TPO is favored due to its strength, ease of installation, and longevity. It can be heat-welded during installation because of the material’s thermoplasticity, which is a huge advantage since the seams are usually the weakest part of a roof. In fact, TPO seams are usually 3-4 times stronger than EPDM systems and 6 times stronger than systems that use glue seams or tape systems! TPO is resistant to chemicals, does well in high heat, is flexible in cold temperatures, and is generally quite affordable. With proper installation and maintenance, TPO systems can last 10-20 years. Another great benefit of TPO is that it is environmentally friendly.
No plasticizers are involved in TPO roofing systems, they don’t degrade under UV radiation, and they come in white (which reflects heat, helping the building stay cool). Plus, they can be made from some recycled materials! TPO is the perfect choice for your “green” building.
Like most roofing systems, TPO does have some disadvantages. Most of these shortcomings revolve around the fact that it is still so new. It doesn’t have the time-tested, reliable reputation that other roofing systems brag about. Also, remember that the strength of any roof (TPO especially) depends greatly on the quality of installation. If you choose a reliable roofing contractor and take care of your roof with yearly maintenance checks, you should have no problems with a TPO roofing system.