof maintenance plan to maximize the life of your TPO roof.

Whether you’re interested in TPO roofing installation for your commercial building, or if you’re looking to enroll an existing TPO roof in our Roof Guardian maintenance plan, you’ll get more from your TPO roof with Moser! Contact us today.

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