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If you’ve ever consulted a roofing service expert or done roofing yourself, then you have most likely heard of TPO roofing. It is a relatively new roofing system that probably every business owner dreams of having. But is it worth the hype?
Defining TPO Roofing
TPO is a kind of single-ply roofing membrane. It’s an acronym for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, which is the primary chemical used in its construction. TPO membranes are manufactured in 10 to 20 feet complete sheets rolled up and taken to the commercial premises. TPO is an environmentally friendly roofing option and has gained market acceptance, as reported by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).
TPO Roofing Installation
First off, the existing substrate is prepared through cleaning the existing roof and removing any dirt or materials that make the roof uneven.
After preparing the substrate, one of the following types of insulation is installed:
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). EPS has a high value to money ratio and is mostly used in walls, roof, and floor installations. However, it does not retain water over time.
Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso). It is the most common type of roofing application. Though it is costly, it still gives a better R-value rating.
Extruded Polystyrene (XPS). It is defined by certain shades of pink, green, and blue. It is semi-permeable and falls somewhere between EPS and Polyiso in both price and performance.
Benefits of TPO Roofing
A well-maintained commercial TPO roofing can last for around three decades. Other benefits of TPO roofing include:
Class A Fire Rated. TPO roofing can quickly achieve class A fire resistance ratings due to the chemicals used in its construction.
Reflective. TPO comes in white color and highly reflective. EPDM is, however, the complete opposite and defined as “Black Roofs” due to the dark color of its membrane.
Customer Choice Of installation. TPO roofing is easy to install and does not have the installation cost factor. That means you can divert more resources to insulate your building’s roof.
TPO Roofing Drawbacks
Though TPO has a significant edge to business owners, it comes with its set of disadvantages.
Due to high competition and so many companies manufacturing TPO, there is no standardization of quality. You can get an excellent TPO from one manufacturer and, at the same price, a poorly constructed TPO from another.
Since the material used in manufacturing TPO in varied thicknesses, some buyers are made to believe that a thicker TPO roofing lasts for longer. TPO’s thickness has nothing to do with its durability.
Since TPO roofings are only manufactured in small strips, you will likely get several seams of 6-8 feet if you need to cover hundreds of feet. These seams can pose a potential risk for fracturing and water leakages.
While TPOs are meant to last for 30 years or so, recent developments in its construction seem to harm durability. TPO roofing’s top layer is now laminated, and laminating any material brings up weak points that can shrink or deteriorate over time.
If you want to purchase a TPO roof, it is best to do thorough research on the manufacturer and find one that has backed the product with a warranty. Look for manufacturers that have built trust over the years to avoid substandard materials.
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