TPO Roofing

TPO roofing is a material commonly used in the roofing industry today. Although it is common, most homeowners have no idea what it is. This article will explain what TPO roofing is, why you would need it, how long it lasts, the benefits it provides, and how much it costs.

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What is TPO Roofing?

TPO, known as thermoplastic polyolefin, is a white single-ply membrane used in commercial and residential roofing. Because TPO is a white membrane, it reflects heat rather than absorbing it.

Mechanical fasteners, adhesives, and many heat welding methods are used to secure the membrane to the roof and form watertight seams and seals around roof edges and penetrations.

Like most roofing systems, TPO roofing systems create an effective barrier that repels water, snow, and ice.

TPO is an excellent choice for a flat roof or a low-slope dormer over a bedroom because it keeps the room below cooler. It can also be used over a non-living space such as a garage or covered patio.

four elements tpo roof define

Why do you need TPO roofing?

Low slope refers to a roof or a roof facet with a pitch (aka steepness) of less than 2:12 (less than two vertical units up for every 12 horizontal units out).
Water will not run off as quickly as it would on a higher pitch on a low slope or flat roof, so it must be waterproof. As a result, you won't be able to use asphalt shingles because they aren't designed to hold standing water.
This isn't something that roofers made up on the spur of the moment; it's actually a building code. According to both the shingle manufacturer's installation instructions and building codes, asphalt shingles cannot be installed on a roofing system with a pitch of less than 2:12.
This is why low slope or flat roofs require the installation of a TPO roofing membrane (or another flat roof system). Do not hire a roofing contractor who even mentions installing shingles on a low-slope roof.
four elements tpo roof cost

How long does TPO roofing last?

A roof's lifespan indicates how long it will last and when it will need to be replaced. This brings us to the next point: How long will TPO roofing last? TPO roofing membrane can last up to 25 years if installed properly. However, just because it says 25 years does not guarantee that it will live that long. This is because many factors influence how long a roof lasts. The weather in your area, the amount of direct sunlight it receives, and the quality of the installation are all factors to consider.

TPO Roof Membrane Details

A single-ply TPO roof membrane comprises at least three layers that are bonded together to form one membrane.
Pigments, antioxidants, fire retardants, lubricants, and UV absorbers are all used in TPO membrane formulation to improve performance.
four elements tpo roof membrane detail
The layers of a single-ply re-enforced TPO roof membrane are as follows:
- UV blockers and abrasion-resistant compounds are used in the top layer.
- An encapsulated middle layer is a high-strength polyester mesh material designed to add structure to the membrane while improving puncture resistance and tensile strength.
- A base layer is made to be strong, adherent, and flexible.

Benefits of a TPO Roof

The following are some of the benefits of a TPO roofing system:

Long-term Weather Resistance

TPO is highly resistant to long-term heat and UV rays from the sun. TPO resists shrinking, ensuring that seams and sealants remain in place over time. 

Value & Cost-effectiveness

When compared to other systems, such as commercial metal roofing, TPO roofing systems provide one of the most cost-effective roofing solutions available, providing an excellent balance of performance and price. The material flexibility and faster installation result in a lower cost installation.

Energy Efficiency

Reflective TPO roof membranes, which are available in white and other light colors, can help save money on energy costs when compared to dark-colored EPDM.

Welded Seam Strength

The strength of the seams in a weather-tight roofing system is critical. When using a professionally installed TPO roof system, welded seams create a monolithic membrane across your entire roof.

Puncture Resistance

Leaks can occur as a result of punctures. Compared to other commonly used roofing materials, TPO has a higher puncture resistance.

How much does TPO roofing cost?

Now comes one of the most critical aspects of your TPO roofing research: Pricing. Budget around $6.00-$9.00 per square foot for a smaller TPO membrane roof and around $5.00 per square foot for slightly larger projects. The cost of a TPO membrane roof is determined by a number of factors, just like the cost of other types of roofing materials. The type of insulation used beneath the membrane is one of these factors. For example, using thick enough insulation to insulate the entire structure will cost more than simply using fabric insulation and gluing the membrane to it. Another important consideration is the size of the roof that will receive the membrane.

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four elements tpo roof cost

How to Choose a TPO Roofing Installation Contractor

If your roofing systems have been damaged by hail or wind, you'll want a contractor who will work with you all along the way. Four Elements can provide emergency roof repairs as needed, as well as loose lay TPO temporary roofing and total installation.
Why you should choose us:

- Provide the best quality and warranty options.
- Install your types of flat roofs and protect your roof deck.
- Experience managing staged roofing projects.
- Have a license in Chicago and other states.
- Offer services at a competitive and reasonable price.

We hope you found this TPO Roofing guide to be helpful. You now understand all aspects of TPO roofing. After reading this, you're probably ready to take action and hire a roofing contractor.

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