Thermoplastic Polyolefin, or TPO, is a single-ply material used by the roofing industry. It is one of the most popular commercial roofing systems available because it is resistant to the development of bacteria and the accumulation of debris, dirt and algae. TPO roofs are durable and easy to install. However, they have a few possible downsides. Here are the typical TPO roofing problems.
Easily Penetrated Coating
Of the common issues that come up with TPO roofs, the product’s easily penetrated casing is the biggest problem. People can walk on a TPO roof. It is also bendy and lightweight. When it comes to roofs, commercial ones tend to have more foot traffic compared to residential structures, so if a TPO roof is installed on a commercial building, it may have more problems.
TPO roofing doesn’t come with a hard top protective layer capable of preventing punctures that may happen from dropped tools or other sharp objects. If someone drops something on a TPO roof, then the item could become pressed down into the rubber coating where it may break through or tear the roof. When this happens, the roof becomes vulnerable to leaks. This TPO roofing problem can be avoided with a quality primer. Applying the substance will give the roof the extra layer of protection that it needs. At Up On a Roof, we will make sure that roofs are installed correctly.
UV rays can cause a TPO roof’s adhesive to deteriorate. Keep in mind that roofs are exposed to the outdoor elements 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This means that they must withstand a lot of wear and tear. With TPO roofs, the adhesive generally begins to wear down first. As it weakens, space begins to form between the roofing material and the top of the structure, which may allow moisture to breach the building.
Lack of Durability
TPO is a popular roofing option because the material is energy efficient. They feature a surface that’s reflective, which means that this type of roof decreases the amount that an owner will need to spend to keep the building cool. TPO roofs are also good for the environment.
One of the most common issues with TPO roofs is that they generally don’t last as long as other types of roofing options. While TPO roofs are strong and sturdy, they are a relatively new roofing material. This means that the manufacturing used to develop TPO is still being perfected. TPO manufacturers are working to create a balance between making the product affordable and durable. TPO roofs are improving, and they continue to be an affordable roofing system that tends to hold up more often than they fail.
There are several techniques for connecting TPO to a roof. One option involves using mechanical attachment devices like washers or screws. Another choice is using an adhesive that is water or solvent based. When applied alone, TPO doesn’t offer much in the way of insulation, but consumers can ask the roofing company to include rigid foam insulation for added protection. This will be installed with screws or an adhesive as well.
Before installing the TPO coating, the roofing crew will add a slip sheet, which is a decreased friction barrier. This product helps the roof contract and expand during the temperature changes throughout the year. Roofing crews will overlap the roofing material’s seals and strips because these are the areas that will be most likely to develop leaks.
Roofing crews use a machine that operates like a miniature mouse across the roofing material’s seams and seals. Some companies use a small welding tool reminiscent of a high-powered blow dryer that heats the seams together. Seams can also be sealed with peel-and-stick tape combined with primer. Professional roofing companies use a device called a probe to make sure that the seams are welded properly to give their clients peace of mind.
TPO comes in material sheets that measure about 6 feet wide and around .05 inches thick. They are also available in 12-foot sheets that are slightly thicker. Some of the sheets come in rolls that the installation crew will just unroll out over the roof. Once it’s unrolled, the crew will overlap the seams and weld them together to make the coating waterproof. This is the part of the process that sometimes fails.
When a home or a business owner is having a roof installed, it’s important to hire a professional company to ensure that the installation is completed with professional supervision. If the TPO coating isn’t installed properly, then it’s more likely that the owner will face the common problems that occur with this type of roofing material. This situation can be avoided with a roofing contractor.
Spring for the Warranty
Anytime a consumer needs a new roofing system, the experts recommend buying a warranty. Depending on the company, roof warranties are available for as long as 30 years. When getting one, be sure to hire a roofing company to perform regular maintenance. That way, if a tear or a defect should develop along the roof, the consumer can use the warranty to cover the repair cost. Repairs can also be completed quickly. The warranty holder will likely require the owner to use a professional roofing company for all maintenance and repairs.
Easy to Resolve Issues
TPO is available in colors like white, gray and black, making it a roofing material that works well with different home and commercial structure styles. The good news about TPO roofing problems is that they are generally common ones that roofing companies like Up On a Roof are comfortable handling, ones that are easy to resolve. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to repair problems when they first start than it is after they’ve turned into major issues, so if a home or business owner is considering a TPO roof, they should have a roofing company install it and check it regularly.
Maintaining the Roofs and Reducing Long-Term Expenses
Our company provides commercial roofs that feature high-quality materials, and our business can also repair many types of roofs, offer 24/7 services and provide free estimates. When you visit our company's website, you could evaluate our services, the benefits of TPO roofing materials and various types of certifications. If you would like to request a free estimate, you can complete our contact form, or you could call 512-484-2525.