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TPO Roofing: All you need to know

Posted on July 13, 2022

If you are looking to adorn your business with a new roof, perhaps because the old one is weathered and worn, or you feel that your premises needs a fresh look. There is a chance you have considered TPO roofing.

Before taking the plunge though, you will need to know if TPO really is the roof type for you!

As expert residential and commercial roofing contractors the team at Karma Roofing endeavor to be fully transparent with you and will only guide you with what we believe is right for you when it is right for you.

So, if you are now in the market for a new roof installation and are considering whether TPO is the roof type for you, let us tell you all there is to know. Roofing & restoration is our specialty so read on to find out a little more!

What is TPO Roofing?

TPO roofing, also known as Thermoplastic Polyolefin is probably one of the fastest growing roof types currently being embraced by the commercial sector. Made of a single layer of synthetic material it is used to cover flat roofs. It has a natural reflective surface that reflects UV rays. With its ability to reflect rather than absorb heat, many commercial properties have turned to using it to create more comfortable working or shopping experiences. Reducing the internal temperature of a building and lasting for a long time, it is no wonder TPO roofs are becoming the choice for many.

It has been in use since the 1990’s but over time it has grown more and more popular as businesses look to create a more suitable environment for colleagues and visitors. This single-ply roofing membrane is traditionally white but can be found in grey and tan.

Single-ply membrane?

That’s right, this simply means that sheets of rubber and other synthetics can be ballasted, mechanically fastened, or chemically adhered to your choice of insulation. Therefore, creating a secure and high-quality roof.

What types of insulation can I have with a TPO roof?

Typically, there are three types of insulation you can chose from.

  • Polyisocyanurate-A slightly more expensive choice and the most commonly used. Its expense is countered by it’s more efficient R rating.
  • Expanded Polystyrene- Used for roof, wall and floor insulation, this is not as expensive but does have the highest R value per dollar. A benefit is that it does not retain water over time.
  • Extruded Polystyrene-This is a semi permeable insulation and falls in between the other two for both cost and efficiency.

Why should I have a TPO roof?

Whilst looking at the alternatives on offer to you, there is a chance you have weighed up the pros and cons of many materials, styles and even colors. TPO roofing stands to give you benefits in both hot weather as well as wet weather. TPO lends itself to flat roofs better than shingles as the shingles aren’t made to hold standing water. TPO on the other hand can. Any roof that is classed as low slope, or if we want to use more technical terms, any roof that has a pitch of less than 2:12, cannot be built using shingles. If it is-well, the costs to you further down the line could be astronomical for repair. In fact, a roofing company shouldn’t even be suggesting shingle roofs to you if you have a low slope!

Going back to the weather, if you are based somewhere warm, TPO will keep indoors cooler, if your facility is somewhere that enjoys a lot of rain, the TPO roof allows the water to sit for longer-being waterproof you have less fear of the random leaks a deluge may bring.

How long will a TPO roof last?

You can expect to have a TPO roof for around 25 years, however there can be a variety of factors that could see that duration increase or decrease. For example, excess heat could shorten its lifespan a little, as could constant torrential rain. However, most roofing experts say that if it is installed properly, you should have no fear of missing out on seeing it achieve its expected life span.

What are the additional benefits to TPO roofing?

As well as keeping your building cooler and being better suited to low pitch roofs than other materials. TPO also allows the customer to choose what type of insulation you would like. Being a single membrane allows for much more flexibility in choice.

TPO roofing also achieves the Underwriters Laboratories Class A fire resistance listings by adding free retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process.

Additionally, TPO can save your business money. Where we touched upon it keeping a building cooler earlier on, this goes as far to say you can reduce your utility costs by not relying on using extra features to keep your business cool.

How much does TPO roofing cost?

As with any renovation project, many factors can determine the cost. With a TPO roof, you should factor in what type of insulation you are choosing, the overall size of the roof and the condition of the existing roof. On average you can be looking at an average of $3.50-$7.50 per square foot for a standard commercial property.

Signs your TPO roof may need replacing

If you already have a TPO roof and it has been installed for a long period of time, it may need replacing. Certain things that stand out as indicators of a replacement being needed are:

  • Water entering the property
  • If you spot tears or punctures in the membrane
  • Flashings starting to fail

If any of these things appear evident, book in an inspection. At Karma Roofing we offer a free inspection so you can find out exactly what the next steps may need to be regarding any potential repair.

Within an inspection we can look for signs of leaks, general roof damage, assess how old the roof is and check how many layers of the roof there are.

Sometimes, a roof simply needs some TLC, and a TPO roof can be maintained just like any other. When we insect yours, we will be able to determine the best course of action.

Looking for a new roof or need your current one to be maintained? Simply contact our team. We cover Orlando, Jacksonville and North Carolina and pride ourselves on the quality of work we provide in both commercial and residential roofing. With a team of storm damage experts and passionate crew. Let us keep a roof over your head!

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