Is TPO Roofing Fire-Resistant?

view from above of TPO roofing membrane on flat roof

What is TPO roofing material?

In the Baltimore, Maryland area, the winters are known to get pretty cold and wet. The winds coming in off the Atlantic can be hard on a roof too, which is why most large structures for commercial, industrial, and manufacturing go with a TPO roofing material. 

TPO roofing is an abbreviation for Thermoplastic Polyolefin Roofing, a single-ply roofing membrane, a popular and still fastest-growing roofing system for commercial, industrial, and manufacturing structures. It is made with a layer of synthetics and reinforcing scrim and is ideal for large structures with flat roofs. TPO roofing membrane is manufactured in sheets of 10, 12, or 20 feet wide and then rolled up for delivery to the job site.

Is TPO roofing good? 

Yes, in many applications, it is the many TPO roofing benefits that make this a popular choice for large structures in the Maryland area. Those benefits include: 

  • The Cost: TPO roofing has become a viable option for commercial and residential structures in this area because of the low cost. The average cost of having TPO roofing installed averages between $5.00 per square foot up to $7.50 per square foot. 
  • Durability: TPO roofing is algae, bacteria, debris, and dirt resistant, making maintenance a minimal concern. It is resistant to chemicals and ultraviolet exposure, and when concerned with TPO roofing and hail, this flexible membrane, is impact, puncture, and tear-resistant. 
  • Easy Install:  Because TPO roofing is flexible and lightweight, installation is easy and fast, has fewer seams, requires less labor, which reflects in the lower cost for installation. 
  • Energy Efficient: TPO roofing is energy-efficient, part of why it has become attractive for residential property owners. The energy efficiency helps lower the cost to cool and heat the structure, which is better for the environment. The white reflective surface meets and exceeds the requirement for EPA’s energy star rating. The gray, tan, and white color choices are indexed with the Cool Roof Rating Council and keep the structure cooler in the summer. 

Does TPO shrink?

No, this is one of the benefits it offers over PVC roofing, which will shrink over time and create problems with leaking. However, TPO roofing does stretch if exposed to high temperatures, though this is more of a problem for structures in the southern portions of the country, and not as much an issue in Maryland.  The mixture of the two types of rubbers that TPO roofing is made from, ethylene-propylene and polypropylene, when heated up will stretch. That can lead to membrane cracking and leaks if the cracks are not addressed and repaired. 

How do you maintain a TPO roof?

There are some factors that can affect the frequency of cleaning TPO roofing: 

  • Dirt and Dust Accumulation
  • Roof Slope
  • Rainfall Frequency
  • TPO Roofing Drainage

When cleaning TPO roofing, protect the low curbs or areas where water may enter. Make sure all exterior facing surfaces, plants, and shrubs are protected, and use only a low-pressure washer with a soft-bristled brush. 

Use a mild household detergent with water to wash off the surface then follow up with clear water to rinse. During and after the cleaning, inspect for any damages that need to be repaired. 

What is the life expectancy of a TPO roof?

Just as with the cleaning and maintenance of a TPO roofing, life expectancy is affected by several factors.

  • Dirt and Dust Accumulation
  • Roof Slope
  • Climate and weather
  • Maintenance and Upkeep

TPO roofing membrane has a typical life span between 15 years and 20 years. Another important factor in the lifespan of TPO roofing is the quality of the installation. An experienced roofing crew can make a big difference in how well the roof does under the conditions listed above and how long it will last. 

To Top It All Off – What is the difference between PVC and TPO roofing?

Looking at the differences and similarities between TPO roofing vs PVC there are some considerations that can determine the best option for a commercial, industrial, or manufacturing structure. Those considerations include: 

  • The Cost: TPO roofing is cheaper than PVC roofing per square foot with the installation labor about the same.  
  • The Labor: PVC roofing is easier to install because it is more flexible.  TPO roofing installation often requires additional work if glued instead of welded.  
  • The Industry Standards: ASTM has regular updates for TPO roofing standards that some manufacturers may overlook. Choosing a reputable roofing contractor is important so that these standards are followed to give you the longer lifespan. 
  • The Quality: Regardless of the roofing project at hand, either TPO roofing, or PVC roofing should have a quality material to match the quality installation to get the most lifespan possible. 
  • The Energy Efficiency: Both TPO roofing, and PVC roofing membranes provide reflective surfaces for UV ray reduction, which facilitates greater energy efficiency. 
worker installing TPO roofing membrane

A Superior Choice in Roofing

If you think TPO roofing may be the right choice for your building, reach out to our team by calling at (410)-288-1633 today.