Does your commercial building have a flat or low-slope roof? Membrane roofing can provide the best long-term results for protecting the structure and the valuable assets inside it.
Membrane roofing typically consists of thermoplastic or synthetic rubber material that creates a watertight covering. The two most common types of these systems are thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM).
What Are TPO and EPDM Roofing Systems?
TPO roofing materials are lighter in color — they’re usually white but can also be tan or gray. These single-ply roofing membranes are available in 10-, 12- or 20-foot-wide sheets with 45-, 60- or 80-mil thicknesses. They contain various UV stabilizers, fillers, pigments and flame retarders. These systems are suitable for fully adhered and mechanically attached installations.
EPDM is a rubber commercial roofing product consisting of three primary ingredients — carbon black, propylene and ethylene. The industrial-grade synthetic material will expand or contract when temperature variations occur. Most EPDM roofing materials are black, although white options are becoming increasingly popular. EPDM sheets are available in 45-, 60- and 90-mil thicknesses.
The Benefits of TPO Roofing Systems
Installing TPO roofing can provide multiple benefits for your business:
- Sun protection: This material reflects most of the sun’s ultraviolet rays away from the roof, resulting in more comfortable indoor temperatures in the summer and lower cooling costs. It also offers excellent ozone and chemical resistance.
- Flexibility: TPO is adaptable to various roof configurations. This solution can withstand movement and setting, even in colder temperatures.
- Leak resistance: The hot-air welding technique used to meld the roof’s seams reduces the likelihood of leaks. If the seams come apart, the repairs are typically fast and easy.
- Easy to install: The lightweight sheets make TPO roofing faster and easier to install than many other types. For a business owner, this characteristic means shorter interruptions of your business operations and less inconvenience for your customers.
- Aesthetically appealing: If looks matter for your business establishment, TPO roofing can add an attractive touch to your building’s exterior. The various colors give you several options for customization.
The Benefits of EPDM Roofing Systems
- Durable: If you plan to be in your current building for the duration of the business’s life, EPDM roofs can meet your longevity requirements. A well-constructed and correctly installed EPDM roof can last more than 30 years.
- Fast and easy to install: Like TPO, EPDM roofing materials ensure a simplified installation. The sheets are lightweight, which saves time and minimizes disruptions to your business.
- Protective: As a synthetic rubber commercial roofing material, EPDM offers excellent protection for your building. For example, you’ll have fewer concerns about hail damage, especially if you opt for a higher thickness.
- Energy efficient: If you live in a colder climate, a black EPDM roof will absorb heat from sunlight, enabling you to create a warmer environment in winter. You’ll also experience lower heating costs.
- Low maintenance: An EPDM roof requires minimal upkeep to maintain its condition and maximize longevity. Routine inspections and regular cleanings can help prevent damage and the need for costly repairs.
The Difference Between TPO and EPDM Roofing Systems
While both roofing systems are durable, the rubber synthetic material of an EPDM product offers a slight longevity advantage. With proper care, a TPO roof can last 25 to 30 years, while an EPDM roof may provide over 30 years of service before needing replacing.
Color is another difference between the two roofing types. The lighter shade of most TPO roofing materials makes them more suitable for warmer climates or when building owners prefer a brighter appearance. Darker EPDM roofs work well in colder climates with less sunlight.
Which System Is Right for Your Commercial Roof?
For many business owners, cost is the most crucial factor when choosing a roofing system. TPO and EPDM roofs cost roughly the same per square foot and are both easy to install. Your geographic location — with considerations like warm vs. cold climates and the amount of precipitation — is often a deciding factor for many companies.
At DDP Roofing Services, Inc., we have the experience and expertise to help you decide which roofing system is best for your commercial building. We’re a fully licensed contractor that has earned certifications from many major roofing material manufacturers.
Contact us today to learn more about the differences between TPO and EPDM roofing materials. Our experts can help you choose the best material for your needs.