Top of commercial roof

TPO and EPDM Roofing Membranes

Putting a new roof on your commercial building carries with it many important decisions. Selecting a roofing membrane is one of them! When you’re choosing a commercial roofing system, there are two proven single-ply membrane roofing systems to consider:

  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin (otherwise known as TPO)
  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (otherwise known as EPDM)

While both materials are recommended for effectively sealing up a roof, there are significant differences between the two. And our team is experienced and ready to educate you on your options, so you make the best decision for your individual roofing preferences and needs.

Let’s look at what they have in common first. Both single-ply membranes can be adhered to your roof on top of insulation to create a layer of protection over your building. Both are manufactured with high quality cost-effective materials and have proven to be big players in the roofing membrane game.

Next, let’s discuss how they’re different.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin

Thermoplastic Polyolefin or TPO is manufactured in large sheets made up of a single layer of synthetics and reinforcing scrim that is overlapped at installation with seams that are welded together.  TPO may be mechanically fastened to the roof structure or secured in placed with adhesives.

This system has been used for the past 20 years and is one of the fastest growing commercial roofing options on the market. With its white, tan, or gray coloring, it reflects sunlight away from the structure, keeping interior temperatures cooler.

This can help save on energy costs, potentially reducing air conditioning needs during those sweltering months. TPO runs between $3.50 – $7.50/sq. ft. in materials and labor to install. Typically, this durable roofing system lasts anywhere from 15-20 years.

 Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or EPDM is made of a synthetic rubber compound that gives it some added flexibility. It has been in use since the 1960s, so a tried and true method. Seams are mechanically attached with seam tape. EPDM may be secured to the roof structure either mechanically or with adhesives.  Costs run between $3.40-$7.50 (potentially a little less than TPO) and its lifespan is somewhere between 20-25 years (potentially a bit longer than TPO). However, whereas TPO reflects the sunlight because of its lighter coloring, EPDM comes exclusively in black, and therefore, retains heat from the sun, bringing heat into the structure beneath.

This can be a great benefit in colder environments, but it may not be ideal for those living in warmer areas.

Let Us Help You Find the Right Roofing Solution

Whether you already know which single-ply roofing membrane roofing system is right for you, or have more questions, contact us at SUNVEK.

We know the roofing business and we’re ready to help you make the best decision for you and your commercial roof.

Ready to get started? Request a free estimate!

More From Our Blog

Spray polyurethane foam roofing

I have a foam roof. Now what? How do I care for it?

Spray polyurethane foam is a fantastic product.  It provides many benefits.  When properly installed, it: Provides a seamless covering of…

Read More
Exterior of industrial commercial building in Arizona on a sunny day

Pick the Best Commercial Roof Coating for Your Arizona Building

Choosing the best roof coating for a commercial building in Arizona can make a big difference to your space, budget…

Read More

Advantages of Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Have you considered a foam roof?  Quite often, spray polyurethane foam can be applied directly over an existing roof surface,…

Read More