Single-Ply Membrane Commercial Roofing Systems: EPDM vs. TPO

Single-ply membrane commercial roofing systems are designed to last and to overcome some of the most common problems associated with flat and minimally sloped commercial and industrial facility roofs.

These products are also affordable and easy to install – as long as you choose a commercial roofing contractor who has the knowledge and experience to get the job done.

single ply membrane commercial roofing systems

Two of the most common types of single-ply membrane are ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO). Both offer a wealth of advantages and carry roughly about the same cost.

So, which one is right for your facility?

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

EPDM is a flexible membrane made of synthetic rubber polymer compounds. This type of membrane roofing is secured at the seams with specially designed tape. In use for almost 60 years, this material is time-tested for its durability.

EPDM roofs are typically dark gray or black, which allows this material to retain (rather than reflect) heat. Consequently, it is better suited for use in colder climate areas.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

TPO membrane is a more recent addition to the commercial roofing industry. This thermoplastic synthetic membrane is highly UV reflective, making it better suited for use in warmer climates.

Instead of seam tape, this material is fused together at the seams with a hot air gun. This material is typically white, but it is also available in other reflective colors.

Choosing the Right Commercial Roofing Material for Your Facility

Is single-ply membrane roofing the right choice for your commercial or industrial building? If so, how can you determine whether TPO, EPDM or another option is best?

A commercial roofing contractor can help you make this important decision.

Single-ply membrane systems have a lower cost than many alternatives and they are quick and easy to install. Membrane systems do not expand and contract the way many other materials do, which helps reduce the development of leaks.

In the negative column, these materials can have a shorter lifespan than some alternatives. They can be susceptible to puncture damage and, in some cases, these materials may be prone to ponding. However, when professionally installed by an experienced commercial roofer, you can expect to have good results with either TPO or EPDM.

The third membrane roofing option, PVC, also provides a number of advantages, particularly in Utah. Membrane systems tend to stand up well to snow load, a common problem in our geographic region.

Knockout Roofing serves customers in Salt Lake City and throughout northern Utah. Our commercial membrane roofing options include materials from such well-respected manufacturers as WeatherBond, Carlisle Syntec Systems, Johns Manville and Verisco. Contact us today to request an estimate or learn more about these and other commercial roofing system options.