TPO roofing is a line of roofing products that come in 10, 8, or 6 foot wide rolls that are usually 100 feet long.
There are two types of single ply; one is called TPO and the other is called PVC. They are similar in that they both look like thick sheets of white rubber which are put on the roof and then sealed one sheet to the other. They both have a similar lifespan of 40 or more years and are both highly reflective.
Single ply roofing lasts 2-3 times as long as traditional hot tar and torch roofing, and has reflective qualities that can save energy costs dramatically.
The material is installed by heat welding the material to itself. This is very safe to do, unlike traditional hot tar.
The material is very durable and resilient. It will not deteriorate under pooling water as hot tar material does, and can withstand most chemicals from restaurant waste chemicals.
Single ply roofing at present is about the same price as hot tar roofing, but lasts 2-3 times as long.
Single ply has been around for a few decades as the manufacturers have continually upgraded their formulas. It is now being installed on Lowes, Home Depots, Albertsons, Wal Marts, Petsmarts, Nestles, The newer hotels in Las Vegas, and L.A. Convention center to name a few, across the country. Hot tar is no longer being installed on corporate Americas buildings.
At present (8/2013) this is a partial list of companies that spec (install) single ply on their buildings nationally:
These are some of the National chains that after in depth research has chosen single ply (TPO or PVC) to protect their buildings and their investments.
The following multi-million dollar companies provide 15-20 year or longer warranties for their single ply roofing material!
“Versico”, “Firestone”, “G.A.F.”, “Carlisle”, “Mule Hide”, “Cooley”, “Dow”, “Duro Last”, “Fibertite”, “Flex” roof systems, “I.B”. Roof systems. “Sika Sarnofil”, and “Tremco”
Negative remarks about this product usually stem from failures during the research years (1990-2000). During these early years the TPO and PVC formulas were changing to perfect their product and to meet requirements set by government agencies. There were some failures during these early years, however the formulas stabilized in the early 2000’s and have been stable since. The claim is that this roofing material can last as long as 60 years.
Contractors who are not versed, trained, or qualified to install single ply roofing have been known to call on these early failures and mis-lead customers to sell them an inferior product, such as hot tar, foam, or torch-down.
So in making a decision about your roof, ask yourself why so many major multi-million dollar corporations have chosen TPO over hot tar, torch or foam, and why so many reputable companies provide as much as 30-year warranties for this product!