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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

What You Need to Know About TPO Roofing

Published by Pickard Roofing at

There are many types of commercial roofing systems, but TPO roofing is one of the most desirable and fastest-growing types of roofing available on the market. As a single-ply roofing product, TPO is flexible, easy to install and energy efficient. If you're a commercial property owner thinking about replacing your current roof, or if you're trying to construct a practical commercial property, here's what you need to know about TPO.

What is TPO Roofing?

TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin and is a common commercial roofing material. TPO roofing makes up about 40% of commercial roofing and offers property owners a cost-effective system with a long lifespan.

TPO is made up of a single layer installed on top of the roof, with sheets bonded together to form one large piece. Sheets of TPO come in rolls with widths of 10 to 20 feet. During the installation process, TPO is unrolled over the roof until the entire surface is covered. The single-ply membrane can be fully adhered with an adhesive, mechanically attached, or ballasted.


Pros of TPO

TPO roofing systems offer building owners many benefits, including:


Installed in a Single Membrane Application

The TPO roofing installation process itself is one of its benefits. The single membrane of TPO is a benefit because it protects the structure underneath the membrane. Properly flashed and installed TPO is strong, durable, and capable of repelling water in a variety of climates.


Variety in Appearance

For many commercial building owners, it's important for the color of the roofing to match (or at least coordinate with) their company branding, or at least the building itself. TPO roofing is available in a variety of colors to contribute to an aesthetically pleasing appearance.


Energy Efficient, Environmentally Friendly

When plywood sits under dark-colored roofing, it can be between 10 and 15 degrees warmer than plywood under light-colored roofing. This temperature difference can have a big impact on the building's HVAC system by forcing the air conditioner to work extra hard to cool the building.

TPO offers an energy efficient commercial roofing solution to combat this problem. Aptly-named cool roofing, TPO helps control the temperature of the building in the upper reaches near the roof and rafters.


Grease Resistance

TPO is a favorite of restaurant owners because of its grease resistance. In restaurants, grease exits the building through exhaust fans that project the grease out over the roof. If grease sits on the roof for too long, this can cause the roofing to degrade, leading to extra expenses for roof repairs. This is especially true for tar and gravel roofing systems, that turn soft after years of exposure to grease, while EDPM roofing will swell and lose its bond under these conditions.

Grease gutters help control this problem, but some grease may still escape. For eating establishments, TPO roofs are an excellent choice because they're relatively unaffected by grease.


Long Lifespan

TPO roofing problems are rare, and maintenance on these roofing systems is relatively simple. A 20 year manufacturer warranty is typical, making it a favorite for commercial customers.


Whether you're planning on a new roofing installation on an existing commercial building, or trying to narrow down what commercial roofing system you want to choose for your new property, TPO roofing is an excellent product that can last a long time. For more information about TPO roofing and other forms of commercial roofing in North Carolina, schedule a consultation with a commercial roofing expert like Pickard Roofing.


At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.