You would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a TPO roof and a PVC roof from a distance.
Both substances look the same; they are usually some shade of white, and contractors use them on similar roofing projects.
Clients often ask us which is the better option and at Chaffee Roofing we tend to come down on the side of TPO.
The next questions always begin with a why. Why is TPO better than PVC? Why does Chaffee Roofing think it is better? Why not PVC?
To answer your questions we compiled these six reasons why we believe TPO is better than PVC:
- Puncture Resistance is generally Greater in TPO
- In Cold Climates PVC shatters
- Environmentally TPO is A Better Choice
- TPO Holds up better Over Time
- PVC shrinks over time
- TPO Is Cheaper Than PVC
Let’s take a closer look at each point to see why we prefer TPO to PVC for your roofing project.
Puncture Resistance Is Greater in TPO
When you put a roof on your building, or buildings, you want it to last.
You do not want it puncturing easily, especially when you have a large area to cover.
TPO, depending on thickness, is very puncture resistant and is superior to standard PVC at every depth.
Stormy conditions drive branches and other debris at high speeds onto roofs.
A branch hitting the PVC may easily make a hole, with plenty of rainwater following it.
In Cold Climates PVC Shatters
This is an essential consideration under our current, unstable climate.
We get icy winters in this part of the US and you need a roofing membrane which will not crack or shatter.
PVC can shatter in cold conditions, not exactly what you need when the mercury is hitting the floor.
Often the frost on a cold winter’s morning can do more damage than a snowfall, so beware of low-temperature conditions and the possible damage a few cold mornings could cause.
Environmentally TPO Is A Better Choice
TPO is an excellent environmentally-friendly choice to make for a roofing membrane.
It does not emit toxic fumes in the case of fire, which also makes a fire situation safer to deal with on your property.
PVC contains chlorine, which may be harmful to human health.
Other byproducts of its manufacture combined with emissions over its lifetime, may have a high impact on the environment.
Production of TPO is less hazardous, and the membrane is easily recyclable.
TPO Holds Up Better Over Time
A really great plus on the TPO checklist.
PVC shrinks over time, meaning joins will weaken and the membrane may even pull away from corners and along the side of walls. Repairs can be regular and costly.
As PVC can shatter when temperatures drop, an unusually bitter winter in your area may do a lot of damage.
Once TPO is in place you will not need to worry about shrinkage, adverse weather conditions or someone inadvertently puncturing it when doing an inspection.
PVC shrinks over time
As PVC ages, one of the major problems it has is plasticizer migration. Plasticisers are part of what helps keep PVC a flexible membrane product versus most PVC products which are not flexible. Think of PVC or “Azek” trim and PVC plumbing pipes.
Over time, the plasticizers start to wear out of the sheet, which causes a variety of problems. However, the PVC membrane can also shrink over time, causing the membrane to pull away from edge metal, rooftop units, walls, etc. This can be detrimental to a roof system, especially if you add other problems PVC roofing faces.
TPO membrane on the other hand does not have any of these issues.
TPO Is Cheaper Than PVC
Price is not always the best marker of quality.
In a product such as a roofing membrane, you need to weigh up costs against the long-term benefits.
Surveys show that TPO is the cheaper product to buy at the same thickness levels.
When you add the lower price to the other benefits, such as outlined in this article, you can see why TPO is the better choice.
Call Us For More Information
At Chaffee Roofing we like to take your calls and inquiries.
We understand the long-term commitment and the costs of installing or replacing your roof.
Call us today and see how we can help you to build a better roof.