PVC Versus TPO
Two of the hardest flat roof systems to tell apart is the PVC roof and the TPO roof. Both are white, heat welded systems that look virtually identical. However, while the face of both membranes and their installation are virtually identical, they are very different systems on the inside.
A PVC Versus TPO comparison chart is below.
|Years Used as Roofing Product||Over 50 Years, but formula has changed dramatically over time||Over 30 Years||Neutral|
|Base Product||Vinyl / Plastics||Polyolefins (Polypropylene,Polyethylene) / Plastics||Neutral|
|Color||White, Gray, Tan||White, Gray, Tan + Pallet of colors if over 100,000 Square Feet||Neutral|
|Temperature Impact on Roof||Cools Roof||Cools Roof||Neutral|
|Seaming technology||Heat Welded||Heat Welded||Neutral|
|Thicknesses||.036 to .090||.045 to .080||Neutral|
|Reinforced||Always Reinforced (Older non-reinforced systems could shatter)||Always Reinforced||Neutral|
|Puncture Resistance||OK to Good, depending on thickness and manufacturer||Good to excellent, depending on thickness||TPO|
|Environmental Impact||Poor – is actually banned in some countries||Excellent||TPO|
|Slippery With Moisture||Yes||Yes||Neutral|
|Known Problems||Shatters under colder conditions.Shrinks over time causing numerous issues.Expensive compared to other single ply products.Many concerns with fire resistance and fumes emitted when burned.Effective welding requires experience.||Effective welding requires experience.||TPO, unless there is major grease and chemical output from rooftop units.|