TPO Roofing Installation: Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes

TPO roofing has steadily become more popular in commercial applications due to its energy efficiency, relative affordability, and quick installation. Even so, the speed of installation can be deceptive. There are still many crucial things a professional commercial roofer must do to prevent errors in TPO roofing installation. At Elite Roofing, we’ve installed many TPO roofs over the years, and our experience has made the installation process—and avoiding pitfalls—second nature. So today, we’re sharing a few important tips on proper TPO roofing installation that should help avoid the most common mistakes. Let’s get started!

What is TPO roofing?

TPO roofing (or thermoplastic polyolefin) is one of a handful of roofing materials collectively referred to as “single-ply membrane” roofing. Roofing materials in this vein are sheets of rubber or other synthetic materials that are used to form a protective barrier over a roof using a range of different techniques (depending on the specific material). TPO is a reinforced synthetic membrane that is manufactured in sheets, which are then unrolled in sections and heat sealed to form a watertight barrier over a commercial roof.

TPO roofing installation tips

Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions

While an experienced commercial roofing company will already understand the TPO installation process very well, it’s always a good idea to review the manufacturer’s specifications and instructions once more before beginning installation. This is especially true if the roofer is using a form of TPO they haven’t used as often, or haven’t used recently. These instructions and specifications contain key information about installation, from obvious facts to seemingly minor (but vitally important) details about things such as the amount of overlap required for a proper seal.

Keep an eye on the weather

One reason that the manufacturer’s instructions are so vital is that they can give you an idea of the weather conditions in which installation of your TPO roofing is possible.  Mechanically attached systems can be installed at low temperatures. Any glueing of the details and perimeter walls will still need to be done when the conditions are over 40 degrees.  However, proper care must be taken with storage so that the TPO material stays dry. Both low temperatures and high humidity will require that the roofer take extra care in ensuring a proper weld—so be sure to check the forecast for the day that the TPO roof is to be installed.

Prepare the substrate

Before any actual installation can begin, it’s crucial to prepare the surface on which the TPO roofing will be installed. This is true for all single-ply roofing installation: all debris should be completely removed, including rocks, branches, and also dirt and any other objects that would otherwise interfere with the adhesion of the roofing material. Any holes or cracks in the substrate should also be addressed such that the surface is as blemish-free as possible.

Thoroughly test for vulnerabilities

Both during and after the installation process, testing is important for ensuring that the TPO membrane has been properly installed. Testing should be done across all known weak points of single-ply roofing, in particular the seams where sections of TPO membrane have been welded together. Seams are of particular importance because they’re the most common area for leaks to appear with membrane roofing. T-joints, where three sections of membrane overlap, should be given special attention. Finally, any scorched sections of membrane should be repaired or replaced before the job can be considered complete. Burned areas are vulnerable to punctures and cannot hold a strong weld.

Elite Roofing: Denver TPO Roofing Installation

The best way to ensure expert TPO roofing installation is to call on a roofing company that is highly experienced with this commercial roofing material. At Elite Roofing, we specialize in all commercial roofing applications, and we’ve installed many single-ply roofs. We’re one of the most respected commercial roofing companies in the Denver area for good reason: Our professional roofing team takes care to properly prepare our working surface, understand manufacturer requirements, thoroughly test for and address vulnerabilities, and clean up after ourselves. If you’re looking for a commercial roofing solution and feel that TPO might be the best fit, contact Elite Roofing today!

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