Selecting a commercial roofing system is a big decision, and it can also be a tricky one if you are not well-versed with all the options (which takes a lot of time). So to help, our roofing specialists put together a guide to help you make this decision.
Today, we will compare all the elements of TPO vs. PVC roofing. Both are viable options for specific commercial properties, but they also have many distinct properties that every business owner and manager should know. This article will help you decide which of these materials has all the right features to match your requirements.
Overview Of TPO And PVC Roofs
TPO stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin– a single-ply membrane made of synthetic rubber and other compounds such as fiberglass, talc, and carbon. The TPO roofing market has been rapidly growing since 1990 due to the energy-efficient and affordable nature of the material.
PVC is one of the oldest single-ply membranes in the US. It’s the common name for Polyvinyl Chloride– a recyclable plastic. PVC roofing membrane contains equal proportions of fossil fuel and chloride (a component of rock salt).
Before you learn the difference between TPO and PVC membranes, it’s essential to understand what’s common between them.
TPO And PVC Roofs: Similarities
Below are four common characteristics of TPO and PVC roofing membranes. This information can benefit you if your business is in a region with a calm climate.
- Both TPO and PVC membranes are waterproof, making them an ideal roofing material.
- They also have three similar installation methods- glued, self-adhesive, and welding.
- TPO and PVC originally were offered in white, so they’ll reflect heat rather than absorb it as darker colors do.
- Both membranes can last for a long time with proper installation and maintenance.
Now, we will explain how TPO and PVC differ, and help you understand which one will be the right fit for your business.
TPO Vs. PVC Roofing: Comparison
Single-ply membranes have been in the roofing industry for decades. TPO, PVC, EPDM, or Bitumen, every material has its pros and cons depending on certain conditions. So, deciding whether TPO or PVC is best for your business depends on your location and industry.
Performance In Different Weather Conditions
While PVC is more resistant to heat and fire, TPO is more protective against UV damage and cold temperatures. The flexibility of TPO also makes it less prone to cracking, tearing, or punctures. Due to their UV protection nature, TPO roofs can save more energy in hot climates.
If you have a business that involves fire and chemicals, a PVC roofing membrane is more suitable. It can resist heat, fire, chemicals, fumes, oil, and grease better than TPO.
However, if we talk about heavy foot traffic, it eventually weakens all kinds of single-ply roofing membranes as they are not designed to handle it.
Total Roofing Cost
TPO roofing costs range between $11 – $14 per square foot, and PVC installation costs vary from $12 – $15 per square foot. Although many factors contribute to the price of the roofs, both roofs tend to be cost-effective when you choose good quality products and a reliable roofing company. Below are the main factors that will decide the final roofing cost for both roofs:
Color: First, you’ll need to determine if you want a white or black roofing system. Since the majority of contractors offer white, you’ll have to pay more for black color. Black TPO roofs can perform well in cold climates because they trap more heat inside your building.
Quality: Next, there are several grades of TPO and PVC available with commercial roofing contractors: 30-year, 15-year, 7-year, and so on. With top manufacturing brands, you can get extended warranties that can be cost-effective in case the roof is damaged.
Installation: Finally, you need to choose a type of installation method. TPO or PVC installation methods can make all the difference in strength and durability. Welding is the most effective method of installing single-ply roofing membranes as opposed to nailing or sealing.
Learn more about the average cost of commercial roof installation.
Which One Lasts Longer?
It’s a tricky question, as TPO and PVC have specific pros and cons. The average lifespan of PVC Roofs is 20 years, but you can find them lasting even longer in certain climates and if they are well maintained. On the other hand, TPO Roofs can last up to 30 years on average.
The longevity of both TPO and PVC roofs depends on the condition of other roofing materials and layers, but mostly, the foundation of your roof. The installation method, maintenance, and local weather conditions are the different elements that can increase or decrease the lifespan of your roof.
TPO is more environmentally friendly than PVC because it’s a recycled and rubberized material. Some organizations consider PVC less eco-friendly, but most comparative studies state that the environmental effect of all flat roofs is similar. TPO and PVC membranes support green roofing layers and solar panels. So you also make a cost-effective choice through solar panel roofing by reducing your energy bills significantly.
What Do The Sol Vista Roofing Experts Suggest?
Sol Vista Roofing is the most reliable roofing contractor in Denver, CO. We have years of experience in the roofing industry, and we help business owners learn more about their roofing choices to make the best decision.
According to our commercial roofing experts, TPO and PVC roofs are great options for your business. They have many advantages, but the bottom line is that you should choose what is best for your business activities and local weather conditions. The key considerations should be the long-term benefits that come with high-quality material and installation.
If you want to learn more about TPO Vs. PVC roofing, or discuss your commercial roof replacement project, we will be happy to offer you a free consultation. Sol Vista Roofing has been building the most durable and energy-efficient roofs in Colorado for years. Call us at (720) 712-3516 today, and our experts will answer all your questions and suggest the best roofing system for your business.