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What is TPO Roofing? Its Pros, Cons & Installation Techniques

TPO is the short form of “Thermoplastic Polyolefin”, a single-ply roofing membrane used for roof maintenance purposes. In a short span, it has become the fastest growing roofing system in the market owing to its affordable prices and durability.

Roofs are a crucial component of any home and so is their maintenance. They are constantly exposed to harsh environmental conditions which makes them highly prone to various damages like cracks and leakages. These damages are especially hard to fix in flat and low sloping roof systems that are made up of concrete. Besides, their repair is also very costly.

TPO roofings were developed to cater to these challenges. For your roof to function properly, it needs regular maintenance. Choosing TPO treatment provides you with the best roofing maintenance and that too at the most affordable prices.

They are designed to act as a formidable barrier against all environmental conditions, shielding your roof and preventing it from all sorts of damage. They completely cover all sorts of cracks, providing a formidable barrier against moisture infiltration.

They provide resistance against moisture infiltration, preventing damage caused due to moisture. Furthermore, they are also capable of repelling about 80% of the UV radiation, making them an effective energy-efficient solution.

What actually is TPO?

Generally speaking, thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO is a broader categorization of rubber-based roofing materials. It’s made up of a blend of rubbers and a chemical compound called polypropylene. The compound polypropylene is the mainspring imparting TPO durability and flexibility.

They are bright white in color and are manufactured in the form of sheets of various widths. Unlike the PVC and EPDM, they are also energy-efficient, making them increasingly popular as the demand for energy-efficient roofing rises.

TPO Installation Process

TPO installation involves the following steps

1.     Prepare The Surface

Properly clean the required surface and remove all obstructions, dirt, debris, and any loose materials from the surface.

2.     Install The Insulation Boards

the next step is to install the insulation boards on the surface. These boards provide a level surface for the membrane and also provide better insulation.

3.     Fixing the membrane

The membrane can be attached to the board either mechanically or by using adhesives. Mechanical installation involves nails to fix the membrane to the boards and is the most preferred and cost-effective installation process. Whereas adhesives are used where wind loads are a greater concern. Overlapping joints must be made watertight by heat weld or by using adhesives.

4.     Flashing and Detailing

Flashings made from TPO materials are installed at roof edges and penetrations to provide protection against water infiltration. Furthermore, special attention should be placed on all detailing such as corners, trims, and transitions to ensure a smooth watertight seal. 

Benefits of TPO Roofing

Benefits offered by TPO Roofings include

5.     Flexibility

TPO roofings have enhanced flexibility as compared to PVC or EPDM. This higher flexibility offers enhanced resistance against all damages such as punctures, wear & tear, and damages caused during the installation process.

6.     Energy Efficient

TPO roofings are capable of reflecting nearly 80% of the UV radiations. This results in less heat absorbed by the buildings, reducing the amount of energy spent on ventilation.

7.     Strength

TPO joints attached using a hot air gun are 4 times stronger than EPDM joints. Thus, providing greater strength and durability to your roofing system.

8.     Fire Resistant

TPO membranes can develop fire resistant properties blended with appropriate fire-retardant chemicals during manufacturing.

9.     Longevity

TPO roofs can last for 25 to 30 years if they’re well maintained. Hence, significantly your roofing repair budget.

10. Light Weight

Despite being a durable material, TPO is actually light in weight and can be installed easily as compared to other roofings. This allows swift and efficient completion of your roofing work with minimal environmental footprint.

How To Choose the Best TPO Roofing Contractor

Although TPO is a very durable and cost-effective way of securing your roof, its effectiveness also depends upon the skill and expertise of the contractor. Therefore, always make sure to hire a reputable contractor with sufficient experience. While looking for a TPO contractor, try to select the contractor who fulfills the following criteria

  • Expertise in TPO installation, maintenance, and repair
  • Proven track record of successful project
  • Capable of dealing with all sorts of roofing systems
  • Having all necessary certifications and licenses
  • Excellent communication and customer care service.

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