Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing membranes were introduced in Europe in the 1980s and have been used in the US since the early 1990s. In the thermoplastic roofing systems category, TPOs are the fastest-growing segment of the commercial roofing market.
Although TPOs have been available here for almost 30 years, they are relatively new, compared with more established single-ply membranes, such as EPDM and PVC.
TPO Roofing Materials
TPO’s advantages include hot-air welded seams, a set of varying colors and thicknesses as well as reinforced membranes with strong abrasion, tear and puncture resistance.
Both Firestone and GAF TPO systems provide energy savings due to its heat reflective properties. EPDM rubber roofing has a long history and is applicable in a variety of flat-roof situations.
TPO seams and flashing details are welded on site by the Sentry Roofing team using hand and robot hot-air welders, an industry proven method that eliminates the need for adhesives or open flame torches.
Once installed, Firestone TPO roofing systems create a watertight, monolithic roof membrane with superior strength and performance. EPDM seams are sealed with adhesive tape and lap sealant.
TPO systems can be installed using a wide variety of methods, including mechanically attached, adhered, and ballasted.
This versatility means that TPO roofs can be installed on virtually any type of building throughout the US.
Because TPO is a thermoplastic membrane, it’s flexible and able to accommodate a building’s normal “settling” as well as its expansion and contraction as seasons and temperatures change.
In recent years, energy savings have been an important requirement for commercial building owners and managers, and TPO membranes earn high marks with respect to their reflectivity.
TPO roofs are “cool,” delivering lower utility bills in the summer, both because less heat is conducted into the building and because rooftop HVAC units don’t have to work as hard.
TPO membranes have another environmentally friendly attribute: they can be recycled after their life on the rooftop.
TPO systems are durable. Like all modern single-ply membranes, they are manufactured in varying thicknesses with a layer of reinforcement scrim – an industrial-fabric mesh – in the center.
This membrane composition allows TPO systems to resist punctures, impacts and tearing. It also can be treated to resist mold.