Did you know that flat and low-slope roofs require a special kind of roofing material, such as TPO roofing?  Because of the low pitch or steepness, water can pool and runoff more slowly. This is why building codes in Virginia require roofing materials that can stand up to these conditions.

TPO, A Modern Roofing Material for Flat Roofs

When it comes to modern roofing materials, TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) has gained significant popularity for its exceptional performance and durability. Invented in the late 1980s, TPO roofing is a membrane roof and offers a range of benefits, which is why so many people choose it for residential and commercial projects.

If you have a home or business with a flat or low-slope roof, you probably want to know more about the advantages of TPO roofing, how it is installed, and how to maintain it before you choose it for your next roof project.

Benefits of TPO Roofing

TPO roofing has many benefits that can make it a wise choice for your next roof.

  1. Energy Efficiency: TPO roofing comes in white and light-colored options, which reflect light and reduces heat absorbed by your home or building. The roof’s reflectivity reduces the heat load in the warmer months, reducing the need for air conditioning. TPO roofing is a type of what Energy Star calls a “cool roof,” which can lower energy costs.
  2. Durability: TPO roofing is engineered to withstand the elements, including UV radiation, extreme heat and cold, wind, hail, and more. It is resistant to tears and punctures and can last 20-30 years.
  3. Environmentally Friendly: TPO roofing is recyclable and can be repurposed into other products at the end of its lifecycle, reducing its environmental impact. It is naturally mold-resistant, requiring less maintenance. Plus, its superior energy efficiency rating contributes to a lower carbon footprint.
  4. Flexibility: TPO roofing is easy to install, and it is flexible and malleable around pipes and flashing. It can adapt to building movements without cracking or breaking. Because it comes in large sheets, there are fewer seams.
  5. Cost-Effective: TPO roofing strikes a balance between affordability and performance depending on the specifications of your home or building. Its installation costs are generally lower than traditional roofing systems. When you add its energy-saving properties to the equation, it can lead to substantial long-term savings on your utility bills.

How TPO Roofing is Installed

TPO Roofing, like other membrane roofing systems, can be easy to install. Roofing crews who are new to the process require proper training to ensure the surface is properly prepared and special attention is paid to the seams. Since TPO roofing works well for flat and low-pitch roofs, attention to seams is especially important. Choosing a reputable manufacturer for TPO membranes and an experienced installation crew is crucial to ensure the roofing system’s effectiveness and longevity.

Here’s how the installation process works:

  1. Surface Preparation: The existing roof surface is inspected and cleaned to ensure proper adhesion of the TPO membrane. Any repairs or adjustments to the substrate are made at this stage.
  2. Insulation: If necessary, insulation boards are installed to enhance energy efficiency and provide a smooth substrate for the TPO membrane.
  3. TPO Membrane Installation: The TPO membrane is rolled out in large sheets and mechanically fastened, adhered, or heat-welded to the roof’s surface.
  4. Seam Welding: Seams between TPO sheets are heat-welded together to create a watertight seal. This process enhances the overall integrity of the roof and prevents leaks.
  5. Flashing and Edging: Flashing and edge details are installed around roof penetrations, edges, and other vulnerable areas to ensure water tightness and long-term performance.
  6. Quality Control: A thorough inspection is conducted at the conclusion of the project to verify proper installation, so any adjustments can be made.

Maintaining a TPO Roof

While TPO roofing requires minimal maintenance, regular inspections are recommended to extend its lifespan.

These inspections can also advise whether your roof might benefit from periodic cleaning. This type of roof resists mold, but a storm debris or fall leaf drop could require minor maintenance to restore the roof’s reflective properties.

Learn If a TPO Roof Might Be Right for Your Next Roof

Alexandria Roofing Co. Inc., has been installing TPO roofing for homes and buildings with flat- and low-pitch roofs for many years. Our family-owned, full-service roofing business serves Alexandria, Arlington, and surrounding Fairfax County residents. We can help you pick the type of roof that works best for your unique situation.

TPO roofs can be right for residential roofing and commercial roofing applications, and we can help you with roof maintenance, too. When properly installed and maintained, TPO roofing can be a smart choice for many Northern Virginia residents who are interested in a roof that offers both energy savings and environmental sustainability. Call us at (703) 354-35311 for a professional review of your roof or request an estimate today.