TPO Roof (Thermoplastic PolyOlefin)

Finished TPO Complex

TPO Roofing Systems have been installed since the 1980’s. A TPO roof system comes in thicknesses from. 045 mil to .080 mil, must be be reinforced, and is typically white, tan or gray in color. However, if your building meets the right size requirements, a palette of colors (Carlisle TPO Color Palette) is available. A TPO membrane installation can be mechanically attached, fully adhered, or ballasted.

Like PVC roof systems, TPO membrane rolls and flashing membrane are heat welded together, creating the strongest bond available in a roofing system, up to four times stronger than EPDM. A TPO roof is heat welded together using computerized hot air equipment that reaches temperatures of around 1,000 degrees in the seams. For welding the seams on open areas, an automatic “robotic” welder is used that automatically sets the correct temperature, applies the perfect pressure, and sets the best speed to perfectly weld the two membrane sheets together. For smaller areas, like rooftop units and curbs, a hand-held heat welding gun is used, along with a rubber roller. These smaller detail areas rely heavily on the craftsmanship of the roofing mechanic to achieve the correct temperature, pressure and speed required for a perfect weld.

 Left Side - Automatic Welder 

 Automatic Welder

 Hand Welder

Benefits of a TPO Roof

TPO roof systems are rising fast in popularity for a variety of reasons. Some advantages of a TPO Roofing System are:

  • Proven system that has been around for over 30 years.
  • Strongest seams available, which is typically the weakest point in a roof system
  • Environmentally friendly product (Energy Star, LEED)
  • Strong puncture resistance
  • Resistant against a variety of chemicals
  • White, Tan and Grey TPO roofs are much cooler than comparable black EPDM roof systems, which is beneficial to HVAC units and other rooftop equipment.

Drawbacks of a TPO Roof

TPO Roof systems have a few disadvantages, which are:

  • They can be slippery when frost or snow covered.
  • Effective welding requires extensive experience. Only the best contractors should be considered for installing a TPO Roofing System.