Guide to TPO Roofing
TPO roofing is typically based on polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. These two materials are polymerized together to produce the TPO single-ply roofing membrane, which is flexible at low temperatures, resistant to ozone and algae and generally considered environmentally friendly and safe to install.
Often called a seamless roof system or thermoplastic roofing, TPO roofs are highly resistant to tears, impacts and punctures. A TPO roof system is typically available in white, light gray and black with a thickness of 45 to 60 mils. Common width for TPO roofing is 6 to 6 1/2 feet.
History of Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roof System
Thermoplastic products have been used in various applications since the 1980’s. Since then, thermoplastics have continued to expand, formally being introduced to the roofing industry in 1989 as non-reinforced sheet. In 1993, non-reinforced thermoplastic roofing was replaced with membrane containing reinforcing fabric. Since that time, TPO single ply membrane roofing has experienced a surge in popularity and is now the fastest growing segment of the single ply roofing industry in the U.S
Thermoplastic Roofing Installation
A TPO roof system is either fully-adhered, mechanically-attached or ballasted to the base surface of the roof. When adhered, a special adhesive is used to chemically bond the thermoplastic membrane to the base. A ballasted system implies that the TPO membrane has been laid over the roof surface, sealed and around all penetrations and the perimeter and covered by a heavy layer of river rock. Mechanically attached thermoplastic roofing is attached to the base by a screw-type bolt.
One of the best features of TPO roof systems is its environmental benefits. A white TPO roof helps reduce the amount of energy that is required to cool the building, thus lowering energy costs and cutting the amount of energy consumed. Less energy consumption equals fewer pollutants generated back into the atmosphere, directly contributing to a cleaner environment. This also significantly helps in reducing the urban heat island effect. TPO roof systems have a cleaner manufacturing process, contain no chlorine and are recyclable.
Advantages of TPO Roofing
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a new roofing system for your home or business. Aside from the immediate costs, there’s the current roofing system on the building, the building design, future maintenance costs, ease of repair and durability to name a few.
In a head-to- head comparison, thermoplastic single-ply roofing boasts numerous advantages over other roofing systems for commercial and residential use. In addition to being naturally UV and heat resistant, a TPO roof also remains flexible as it ages – all of which significantly increases its expected lifespan. Kirberg Company can ensure that it’s TPO roofing will provide unparalleled quality, resulting in low maintenance. As environmentally conscious homes and businesses continue to increase, Kirberg Company’s recyclable TPO roofs offer an inexpensive option when considering roof installation.
- Resistant to a wide variety of chemicals
- Environmentally friendly and recyclable
- White TPO roofing can provide significant savings in energy costs
- Maintenance is fairly minimal and easy
About Single Ply Membrane Roofing
Single ply membrane roofing is usually broken down into two categories: TPO and EPDM. TPO roofing has a common feature not found in EPDM roofing – it can be heated and reshaped multiple times. As a result, a single ply membrane roof using thermoplastics is often referred to as a seamless roof because the edges can be melted and fused together to form a tightly bonded seam. Consequently, an EPDM membrane is seamed by an adhesive.
When deciding whether a single ply membrane roofing system is right for you, it is important to first consider whether the building is suited for a single ply membrane at all. Generally, single ply membrane roofing is appropriate when weight is a consideration, structural movement is expected, re-covering an existing membrane or installing in cold weather, among other factors.