Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply reflective roofing membrane made from polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber polymerized together. It is typically installed in a fully adhered or mechanically attached system, allowing the white membrane to remain exposed throughout the life of the roof.
The first sheet of TPO roofing membrane was installed in 1989 and since then millions of square meters of TPO has been installed worldwide. TPO roofing is as UV-resistant and heat-resistant as EPDM. It is also as heat-weldable as PVC. It is extremely energy-efficient, cost-effective, and easy to install for a Toronto commercial roof specialist like SMC Group.
Installing TPO Roofing Systems
There are three different methods to installing a TPO roofing system. A TPO roof can be installed fully-adhered, mechanically-attached or ballasted.
- Fully adhered means that the membrane was glued to the substrate using a special strong adhesive that creates a chemical bond with the TPO.
- Mechanically attached means that a special screw-type fastener is utilized to attach the roof to the substrate.
- Ballasted means that it is laid over the top of the roof, carefully sealed all around the perimeter and at all penetrations and then a ballast is put on top of the membrane (smooth, round, river rock 2″ – 3″ in diameter) to hold it in place.
Five Benefits of Singly-Ply TPO Roofing
- Energy Efficiency – The white membrane of a TPO single-ply roofing system reflects the heat of the sun, which maximizes the facility’s utility efficiency and helps reduce energy costs. Sometimes referred to as “cool roofs,” a white TPO single-ply roof helps your facility maintain a cooler interior environment and a lower utility bill. “Cool-Roofs” have emerged as a means of cutting air-conditioning costs especially in warmer climates.
- Maintenance – TPO single-ply roofing systems require minimal maintenance but your Roof Consultant (SMC Group) will want to inspect the roof on a regular basis for any signs of membrane damage due to debris on the roof caused by weather or personnel. Any leaks should be reported immediately to you roofing service provider to minimize roofing system damage. On a TPO single-ply roof tears and punctures are “easy” (for qualified technicians) to locate, isolate and repair.
- Installation – Typically, installation of a TPO single-ply roof membrane is quicker, cleaner and more cost-effective than other types of roofing membranes. BUR and other asphalt-based roofing systems tend to be labor and equipment intensive and not as conducive to low temperature roof detailing.
- Wind Uplift Design — TPO single-ply roofing systems are robust and adaptable to all geographic locations, including areas where roof systems must meet the most stringent wind uplift codes. As part of an overall roofing assembly, a mechanically-fastened TPO single-roofing system can be designed to meet the strongest uplift requirements in the industry.
- Recyclability – One of the biggest advantages of the TPO membrane in a market that demands green building materials is that it is 100% recyclable. During production process itself, rejected or off-cut membrane can be ground into “rework” and this ground up material can once again be incorporated into the bottom ply during the extrusion process to produce a brand new TPO roofing membrane. The reason why TPO is 100 % recyclable is that thermoplastics can be melted, purified, and re-extruded. This makes it possible for old TPO membranes from a roof to be used again in manufacturing new TPO membranes. The recycled membranes are typically incorporated in to the bottom ply of the new membranes. Consequently there are a number of manufacturers that offer TPO membranes that contain recycled content.
Proper Installation and Maintenance are Critical
Regardless of the roofing system you choose, proper installation and regular maintenance (including regular inspections) is a must. When searching for a roofing contractor, make sure the company you hire is experienced and trained to install and maintain a TPO roofing system. Using a qualified roof consultant can significantly help with the process and help eliminate problems. Contact SMC Group for more information at (416) 731-7737