Commercial Roofing Applications: EPDM or TPO?

If you’re in the market for a commercial roof, you’re likely comparing EPDM vs. TPO. EPDM is a synthetic rubber material, while TPO is a synthetic membrane made with a blend of rubber and fillers such as fiberglass and carbon fiber. Both are widely used in commercial roofing applications due to their affordability and durability. At Elite Roofing, we’ve installed countless roofs made from each of these single-ply roofing materials. But which is right for you? First, it’s important to understand how they differ, and the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

Is TPO the same as EPDM?

While EPDM and TPO may seem similar, and are used in similar situations, these synthetic single-ply roofing materials are actually quite different. EPDM is made of synthetic rubber, is typically dark in color, and is typically installed using adhesives. TPO, on the other hand, is a membrane made from a blend of materials. TPO is often white, which allows these roofs to reflect heat, and these roofing systems are heat-welded. Let’s take a closer look at each. 

What is an EPDM roof?

A Versigard EPDM roof

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roofing systems are made of a synthetic rubber membrane. These advanced roofing systems come with UV weather protection, and they’re particularly resistant to damage due to hail storms, as hail tends to bounce right off. Additionally, EPDM is considered sustainable as it produces much lower amounts of acid rain and smog than other materials on the market today. Finally, EPDM seams are sealed using either specially engineered adhesive or glue. The flexibility of this roofing product makes EPDM extremely easy to repair vs. TPO, so our Elite Roofing team can maintain EPDM commercial roofs for decades.

What is TPO?

TPO stands for Thermo-Plastic Olephine. These roofing systems are made using the same synthetic rubber material used in EPDM roofs, in combination with materials such as carbon fiber, talc, and fiberglass. These incredibly durable commercial roofs are another great option for property owners looking to invest in a roofing system that will serve them for years to come. TPO is resistant to punctures and typically light in color. Most importantly, the strong, heat-welded seams on these roofs make TPO quite resistant to leaks when compared vs. EPDM. However, TPO can be slightly more difficult to repair than EPDM.

EPDM vs. TPO: Which is right for you?

When considering the EPDM vs. TPO question, you’ll find that both offer industry-leading strength and longevity. EPDM offers advantages such as better protection against hail damage and easier repairs and maintenance. On the other hand, TPO is more resistant to water, strong against punctures, and slightly more energy efficient in summer. TPO can also be cheaper than EPDM. Still, only an experienced Colorado commercial roofing specialist can help you determine which is ideal for your needs. Our experts at Elite Roofing can help you weigh your options.

Elite Roofing Can Help with Your EPDM vs. TPO Decision!

As a local Denver roofing company, we are proud to serve area property owners here at Elite Roofing. Whether you’re searching for a commercial roofing company to replace or repair your EPDM or TPO roof, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Ready to discuss your needs? Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection and discover what we mean when we say, “roofing done right!”

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(Updated: June 2020)

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