How is TPO Roofing made?
Highly Durable Solutions For Your Commercial Roof.
Heat Reflective and Energy Efficient.
Thin, Light and Cost Effective.
TPO Flat Roof Services Throughout the Capital Region.
TPO Roofing, known as an energy star rated eco-friendly flat roofing option.
EPDM Roofing Systems are an economical install without disturbing day to day business.
PVC Roofing is popular for being heat reflective, lightweight, & eco-friendly
See an overview of our commercial roofing service options and comparisons.
Modified Bitumen is the classic standard in flat roofing, but has recently fallen in popularity.
Extend the life of your roof at a fraction of the cost of a full flat roof replacement.
See an overview of our industrial roofing service options and comparisons.
To help reduce the cost as well as negative impacts on our environment TPO flat roofing has been getting increasingly popular for residential and commercial roofing. TPO flat roofing is cost effective and energy efficient. This is one of the roofing products that has been able to meet the demand and has become increasingly popular. TPO is a thermoplastic Polyolefin single-ply roofing membrane that is known for its highly reflective properties and the resistance to ultraviolet rays. In addition to that TPO also provides a number of other performance and installation advantages. TPO based roofing products have been utilized in many applications and commercial roofing services, including the automobile industry since the 1980s. TPO is made from ethylene propylene rubber and a number of filler materials, such as talc, carbon filler, or fiberglass. Using special technology ethylene ( an organic gaseous substance), rubber, and propylene (a byproduct of petroleum refining) are all polymerized. To strengthen and for durability filler materials are added to reinforce the membrane's strength.
Highly Durable and Resistant
TPO flat roofing is produced with polymers that provide a combination of the best attributes from EPDM and thermoplastic membranes. TPO inherits strong properties to heat weld the seams and that property is provided by the thermoplastic polymer. There is inherent flexibility and weathering capacities that is provided by the elastic rubber. This combination produces a membrane that has the ultraviolet and heat resistance of EPDM and has PVC's capacity to heat weld and seams.
Commercial roofing has inherent chemical resistance properties and can endure most animal fats, vegetable oils, microbial attack, and some acids. They would lower the possibility of fungus attacks and algae and would not support biological support as it is an inorganic material that do not contain oils or compounds. This roofing product contains more than twice the polymer and less than half the filler of EPDM, which makes it chemically resistant to the same types of materials as EPDM. The low filler content ensures very low water transmission and enhances long-term performance. TPO flat roofing does not have the same chemical resistance abilities as CSPE and some PVCs.
Early Manufacturing Issues and Solutions
Thermoplastic olefins were introduced to the U.S. roofing market in the early 1990s and, as with all developing technologies, such as PVC, there were initial problems. The original membranes were manufactured without reinforcements based on the rationale that the inherent stability of the sheet eliminated the need for any reinforcing fabrics. While it has been proven that thermoplastic membranes have a high degree of stability and a very low shrinkage factor, there is also a high degree of elongation when the roofing product is heated. The heating of the membrane created two initial problems. The first problem was that the membrane installed in the winter months became severely wrinkled in the summer months when the material heated up. The second problem was that the membrane would become wrinkled during the welding of the seams due to the high temperature of the material at these areas.
The addition of the fabric reinforcement has curtailed a number of these problems. TPO membranes now are reinforced with polyester mats or glass fiber that provides different benefits. The benefits are tear resistance, high puncture, high tensile strength, and excellent dimensional stability and minimal shrinkage. Reinforced TPO membranes provide greater tear strength and twice as much breaking strength in comparison to EPDM membranes. Without splitting or cracking the flexibility of the membrane allows for significant structural movement.. Polyester reinforcements provide a glass fiber reinforcement and polyester reinforcements provide a higher tensile strength according to the industry research.
Fire Resistance and Environmental Compliance
Thermoplastic Olefins are fully recyclable and environmentally friendly. It is well suited for landfill disposal, incineration, or recycling if it is properly formulated it will not pose any harm to the environment. The base additives are non-hazordous and the base polymers are all raw materials posing no harm to the environment. Furthermore, all of the material components have been on the market for a number of years and there is no expectation of unknown hazards. There are no noxious fumes during installation by local roofing companies and no migratory plasticizers that can leach out and into the local water supply. Since all of the components used are in the form of granules or powders, there is no chance of contamination of the environment from accidental spillage.
The membrane sheet and the inherent low flammability due to the chlorine provides fire resistance. However, chloride is not environmentally friendly.
Thermoplastic olefins do not contain chloride, which also means that they do not have inherent fire resistance capabilities. The fire protection is provided by the gravel layers on the ballasted applications and poses no threat. This is not the case for commercial flat roofing membranes used in unprotected or exposed membrane applications, such as on mechanically attached or fully adhered systems, which require fire retardants. The selection of chemical additives is critical from a standpoint of fire resistance and environmental compliance.
For instance, it is reported that antimony trioxide and bromine compounds are some halogenic materials some manufacturers have added to increase the fire resistance capacity of the membrane sheet and to comply with UL requirements. These chemicals could have two adverse effects on the system:
- These chemicals can decrease the serving life of the system and could have negative effects on the UV resistance and thermal stability of the membrane sheets.
- They could reduce the chances of recycling or incinerating the membrane at the end of its service life, due to the environmental concerns of these chemicals.
From an environmental perspective, it is recommended that non-halogenated materials, such as mineral hydrate, be used as flame retardants. It has also been found that polypropylene-based membranes using bromine flame retardants have substantially lower ultraviolet resistance than the membranes that use mineral hydrate flame retardants.
A properly formulated flat roofing membrane (with non-halogenic fire retardants) does not require landfill disposal at the end of its service life. These materials can be recycled or incinerated. Waste material made while producing other materials is used by the manufacturers and recycled. Waste produced in the field during the application process can be saved by the commercial roofing contractor and supplied to the manufacturer for similar recycling. The membrane is being looked into to recycle ones its reached its end of the service life by the manufacturers. Europe is significantly further when it comes to environmental regulations and most of the research is being conducted in Europe at this time.
The TPO membrane can be sale incinerated. The combustion byproducts extracted may only be carbon dioxide and water causing that to happen. Thermoplastic olefins produce less toxic agents and environmental pollution during incineration than typical residential refuse. During incineration, the material is transformed into a form of slag, which can be deposited in a landfill with no adverse environmental effects.
Installation & Expectations
TPO can either be heat welded or glued down with an adhesive. When it comes to the comparison of heat welding vs glue, heat welding creates stronger seams but needs to be done by a professional commercial roofing company. TPO's life expectancy is around 15 to 20 years. TPO roof replacement consists of tearing off the old roof down to either plywood, metal or concrete decking.