what is tpo roofing

What Is TPO Roofing? Is It Right For Your Home?

When choosing roofing materials for your property, it is in your best interest to have as much information as possible. Your roof is a long-term investment and should therefore come with peace of mind. 

In addition to selecting the best materials, look out for certified and experienced contractors. Roofing contractors who care more about getting paid too quickly should be avoided. They do not have your best interest at heart.

Why is this important? The best roofing materials can suffer irreparable damage if poorly installed. 

What is TPO Roofing?

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is a fast-growing single-ply synthetic roofing material consisting of one sheet of rubber layer and a scrim– a chemically bonded fabric that helps with its durability. 

The contractor strips your roof of expired roofing sheets, cleans and preps the surface, and the TPO rolls over it. Using an adhesive or a hot air gun, the TPO is installed by sealing the membrane together.

TPO is available in varying thicknesses. The commercial membrane comes in 0.080 inches, and it is 3ft/12ft in width while the residential TPO thickness is 0.045-0.060, and it is 6.5ft wide. 

TPO Roofing Cost and Longevity 

The cost of installing a TPO varies depending on your roof size, condition, the type of insulation and installation you want, and roof access. 

Although the TPO costs about $5-$8 per square foot, you cannot exactly arrive at an accurate calculation without considering the type of insulation that you are working with. As for installation, the TPO is either fastened to your insulator mechanically, wielded, or ballasted to your roof. 

The life expectancy of a TPO roofing material is approximately 30 years. Although this would vary depending on the weather conditions in your state and maintenance. 

TPO is made to withstand UV light and other harsh weather conditions and hardly folds or reacts when exposed to chemical conditions, thereby saving you energy costs and early damage. 

Compared to other synthetic materials, TPO is stronger. When two ends of this roofing sheet are placed above each other and hot wielded, a seam is created. This seam creates a lasting and water-resistant surface. 

Pros of TPO Roofing Material

1. The first advantage of the TPO material is its UV protection. You won’t have to worry about any increase in your HVAC bills even during hot weather seasons. The white color ensures the color keeps them out and keeps your interior cooler. 

2. The TPO flexibility reduces the chances of breakage or another type of damage, if installed and properly maintained, you won’t be needing another roof in the next 2-3 decades. 

3. Unlike many other roofing materials, the TPO contains no chlorine and can be recycled to manufacture TPO sheets again which makes it environmentally friendly. 

Cons of TPO Roofing Material

The major disadvantage of the TPO roofing material lies in the changing quality of the components of production. This is because different manufacturing companies keep testing the product to get the best results, thereby altering the 

Although thick, some brands may not be strong or long-lasting. Rather than spending 20-30 years, they may deteriorate quickly and you could find yourself pricing another roofing material in 10 years. 

Additionally, the small size of the TPO sheet may put it at a disadvantage. The seaming process could be too much for each sheet, causing it to contract and loosen. This gives room for water to penetrate your roof. 

Is TPO Roofing Right for You?

Although TPO is commonly used for commercial buildings, and experts predict commercial to be the largest market by 2026, the TPO has been adopted by many homeowners over the years. First, for its curb appeal and energy-saving features, and second, for its affordability.

Whether it is right for you or not, however, will depend on the following factors:

  • Your roof type: The TPO is generally suitable for a flat or low-level roof. If a contractor insists that you use this membrane on another type of roof surface, then you might want to reconsider their intentions for you. 
  • Residential or commercial: Some manufacturers roll out different materials for these two purposes. The commercial TPO is mostly thicker than the residential materials. Your roof contractor should be able to identify each.
  • Your budget: The TPO roofing material is relatively cheap. However, when combined with the insulation and installation, you may arrive at a different result. 


No roofing material has a lifetime immunity, they all require maintenance to survive threats and live up to their life expectancy. Therefore, creating a maintenance plan will help you catch defects quickly and fix them.