TPO vs. EPDM Roofing System

TPO vs. EPDM Roofing System

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TPO vs. EPDM and How to Choose

The market of roofs is something that a majority of people don’t even think about. Be honest and think about the last time a roof was needed. For most, it was a while back, never something to think about, or if there were storms this past year, maybe was done recently. In any case, when it comes to purchasing a new roof, there are many choices.

Maybe the choice can be left up to the contractor to decide, or insurance, or if a new building being built, the architect. But in any case, it’s best to be educated to some degree so that when it comes down to it, important questions can be asked regarding roofing and materials.

Advantages of Both

The biggest factors of these two different roofing systems, is that they are very similar. Both have been used for many years and have seen wide use in commercial projects across the country. TPO means Thermoplastic Polyolefin.

This is actually a part of a broad family of rubber roofing materials and is a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer which is a synthetic rubber. It comes from oil and natural gas and when combined with diene, EPDM is created.

Differences between TPO and EPDM

There are not many similarities in these because of how they are made. Here are some differences that can help when making a decision regarding a roof.

  • Length of Life – TPO can last around 30 years or more whereas EPDM can last at least 40 years or longer. While the difference is about 10 years, this can be significant when it comes to a roof.
  • Temperature Impact – The roof is where many businesses and plants put their air conditioners and heating units. With the TPO roof, it actually cools while the EPDM heats up the roof. This can play some factor in what the air and heating units do.
  • Seaming – This is how the roof is actually put up and together. TPO uses a heat weld to make it solid, and EPDM uses a liquid adhesive. Both can be good, but sometimes weather can play a factor on EPDM more than TPO.
  • Slippery – If having to go up there is something done, this is important. TPO is slipper because it’s more rubber than other roofing material. EPDM is not as slippery but caution should always be used on a roof when wet.

A Hard Choice

When it comes to having to choose over TPO or EPDM, this can be hard. Both are good quality roof types and both last quite a long time. The biggest factor is what cost will come in to play. Both roofs are expensive but the maintenance on them can be different and this is the last thing anyone wants to deal with continually. The roof is one of the most important parts of the building. Without it, there is no need to have the building at all.

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