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The Pros and Cons of TPO Roofing

For flat roofs or those with a low slope, you may be looking into TPO roofing to get the job done. TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin, though the material is a combination of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, not plastic, as the name may suggest. TPO is an attractive option due to its low cost, ease of installation, and energy-efficient benefits. Before you decide to go ahead with purchasing this kind of roofing, however, it’s essential to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the material.

The Advantages of TPO Roofing

TPO roofing possesses the UV-resistant qualities of EPDM roofing material and handles the heat in the same way as PVC, but at a lower price. TPO is by far the most economical of the three and one of the cheapest roofing materials out there. For trying to get roofing onto a home or commercial building on a budget, TPO is the best option to save money.

TPO saves money regarding electricity, as well. Whether opting for a white, gray, or black option, TPO reflects the sunlight and protects against UV radiation, preventing your home or business from racking up AC bills during the summers.

The flexible and durable material resists corrosion, growth of mold, mildew, or algae, and dirt build-up. It can be welded around chimneys or other protrusions and is lightweight for quick and easy installation. The labor cost of installing TPO is very inexpensive due to how simple the material is to apply. TPO is also recyclable. Manufacturers can use old layers that have run their course to create brand new ones, making them environmentally friendly.

The Disadvantages of TPO Roofing

While TPO roofing is incredibly popular, it’s a recently introduced material that’s only been around since about the ’90s. Manufacturers are still hard at work getting the formula right, meaning that the material is still subject to pitfalls. Excessive heat can increase the risk of busted seams, cracks in the material, and leaks. The laminated layer on top can also introduce weak spots where the material is more prone to crazing and deteriorating.

Due to TPO’s recent entrance into the roofing industry, manufacturers may also not give you the same promises and information. For example, TPO may come in different thicknesses, and thicker versions may be passed off as more durable when the thickness has nothing to with the strength of the material, in reality. The lifespan of TPO isn’t specified either; generally, a layer could last anywhere from 10-20 years, but there’s no guarantee how long it will or won’t hold up over time.

It’s imperative to do your research to avoid roofing manufacturers trying to sell you low-quality material that may only be appealing for a low price. You’ll want to find a manufacturer that offers a good warranty, or at the very least has a positive reputation among their customers who have gotten a TPO roof from in the past.

TPO is new and attractive, cost-effective and energy-saving, but, like everything, it has its drawbacks. If you’re seriously considering TPO for your roof, make sure to do your homework on the manufacturers that offer their services. It can be fantastic if adequately installed, but it can be damaging to your home if installed incorrectly.

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