TPO Roofing System: Improving Building Energy Efficiency and Capacity

TPO Roofing

Commercial roofing systems majorly have a flat design. In the last 2-3 decades, several roofing materials have been introduced specially catering to the business spaces. Generally, people are aware of the residential roofing materials available, but when it comes to commercial roofing, most of them do not have an idea.

Today we will talk about a material that is in high demand, i.e., TPO roofing material. This system is a type of roofing membrane used on commercial as well as flat residential buildings.

In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the TPO roofing system, including its pros and cons, along with pricing information so that when the time comes for your next roof replacement project, you will have all the information necessary for making an informed decision.

What Is TPO Roofing System?

TPO is a type of single-ply membrane roof. Single-ply membranes can be ballasted with stone or pavers, fastened with screws and plates, or adhered with commercial adhesives to your roof deck. Some people hear “single-ply” and think the entire roof system is one layer, when in fact the single-ply membrane is just the top layer of many components in your commercial roofing system.

It is a synthetic roofing membrane that’s made of thermoplastic polymer (a plastic). It is often manufactured by combining a plastic resin with a thermoset rubber. The basic characteristic of TPO is its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and remain flexible at low temperatures. This makes it an ideal choice for protecting your home from various types of damage, including heat, cold, wind, and rain.

How To Install A TPO Roofing System?

Installing a TPO roof is not very complex, but to ensure that the system is installed perfectly, you will need a professional roofing contractor. If you are interested in how a contractor will install a TPO roof, then read on.

Cleaning Of The Roof

Before laying any material, the contractor will clean the roof thoroughly. This is done to make sure that the roof does not have any dust or debris that can damage the membrane. The roof can be cleaned with the help of a hose. The roof is left to dry for some time before the contractor moves ahead and lays the substrate.

Installing The Insulation Layer

The TPO membrane is installed over insulation and cover board. In Denver commercial roofing, insulation is installed above the steel, wood, or concrete roof deck (as opposed to most residential roofing where insulation in installed beneath the roof deck).

There are a few types of insulation:

  • Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso)– The most popular insulation type for flat roofs, Polyiso is more expensive but brings the best R-value per inch.
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)– With great R-value per dollar, EPS is great for roof, floor and wall insulation. EPS is commonly used to build tapered systems and crickets for flat roof drainage.
  • Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)– Usually with a blue, green or pink color, XPS is in-between Polyiso and EPS in terms of price and insulating performance. Having a perm rating of 1, XPS is considered semipermeable.

A layer of cover board (i.e. DensDeck) is installed over the insulation to add durability and protection against hail.

Laying The TPO Roofing Membrane

Finally, the TPO membrane is installed to the cover board either with a mechanically fastened system (screws and plates) or an adhered system (commercial grade bonding adhesives). In some cases, if there is no more than one existing roofing layer, your commercial roofing company can simply install a new layer of membrane over your existing roof.

One of the unique things about TPO roofs is a hot-air welding machine is then used at the membrane seams to weld the seams together for a durable membrane across the roof’s surface.

TPO roofing system can be installed in a variety of ways. It can be done using an adhesive or with the help of fastening.

TPO Roofing
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TPO Cost

For a typical 10,000 square foot commercial flat roof, it will cost between $9.00 and $14.00 per square foot to remove your existing roof and replace with a new TPO roofing system.

Some of the factors that can drive this cost up or down are: size of the roof, condition of existing roof, ease of access to the roof (for installers and equipment), insulation requirements, membrane choice, roof penetrations and curbs, and type of manufacturer’s warranty.

Advantages Of TPO Roofing

Why has TPO made such rapid strides in a comparatively shorter time frame? This is because of the multiple advantages it offers.


The TPO roofing material is made with a special coating that reflects heat, making it ideal for places where the temperature can get very hot. This makes it an excellent choice for commercial buildings and homes in warmer climates.

Since these roofs are reflective, they will protect your home from the sun and the harmful UV rays. These rays are a slow poison that not only affects your building but your employees as well. However, UV resistance can help to keep your building cool during summer, as well as keep it looking new for years to come.

Energy Efficient

Energy saving is a crucial factor when it comes to roofing systems. As the world’s population continues to rise, energy consumption will continue to increase as well. This means that it is important for roofs to be able to reduce energy consumption as much as possible.

TPO roofing material is a new and growing trend in commercial roofing, and it’s no wonder why: TPO roofs are energy efficient and durable, making them an excellent choice for your next commercial project. Energy efficiency is one of the biggest advantages of the TPO Roofing System, especially for those who live in colder climates.

Due to its reflective properties, TPO does not retain the sunlight and thus does not heat up. This helps in maintaining the temperature inside the building. Since the interior remains cool, you will not need your HVAC systems to work hard, saving money on your electricity bill.


TPO roofing is extremely durable, and it can last a good time. This means that you won’t have to worry about your roof being damaged by hail or strong winds. It’s also less likely to be damaged by falling branches, so no matter where your business is situated, you can count on your TPO roof being safe from damage. TPO is made from polyethylene, a type of plastic compound that is highly resistant to cracking, peeling, and chipping. It’s also strong enough to resist the effects of harsh weather like extreme temperatures. This improves the capacity of your structure.

Environment Friendly

One of the best things about TPO roofing is that it’s made from recycled materials. When you install a TPO roof, you’re using a product that uses materials that would otherwise be thrown away—like old tires and scrap plastic. Because they are made of environmentally safe materials, TPO roofs can be recycled when they need to be replaced or removed. And since they don’t contain any lead or asbestos, your home will be safe from those harmful chemicals during this process as well.

Flexible And Easy To Install

TPO roofing system is a type of single-ply roofing membrane. This is available in the form of rolls or sheets. A roofing contractor can install this sheet on your roof in a variety of ways. Thus, there is no scope for rigidity. It is also lightweight, and you can carry and install them with ease when compared to other materials. A TPO roof can be installed with the help of an adhesive or by fastening or screwing down to the surface.

TPO Roof Is Waterproof 

Because TPO roofing is waterproof, it will protect your home from both damaging rain and fire damage. Another key advantage is TPO membranes can bring a Class A fire resistance rating from Underwriters Laboratories (UL). TPO manufacturers add fire retardant chemicals in the manufacturing process to achieve this rating.

Cons Of TPO Roof

TPO roofing does suffer from some limitations as well; do they overpower the advantages? Let us find out.

TPO Roofing Is Relatively Recent

When you take a look at the popular roofing materials other than TPO, such as EPDM, modified bitumen, etc., you will realize that TPO is relatively newer than all of them. TPO made its entry in the late 80s or the early 90s. This is considered to be a short span. So if you want a material that has been around for quite some time, then you might have your doubts.


Another comparative limitation can be the lifespan of TPO. As a business owner, you are likely to have a roof that can stay for longer so that you do not have to worry about it constantly. So how long does a TPO roof last? TPO roofing system has a lifespan of about 20-30 years, which is not at all bad. However, there are some options that can protect your commercial roof for longer.

How To Repair A TPO Roof

During a Denver TPO roof’s lifespan, issues can occur such as flashing failure, seams disconnecting, or punctures that will require repairs to be performed.

If a leak has started, it will first saturate the roofing insulation, then the roof deck. That is when you may notice water intrusion inside the building, and you should contact a Denver flat roof repair company to perform a commercial roof inspection. The inspection will reveal: how old the roof is, how many roof layers there are, what condition the seams are in, and where water is entering the roof. We may recommend taking one or multiple core samples on the roof to understand how saturated the insulation is, which will guide the repair options that are available.

TPO Roof Repair Options

  • Minimal/no water saturation – if we have caught the leak early enough, a spot repair may be performed to stop the problem before it gets worse. We always prefer this option, which is why re recommend having your commercial roof professionally inspected (for free) at least once a year to catch problems early.
  • Roof saturation up to 25% of roof surface – if only a quarter or less of your flat roof has become saturated, as determined by core-sampling, your best option is likely to be a silicone coating roof restoration. The saturated areas will be removed and patched with new, dry material, and the entire roof will be cleaned and primed for a silicone coating to cover the entire roof surface.
  • Roof saturation above 25% – if your inspection and core samples reveal more than 25% of the roof is saturated, a silicone coating restoration would no longer be as cost effective or beneficial. In this case, the only option that will protect your building and extend it’s life is to remove the entire roof and replace it with a new roofing system. You can replace with a new TPO roof, or ask you Denver commercial roofer about other roofing options (such as spray-foam roofing).

Looking For TPO Roofing Services

With the right contractor and the right materials, you can get a TPO roofing system for your business. The benefits are many, but there are also some things you should know before you make this decision. The most important thing is that if you have any questions about what kind of roofing system would be best for your home or business, we’re here to help!

You can contact our team at Sol Vista Roofing. We have been in the roofing industry for years. We install the highest quality TPO roofing systems in Denver, Colorado that keeps both you and your business protected. Not only TPO roof installation, but we also offer other commercial as well as premium roofing services. All you have to do is reach out to us at (720) 712-3516 and let us take care of the rest.