2024 What Is TPO Roofing? All You Need To Know

TPO Roofing

Thermoplastic polyolefin, better known as TPO, roofing membrane was first used in Europe in the early 1990s and shortly thereafter became available in the US. TPO is popular in the commercial sector because the material lends well to flat roofs commonly found on large-scale commercial properties such as warehouses, strip malls, offices, and schools. Consequently, TPO is commonly used in commercial California roofing repair jobs.

The main advantages of TPO make it an attractive choice for commercial property owners. For instance, TPO is lightweight, affordable, durable, and energy efficient. This material provides protection from the elements and is UV-ray and heat resistant, making it a good choice for replacements of roofing covers in California, as well as California roofing repair jobs.

These roofing covers hold up fairly well over time and can last as long as 30 years with proper maintenance, though most commercial TPO roofs typically last an average of around 15 years before they need repairing.

What Is TPO?

TPO is a polypropylene-based material that has been enhanced to be more pliable, as well as impact resistant. Essentially, it is a blend of plastic (polypropylene) and polypropylene rubber. It is manufactured for roofing cover as a single-ply membrane that consists of three layers:

  • The bottom, or base layer, includes feature-enhancing additives such as flame retardants, which is an impressive selling point to California property owners.
  • The middle layer is called the scrim. This layer provides reinforcement for the rubber, optimizing durability, stability, and strength to maximize performance.
  • The top layer includes reflective polymers and is white or light in color, giving the material its most advantageous properties of resistance.

TPO Installation

Installing TPO is not difficult because it can be mechanically attached, ballasted, or fully attached depending on the building structure. TPO comes in very large sheets that go on with fewer seams. This means faster install time, fewer disturbances to the daily operations of business, and reduced labor costs for property owners. In addition, TPO roofing systems are extremely compatible with other roof systems, such as rooftop solar panels and HVAC units.

Basic installation of TPO involves ensuring there is no debris or water on the building’s top surface before installing the insulation foam, which is strategically staggered to optimize a smoother, stronger installation. Then, the TPO is carefully rolled out, adjusted, straightened, and smoothed of any wrinkles before it is secured to the insulation boards on the surface of the roof.

Advantages of TPO Roofing Systems

Some of the most enticing features of TPO are listed above, but there are even more impressive benefits to installing a TPO roof. For example, TPO roofs are more resistant to punctures, tears, and other damage from impact that can occur at any time and as a result of various factors such as everyday weather, as well as hazardous weather conditions.

Maintenance and Upkeep of a TPO Roofing Cover

TPO roofs require less maintenance than other types of roofing options. They need only be inspected a couple of times a year and cleaned occasionally to ensure they hold up over time and maximize the time between roof replacements. In addition, well-maintained TPO roofs tend to require very little roofing repair, which saves property owners more money.

When to Repair a TPO Roof

One of the biggest red flags that should incite a property owner to call a professional commercial roofer to repair their TPO roofing system is when noticeable water leaks appear on the interiors of the walls or ceilings of the building.

The sooner a professional is called, the better, because a TPO roofing system with water saturation that is less than 25% can be restored using silicone membrane restoration. If, however, the TPO roof is saturated more than 25%, the roof will not be able to be restored and will need to be replaced completely.


Q: What Are the Cons of TPO Roofing?

A: One of the biggest problems with TPO roofing is that this material is still in its infancy in terms of technology and development. Manufacturers are still tweaking the formula for TPO roofing systems. Additionally, TPO roofs that are not installed properly are prone to membrane curing and cracking, seam failures, and recurring leaks.

Q: What Is the Average Life of a TPO Roof?

A: TPO technology is subject to weather, but most TPO roofs can be expected to last around 10 to 20 years, but, in ideal conditions and with proper maintenance, they can last up to 30 years. In most cases, a TPO roof system will need to be replaced or repaired with a silicone restoration membrane system after 15 years.

Q: What Is the Maintenance on a TPO Roof?

A: TPO roofs should be inspected by a professional roofer a couple of times a year, as well as kept clean to maintain the roof’s reflective surface, which is the main contributing factor to TPO features like resistance to heat and UV and its energy-saving properties. It is also important to keep trees trimmed away from the roof to further prevent debris from falling onto the roof surface.

Q: Can Water Sit on a TPO Roof?

A: Water can accumulate on top of a building with a TPO roof system, but if water remains for longer than 48 hours, it is referred to as ponding. Ponding is not good for TPO roof surfaces because it can destroy the roof. Once saturation levels reach more than 25%, a TPO roof cannot be restored or repaired and must be replaced.

Hiring a Professional for TPO California Roofing Repair

When it comes to repairing or replacing a commercial roofing system with TPO roofing materials, hiring an experienced commercial roofer is key to getting your money’s worth out of your roof replacement investment. A roofer who is experienced with this type of roof not only installs a TPO roof properly but can also ensure the client understands how to get the most out of the lifespan of a TPO roof.

Noah’s Roofing can not only provide proper installation of TPO roofing systems but can also offer maintenance and upkeep thereafter to ensure your roof lasts as long as possible. Contact Noah’s Roofing today for an estimate on your roofing job. We look forward to answering your questions regarding our services, our references, and the products we offer.

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