TPO Roofing Service Guide: How It Works and the Quality Standards to Look for

tpo material wrap

One of the most important qualities you should consider when selecting the best roofing material for your home or business is its ability to resist the elements. If you live in an area that gets a lot of hot and humid weather, you specifically want a roof that can keep your home cool throughout the year. Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO roofing achieves this result by reflecting the sun rather than let UV rays and heat make their way into your building. Find out why TPO is one of the most popular roofing materials available today and how it can benefit your home or business.

What Is TPO?

So exactly what is TPO roofing? Its name stands for thermoplastic polyolefin, a reflective roofing membrane material that is crafted from polyprophylene and ethelyne-propylene rubber. These two materials are synthesized together to create a roofing material that has proven to be ideal for helping home and business owners enjoy better energy efficiency and lower utility bills during the year.

TPO was invented in 1989 and is renowned for its ability to reflect the sun’s UV rays. Since its introduction to the roofing industry, this material has grown to be one of the foremost materials on the market. It is estimated that more than 40 percent of all homes and businesses are roofed with a TPO roofing system.

Another quality that makes this membrane roofing so popular is the fact that it is 100 percent recyclable. People who worry about the carbon footprint they or their businesses leave behind can take heart in the fact that they can recycle TPO after they remove it from the roof of a building. It is one of the most eco-friendly roofing choices available to people today and continues to gain popularity as more home and business owners abide by environmentally friendly standards.

The Pros and Cons of TPO


a worker cutting some insulation material

As a relatively new roofing material, TPO offers numerous advantages that include:

  • High energy efficiency performance.
  • Resistant to bacteria, dirt, algae, and debris build-up.
  • Resists damages like tears, punctures, and dents and dings from direct impact.
  • Capable of withstanding exposure to UV rays, ozone, and chemicals.

Another notable advantage that comes with this type of roof involves the tightness of its seams. The seams on a TPO roof are hot-air welded and are tighter than those held in place by EPDM adhesive or tape.


Despite these advantages, TPO roofs also come with several noteworthy disadvantages of which you should be aware. Primarily, specialists do not consider it a perfected roofing material. This roofing material is still relatively new to the roofing industry. This means that developers still work on perfecting its performance and appearance. It arguably does not hold up as well as other materials like rubber or asphalt. The innovative thing about this roof is the way you out it on. Also, the tightness of the seams creates a rooftop that will give you maximum energy efficiency and performance. You will need all these during the hottest times of the year.

Other disadvantages that you may take into consideration include:

  • Questionable longevity.
  • Higher initial TPO roofing cost.
  • No set ASTM application standards for TPO roofing.
  • Frequent product recalls.
  • Seams can come apart and leak after prolonged use.

TPO does not last as long as roofs made out of asphalt, rubber, and other more durable roofing materials. You may have to replace it within a decade especially if the seams start to show signs of damage. This regular upkeep and repair could take its toll on your budget. It might even result in a roof that your homeowners’ insurance company may refuse to cover. If you want to a roof that will give you a better return on your initial investment, you may need to consider other types of materials.

What to Expect from TPO

two tpo insulation rolls

So what can you anticipate if you decide to roof your home with TPO? Your foremost expectation should be one of lowered utility bills and a cooler house. With its reflective qualities, this material is virtually unmatched in its ability to keep heat out during the hottest months of the year. Your home will be safe from intense UV rays. Also, this roofing material will keep out heat and humidity during long summer months.

You also should expect your roof to be visually appealing and easy to maintain. Moreover, you avoid the worries of having to spray or sweep debris off of your rooftop. You also do not have to deal with annual paint jobs or sprucing up of a roof that retains its appearance throughout the year.

Another important expectation for your roof involves its upfront affordability. Your roof should be lower in cost than other materials like rubber or PVC. In fact, TPO can be more than $1000 less expensive than materials that have been used longer in the roofing industry.

Still, you should be on guard for some of the less appealing factors that go along with owning a TPO rooftop. Specifically, you should expect to learn of possible recalls that could pertain to the material used on your own roof. If history is any indication, your TPO roofing could be recalled at some point. Likewise, you may expect to regularly inspect the seams for signs of damage. If you find warping or leaks, for example, you should take action right away to have these roofing damages repaired.

Bottom Line

Thermoplastic polyolefin, or simply TPO, is one of the most popular roofing materials on the market. It has a low cost and a high energy efficiency. Moreover, people use it in nearly a half of all homes and businesses today. Owners find that it is easy to keep clean and maintain. This makes it the worry-free investment they look for when choosing a material for their rooftops. When your goal is to have a roof that will lower your cooling bills, look great, and perform well in all sorts of weather, you may be well served by selecting TPO for your next roofing repair or upgrade.

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