EPDM vs. TPO Roofing: Understanding the Difference
Single-ply membranes are ideal for stores, warehouses, and other commercial roofing projects, especially those involving large, flat surfaces. Because they come in large sheets of rubber or more advanced synthetics that can be applied directly to insulation, these roofing materials combine durability with cost-effectiveness and longevity. While there are a variety of products and processes available, the two most popular are EPDM and TPO. Both of these commercial roofing products offer advantages for different applications, which are discussed further below.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofs
EPDM is normally made from recycled rubber and combined with stone and sawdust. This commercial roofing product is usually attached to the roof surface with screws or other mechanical fasteners, and its seams are sealed with tape, making it relatively easy to install without special equipment. Thanks to the durability of their materials, EPDM roofs can withstand hail, rain, and sunlight for 25 to 30 years, although they do require occasional maintenance. This commercial roofing product is only available in black; , so it absorbs heat from the sun, raising the internal temperature of the building.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofs
Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is composed of synthetic materials, reinforced with fiberglass filaments and talc powder, creating a very strong, durable surface. TPO can either be mechanically fastened like EPDM coatings or chemically bonded to the subsurface with special adhesives. Many commercial roofing systems using TPO last just as long as EPDM roofs, although TPO may not perform as well in cold climates. Because it’s fully synthetic, TPO can be manufactured in a variety of colors, potentially increasing your building’s curb appeal while not affecting your building’s internal temperature.
As one of Winston-Salem’s most respected commercial roofing contractors, ChemTech Roof & Insulation Systems Inc offers high-quality service and effective solutions to businesses throughout the Triad area. Their highly skilled technicians have extensive expertise working with the best materials in the industry, and will recommend solutions perfect for your roof. Visit their website to see samples of their work. You can also call (336) 767-4500 to discuss your project, get a free quote, and learn about possible tax incentives.