Flat & Low Slope

Important Information About TPO Roofing Material!

Residential roof construction is strikingly different from that of commercial buildings. There are someFlat Roofing 6 logical reasons for this difference: commercial buildings are larger and wider and they may require special ventilation, insulation, and materials to protect the roof from natural or man-made damage.

There are basically two types of roofing materials that have dominated the market over the past few decades: Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), both of which are synthetic rubber membranes. Synthetic rubber is mostly known for its resistance to water penetration and assistance with clean rainwater runoff.

When installing a roof, contractors should know about the latest breakthroughs in roofing material in order to make a wise decision about the best choice for a residential or commercial roof.

Advanced Roofing Material

TPO is an acronym of Thermoplastic Polyolefin; it is a single-ply synthetic rubber surface that belongs to the thermoplastic elastomer family that can be easily recycled and remolded. It has been utilized for various applications, including the automobile industry. Before gaining its popularity in the building industry, TPO was once known as a non-reinforced membrane; however, it is now manufactured with reinforcing fabric which provides high tensile strength and elongation. This single-ply rubber is becoming a fast-selling material in the roofing industry.

Fused Seam Advantages

The most trusted seam available is the air-welded seam. A fused seam is the primary advantage of TPO since it can provide six times the durability than glued seams and two times the durability of an adhesive tape system. When seams are fused together and air-welded, they will develop a monolithic homogenous rubber system which makes it hard for the substance to deteriorate.


The width of TPO is dependent upon the manufacturer, although it has a wider sheet design than EPDM and is available in widths of 12 feet. A wider width is cost-effective because it covers larger areas and requires less labor to weld the seams.

Other Advantages

Aside from being durable because of its seam-fusing method, TPO also offers many advantages.

  • Colors – It comes in different colors: white, black, and light gray
  • Reflectivity – This offers a high level of reflectivity. It reflects destructive heat radiation up to 87 percent, which is much higher than EPDM.
  • Installation – Use of this material allows for ease of installation.
  • Cost-Effective – Both short-term and long-term, this is a cost-effective material as compared to EPDM.
  • Energy Efficient – This material is Energy Star compliant to provide energy savings.
  • Cooling Effect – It provides a cooling effect for the entire building that it covers.
  • Maintenance – Use of this material allows for a much easier maintenance schedule.
  • Wind Resistant – This is much more resistant to the normal effects of wind on a roof.
  • Mold and Algae Resistant – The technology of this material offers mold and algae resistance.

Installation Methods

There are three methods for installing TPO: fully-adhered, mechanically-attached, and ballasted methods.

  • Fully-adhered – The surface is glued directly to the sheets of insulation using special adhesive materials.
  • Mechanically-attached – The sheets are laid out and fastened on the decking using a screw-type fastener and plates.
  • Ballasted – The new insulation system is loosely laid on the decking, then ballast or river rocks are applied to hold it in place.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) technology has been successful in gaining a strong reputation because of its durability, wider width, cost-effectiveness, energy-efficiency, and lasting performance. The American Society and Testing Materials (ASTM) ensures that TPO delivers all of the benefits listed above. When installing a roof, contractors are able to effectively use this material as the manufacturers provide definitive guidelines for its use to ensure a positive roofing result. TPO roofing material can be a great choice for many roofing needs!

Do you need assistance with the replacement of a Brazos Valley or roof Houston roofing system? Schulte Roofing is the right choice to handle your roofing needs!