TPO Roofing


TPO Roofing Licensed & Insured Contractors – Birmingham, AL Professional Roofers




Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing was first introduced in the early 1990's as a less costly alternative to PVC roofing materials. TPO roofing membranes are typically used on industrial properties, flat roof structures and more. Additionally, they’ve achieved worldwide recognition in numerous industries due to their resilience and ease of installation. Currently, there is a growing demand for TPO roofing in the United States because of its energy efficient and heat-reflective nature, along with a resistance to chemical and UV exposure.




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Thermoplastic Polyolefin single-ply roofing membranes are made from a mixture of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene polymers reinforced with polyester. Additional fillers are applied to strengthen the TPO membrane's natural durability include fiberglass, wollastonite, talc, metal oxy sulfate, and carbon fiber. The TPO membrane has been specifically designed to have the attributes of rubber roofing along with hot-air weldable seams for a tough waterproof bond between each of the sheets. A TPO membrane consists of 3 layers:


  1. TPO polymer base
  2. Polyester-reinforced fabric center (scrim)
  3. Thermoplastic polyolefin intensified top ply


TPO vary in both thickness and measurement; they're typically sold in the form of large rolls. Installation is done with a completely adhered, ballasted, or mechanically connected technique, enabling the white membrane to remain exposed throughout the life of the roof.

Thermoplastic polyolefin roofing is specifically designed to offer the benefits of PVC and EPDM roofing systems, but with less costs and downsides. However, similar to other roofing products, TPO has its own specific advantages and disadvantages, mainly because it’s a relatively new product in the market undergoing the research and development phase. Before purchasing TPO membrane roofing for your home or business, you should first consider all of its pros and cons.



Pros of TPO roof:


  1. Offered in white, black, tan, or gray colors
  2. Can operate up to 20 years
  3. Can resist heavy climate conditions, UV radiation, and high surface temperature levels
  4. Easy to apply and calls for little upkeep
  5. Environmentally friendly – does not contain dangerous or toxic ingredients and is 100% recyclable
  6. Excellent versatility to permit building movement
  7. Fiber support for additional strength and durability
  8. Fits on numerous types of houses or commercial buildings
  9. Grease resistant
  10. High efficiency and energy efficient
  11. Highly resilient: resistant to cuts, shocks, and leaks
  12. Built in a single membrane application
  13. Economical in comparison to PVC and EPDM roofing
  14. Provides different installation choices (fully adhered, ballasted, or mechanically fastened)
  15. Resistant to mildew or algae development and does not need pressure cleaning
  16. Seam strength is about 3-4 times stronger than conventional rubber roof
  17. Seams are secured through hot-air welding




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Cons of TPO roofing:


  1. One of the most significant disadvantages of TPO roofing is that it’s still in its infancy stages. Manufactures are still developing new formulas meant to enhance longevity and durability, while reducing manufacturing costs of the product. New formula developments are expected to solve the issues of membrane splits, leakages, and seam failures.
  2. Not all TPO membranes are manufactured via the same method and some will perform better than others. It’s best to ask a roofing expert for recommendations before making any final decisions.
  3. TPO membranes are fairly new in the industry and there are numerous documented cases of failures along with some recalls. Expert roofers have handled these issues in order to comply with ASTM standards.
  4. The top layer of a TPO product is laminated which can lead to vulnerabilities such as superficial cracks. TPO roll can also vary in size and thickness without a set standard, so it’s imperative that you verify your purchase beforehand.



A properly installed and serviced TPO roofing system can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. However, factors such as the slope, method of installation, applied substrate, geographical conditions, along with regular examination and upkeep significantly impact the longevity of the roof. The most important aspect of sustainability though, is a proper installation by a licensed roofing professional. The majority roofing system failures are not caused by defects within the product itself, but by improper installations performed by non-certified personnel.


Word to the wise, please research the product before making any major purchases. If you decide to buy a TPO roof, ensure you procure it from a manufacturer with a solid history of customer service and customer product satisfaction. When it comes to the proper setup of the roof method in your home or locale, choose a qualified roofing expert that specializes in TPO roofing systems to do the job.




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For a long lasting and affordable single-ply roofing system for your flat, home or commercial building, a TPO (thermoplastic olefin) membrane might be an excellent and affordable alternative. TPO roofing systems are becoming more popular by the day in both business and residential flat roof markets because it features the combined advantages of both EPDM and PVC roofs at a much lower price.