by Marie King
“According to Firestone Products of Canada,”Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply reflective roofing membrane made from polyprophylene and ethylene-propylene rubber polymerized together. It is typically installed in a fully adhered or mechanically attached system, allowing the white membrane to remain exposed throughout the life of the roof.”
TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin. It is relatively new to the market. It’s primary use is on a flat roof. It’s competition is roll roofing and bitumen. TPO is seen as having better quality than roll roofing or bitumen. Its attributes are durability, high performance at a mid level cost.
TPO is made out of rubber, which makes it waterproof. Even though its primary use is for flat roofs, it can be used for pitched roofs. However, with pitched roofs the cost of the roofing escalates. Also with a pitched roof, the measurement must be exact.
TPO is heat welded giving it a seamless appearance. A strong seam is vital to a TPO, so that it performs at the highest level.The way it’s constructed makes it fully recyclable and not made of harmful chemicals. TPO is energy efficient not only in areas that have extreme weather but also insulate from hot weather.
TPO roofing is usually measured in 10 feet by 10 feet squares. The average cost is $160 per square. If your customer opts for higher quality TPO, the cost can be as high as $ 500 per square. What determine cost is the thickness of the material, which directly affects its performance. .045 is the cheapest form of TPO. .060 is the mid point price of TPO. The Cadillac of TPO thickness is .080.
The white membrane of the TPO allows the material to deflect solar energy. When that surface becomes dirty, it diminishes the reflective quality of the TPO. To remedy the TPO from dirt, it’s important to keep the TPO clean and smooth. Any roughness on the TPO will be a magnet for dirt.
These TPO packages are designed to withstand high temperatures. The range of these packages are said to be from 60 degrees to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The purpose of this weathering package is to block UV rays that might cause cracking or material failure.
Warranties are the backbone of any roofing system. When you evaluate warranties make sure that the manufacturer has the financial reserves to back his product. You also want to ensure that the warranty has no dollar limit.
Many contractors have had no experience working with TPO roofing systems, If you’re one of these contractors, you may become certified in TPO by one of the manufacturers.