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TPO & PVC Roofing: What Are the Differences?

TPO & PVC Roofing project for commercial roofing

If you find yourself in need of having your commercial property’s roofing system renovated or updated, invest in a roof that will be worth the expense. After the blow that the pandemic dealt, businesses need to be conscious of how they spend their money.

TPO and PVC are two of the popular roofing systems for commercial properties. Which one should you choose? This article provides a brief overview of each and how they can benefit your property.  

TPO Roofing

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing is a type of single-ply thermoplastic membrane. It’s a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, which makes it strong yet flexible. 

  • TPO roofing resists dirt, bacteria, algae, and debris build-up. It’s highly resistant to damage like tearing, punctures, and impacts. 
  • Commercial properties often prefer TPO roofing because of its reflective properties. TPO membrane comes in white, which enables this roofing material to bounce away UV radiation and prevent heat build-up. 
  • Not only does TPO roofing cool down the interior. It also helps in the building’s overall energy efficiency, which can reduce operating costs and utility bills – saving you money!

PVC Roofing 

Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is another single-ply roofing solution that’s been used in construction for many years. These are often used on flat or low-sloped roofs and are composed of vinyl chloride monomers with added plasticizers to enhance flexibility. This roofing material is strong enough to resist tearing or ripping. 

  • One of the advantages of PVC is its high resistance to chemicals. Commercial buildings exposed to grease, oil, fumes, and other strong chemical materials can benefit from a PVC roof. 
  • PVC roofing materials come in various colors, including white and greys. Like TPO, lighter colors enhance the roof material’s reflective features against UV radiation and heat.   

Considerations When Choosing Between TPO & PVC Roofing

The similarities of TPO and PVC make either material a good option for most flat roofing projects. But the following factors will make the selection easier for commercial property owners and managers. 

Cost of TPO & PVC Roofing

On average, TPO costs between $5.00 and $6.75 per sq. ft. While PVC can go from $7.50 to $12.50 for the same size. For the most accurate quote, reach out to WaterTight Roofing – though generally, TPO is the more affordable option.

Longevity of TPO & PVC

In theory, TPO roofs should last the longest since they are not made of plasticizers that eventually break down over time. TPO roofs are estimated to last around 20 years. However, PVC has been proven to last for decades without failing as well.

However, PVC roofs are the top choice if you’re looking for a material that will last on your property the longest. 

Environmental Impact of TPO & PVC Roofing

PVC materials are made with plasticizers, which are not as environment-friendly and are generally harder to dispose of. They also contain chlorine and other chemicals that could be harmful to human health.

Meanwhile, TPO is completely recyclable and doesn’t emit dangerous fumes when exposed to heat.

Choosing Between TPO & PVC with WaterTight Roofing

Both PVC and TPO roofing materials have pros and cons, and your choice depends on your priority in your roofing project. It’s always a good idea to contact a professional like WaterTight Roofing to help you make the right choice. 

WaterTight Roofing is a commercial roofing specialist that has been helping businesses with their roofing requirements for years. Contact us for inquiries about our roofing options, or visit our service page for a free commercial roof assessment!

Single-Ply vs. Built-Up: Which Is More Energy-Efficient?

Single-Ply commercial Roofing

Cool roofs are a must for commercial buildings because they make the hot weather more bearable for occupants. According to a study, cool roofs can reduce city center daytime air temperature by 32.9 to 37.4 °F and Urban Heat Island effect (UHI) by 23 percent. Energy Star adds that cool roofs can give seven to 15 percent savings in cooling costs and reduce peak cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent.

So what is a cool roof? We’ll answer this question by talking about one excellent example: single-ply roofing systems.

What Is Single-Ply Roofing?

As the name suggests, single-ply roofing consists of a single membrane made up of various synthetic materials, rubber, and insulation, all put together using chemical adhesives, fasteners, or weighted down with a good amount of ballast (e.g., gravel, stones, pavers).

Single-ply roofing membranes come in two types: thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM). These materials are responsible for single-ply roofing’s reputation as energy-efficient commercial roofing solutions:

  • TPO is a 0.060-mil membrane made up of three bonded layers: thermoplastic polyolefin at the base and top, and a scrim layer or polyester-reinforced fabric at the center. TPO usually has a white surface, which enhances its reflective quality. All things considered, TPO membranes do a good job of reflecting UV rays and reducing heat transfer into the building. So when people speak of a “cool roof,” they are often referring to TPO single-ply roofs because they reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat.
  • EPDM is also synthetic, this time made with a flexible rubber compound. EPDM roofs were widely used in commercial facilities since the 1960s. Since it is made from rubber, it is often black and looks like the inner side of a tire. It is less reflective than the white TPO, but it does an excellent job of retaining heat during the cold season.

Both types of single-ply roofing are energy efficient because they help maintain a cool, comfortable temperature inside the building. Single-ply roofing can reduce heating and cooling energy consumption by deflecting UV rays, lowering the UHI during a heatwave, and preventing heat from escaping through the roof during winter.

Old Meets New: How Single-Ply Roofing Compares to Built-Up Roofing

Single-ply is the newer alternative to the more traditional built-up roof system or BUR.

BUR roofing has been used in the U.S. since about a hundred years ago. Many buildings all over the country still have these “gravel roofs,” which is a testament to BUR’s longevity. It just happens that the benefits of single-ply roofing now eclipse the advantages of BUR systems.

What Is Built-Up Roofing?

Built-up roofing is the “tried and tested” commercial roofing option inspired by asphalt roofing techniques. It is made up of many layers of asphalt, tar, and fabrics, then capped off with gravel as the topmost layer. Building owners can decide on the number of layers based on factors like budget, construction time-frame, weight, and ease of installation.

BUR provides excellent insulation and can also improve a building’s energy efficiency. It is a sound commercial roofing solution, but it does come with disadvantages.

The Pros and Cons of Built-Up and Single-Ply Roofing

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of BUR and single-ply roofing systems:


  • Built-Up Roofing: Seamless, waterproof, low-maintenance, UV-resistant, fire retardant
  • Single-Ply Roofing: Cool roofing, heat, and UV-resistant, fire retardant, lightweight, quick and easy to install, more affordable than BUR


  • Built-Up Roofing: Water pooling, blistering, adds immense weight on a building, a bit more expensive than single-ply roofing
  • Single-Ply Roofing: Seams are more vulnerable to leaks, more high-maintenance, UH exposure can deteriorate the adhesives, less durable compared to built-up roofing

Which Roofing System Is More Energy Efficient?

Single-ply roofing is arguably the more energy-efficient option because it does an excellent job of reflecting and retaining heat and helps keep energy consumption low in both cold and warm seasons.

Reduce your building’s energy costs with our single-ply roofing systems. Get your free assessment here.

Flat Roof Maintenance: Common Problems and How to Repair Them

Flat Roof Maintenance in Texas

Business owners who want to save on construction costs while adding a unique spin to their building design opt for a flat roof. It makes sense. A flat roof requires fewer materials to build than pitched roofs, which helps with cost savings. A flat roof can also be used as an extra space, and if well-kept, can last for up to 35 years.

However, despite the many advantages of flat roofs, some problems are impossible to avoid. Here are common issues with this type of roofing and ways you can prevent them or avoid flat roof repair.


The biggest problem for flat roofs is standing water. Even if the roof has a slope, water will always find a way out, and you don’t want it to be through your roof. The moisture can cause divots and dips in your roofing material, no matter how durable it is.

The best way to deal with ponding is to act fast after it rains in your area. Use a squeegee or mop to push water away from your roof. If your roof’s drainage system is clogged, it may prevent water from escaping your roof. Clear the pipes and gutters to prevent this issue.


Every material, no matter how durable, will degrade over time. Degradation accelerates further with extreme heat and cold. The best way to fight the effects of degradation is to do regular inspections. See if the roof material is flaking, drying out, or breaking down every few months. Get them patched up immediately. The sooner you deal with degradation, the better your chances are of minimizing the damage it may cause.

Holes and Tears

Flat rooftops are often used as event spaces and common areas for tenants. If your roof gets a lot of traffic, expect it to get scuffs, tears, and holes. While small scratches aren’t much of a problem initially, they may expand as time goes on.

Like degradation and standing water, the best way to deal with holes and tears on your roof is to prevent it. Create appropriate walking paths so that guests and tenants avoid the sensitive parts of your rooftop. If you spot any scuffs, refill them with roofing material or have a professional contractor fix them.

Debris Buildup

Over time, your flat roof will collect debris like small tree branches, dirt, leaves, and even trash if people visit your roof regularly. While the occasional litter won’t hurt your roof, debris buildup can be dangerous. Trash and leaves can clog your drains and gutters, causing ponding and damage to your drainage pipes.

Debris buildup is easy to handle. Perform regular cleaning by sweeping, using a leaf blower, or pressure washing to get rid of the debris. Using soapy water to mop off dirt and mud may also be necessary. If the debris has damaged your drainage pipes and gutter, get these components fixed immediately before they’re damaged beyond repair.


Water has nowhere to go but down when it rains. If standing water has nowhere to go, it’ll seep through your roof. This can happen even with the most resilient roofing materials. When this happens, the surface will develop mold and fungus. If it worsens, the water could make its way to your ceiling and create leaks.

Drain standing water regularly to prevent leaks. You should also look for possible holes and tears that may let water seep into your roofing material. The sooner you repair these problems, the better your chances are of preventing leaks on your ceiling.

Get Professional Roofing Maintenance and Repairs

Building a flat roof is a great way to add extra space to your property without increasing your building costs. Now that you know the possible problems your flat roof could have, it’s time to get up there, inspect it, and schedule maintenance or repairs, or have a professional roofer do the job.

You can perform minor repairs, but major flat roof material replacement and deep cleaning require the help of professionals. WaterTight Roofing provides a variety of roofing services, including metal roof replacement, roof restoration, single-ply membrane roof installation, modified bitumen, and flat roof installation. We service commercial properties in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arkansas, Kansas, and New Mexico.

Call us today for a free commercial roof assessment.

How Cost-Effective are TPO Roofs For Your Building

building with white TPO Roofs in Dallas Texas

If you plan to install a flat roof for your commercial property, you can take your pick of any roofing type and material. But you might want to go with a single-ply membrane, one of the more well-known roofing systems. It’s made of sheets of rubber and other synthetic materials ballasted and fastened onto insulation. This structure creates a layer that shields the building from extreme weather conditions and impact.

What is TPO?

A variant of the single-ply membrane is called Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO). Although quite new in the industry, TPO is marketed as durable and energy-efficient, and many property managers and commercial building owners use it for their roofs.

TPO roofing has become so popular that its market value is estimated to reach $2 billion by 2026, growing at a rate of 5% every year.

What are the Advantages of TPO?

TPO has become a widely-used roofing material in the United States. Here are some of its benefits.Resistant to Damage — TPO roofing is extremely durable. It resists moisture, the sun’s ultraviolet rays, bacterial growth, and dirt buildup. It doesn’t get punctured, torn, or soaked easily, either. You can expect it to stay functional for a long time with regular cleaning and periodic commercial roof maintenance.


Another advantage of TPO is that it reflects the sun’s heat. This prevents heat from penetrating your ceiling and interiors. You don’t have to crank up your air conditioning system to keep your rooms comfortable all the time. In turn, you save on AC energy consumption.

Lower Environmental Impact

TPO membranes are recyclable, so you don’t have to worry about them going to waste or clogging the landfill when the time comes to replace them.

Simple to Install

TPO is lightweight and flexible, making it easier to install than other roofing types like shingles and steel roofs. You save time, money, and effort that you can spend on more important things.

Variety of Colors

Like other roofing materials, TPO has a wide selection of colors and shades, including black, grey, white, and brown. The lighter ones are more reflective, but you can also choose dark shades to fit your building’s aesthetic.


TPO membranes are Class-A fire-resistant. This means that it’s effective against severe fires. Manufacturers often add flame-resistant materials to TPO during manufacturing.

Different Insulation Options

You have a wide variety of options when it comes to insulation. There’s polyisocyanurate, expanded polystyrene, and extruded polystyrene. Discuss with your contractor the best type of insulation to use for your building.

How Cost-Effective is TPO?

Product price and Installation

Of course, the cost is one of the most important considerations for commercial property owners like you. According to Property Manager Insider, TPO ranges in cost depending on a variety of factors, including installation, materials, and labor. This means you’re getting a lot of roof for your buck.


Expect your TPO roof to last from 15 to 20 years, as long as you’re cleaning and maintaining it properly.

Energy Cost

With its insulating properties, TPO roofing will surely help you save on electricity bills for many years. A recent study by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) analyzed data from four roofing systems. One of them was TPO. They found that roofing with reflective surfaces and insulating properties like TPO lightened the cooling and heating loads of buildings, leading to energy bill savings.

Your roof protects you and your tenants from the elements. It also acts as an insulator, sparing your building from the harsh heat and cold. If you want to have a high-quality roof without breaking the bank, TPO is a good choice. It’s durable, easy to install, and offers excellent insulation. And it’s affordable. These factors make TPO a cost-effective roofing solution for commercial property managers.

Get Your TPO Roof Installed Properly

While TPO is an affordable and durable roofing choice, it loses its effectiveness if installed improperly. Make sure you’re getting roofing services from professionals like WaterTight Roofing. We’ve been serving homes and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, and Colorado for years. You can trust our licensed staff to get your TPO roof installed efficiently.

Complete our online form today to get a free estimate.

Looking for an Energy-Efficient Roof? Switch to a TPO Roof

new commercial TPO roof

A quality and well-maintained roofing system is a crucial part of a commercial building’s structural integrity. The right commercial roof can safeguard your building’s interior from harsh weather and aid with fire prevention.

If the commercial roofing system of your business has seen better days, consider replacing it with a roof made of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO).

What is a TPO Roof?

This light-reflective and thin roofing system features a few different types of rubber, usually a combination of ethylene-propylene and polypropylene. 

The TPO membrane consists of three layers: the compounded upper ply, a polyester-reinforced fabric center known as the scrim, and the polymer base. The membrane itself is single-ply, which means that it can cover the whole roof surface. 

Advantages of a TPO Roofing System

A TPO roof, when properly installed and maintained, will last up to 30 years. Apart from being long-lasting, this roofing system comes with these other valuable benefits:

Energy Savings

Many commercial building owners prefer TPO roofing systems over other options due to the reflective nature of the membranes. The reflective and white materials exceed the ENERGY STAR requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency. What’s more, the TPO roof’s tan, gray and white colors are part of the Cool Roof Rating Council index. And furthermore, WaterTight Roofing has been a member of the Cool Roof Council for years!

An energy-efficient roofing system contributes to the reduction in utility expenses. The TPO roof helps keep the building comfortably cool by preventing the accumulation of heat within the structure. Your business establishment, therefore, won’t have to crank up the AC to stay comfortable during the hot summer days. 

Easy to Maintain

TPO is a low-maintenance roofing system. Algae and mildew growth are likely to develop on the surface but it does not require power washing. It’s also excellent at resisting tears, punctures, and dirt build-up. An easy-to-maintain roofing product can save you money down the road, as you don’t have to clean and maintain it often. 

Easy to Install

The sheets of a TPO roof membrane are lightweight, allowing commercial roofing contractors to install this roofing system easily. What’s more, the TPO sheets are wide, translating to fewer seams that demand attention.

Also, contractors can install TPO in various ways. These professionals, for instance, can attach the roofing system directly to the roof deck or with adhesives. 

Thanks to the ease and quickness of installation, commercial building owners can pay less when installing a TPO roofing system. 

Adaptable to Various Commercial Building Styles

TPO roofing comes in a variety of colors, including light gray, black and white. You can choose a color that complements the overall design of your commercial establishment.

Let Us Handle Your Commercial Roofing Needs 

Over time, roofing systems can take a beating and require replacement. When you need to replace the roof on your commercial property, let Watertight Roofing take care of this job for you.

We install, repair, and maintain energy-efficient single-ply TPO roofing systems on commercial buildings. Our experienced and skilled roofers have done top-notch work in more than 14 regions in the southern United States. When you come to us for reroofing, we do our best to make the process as easy as possible. This is our WaterTight Commitment to you. 

Call 888.809.9976 or fill out our contact form today to request a free roof assessment.

Commercial Flat Roofing: Winter Maintenance & Care Tips

New commercial roof project in OK

Roofs are prone to wear, whether from age or extreme weather conditions. However, certain seasons take an immense toll on this structure. Winter, for example, brings different factors that can cause severe damage to roofs when left unattended.

Familiarize yourself with the necessary seasonal maintenance and care practices for your roof so you can prevent issues that affect your facility. Learn the different problems brought about by the colder months.

Roof Damage Caused by the Winter Season

The sudden temperature drops and the weight of snow and sleet can cause significant damage to residential or commercial roofs. Understand how winter affects your roof to give you a better idea of what to do for your commercial roof maintenance practices.

  • Mold – When the ice and snow that collect on the roof thaw, the water pools and creates the ideal environment for mold to grow.
  • Gutter Damage – When ice builds up in your gutter and downspout, it can create cracks that cause the structure to break and fall off.
  • Roof Collapse – When too much snow accumulates on the roof, it puts excess weight and pressure on the structure and puts it at risk of collapsing.

What to Know About Commercial Roof Maintenance

When planning out your maintenance practices for the winter, you have to consider your roof’s design. A flat roof has different needs from a gabled roof. By focusing on its design, you will find commercial roof maintenance tips that are effective.

To maximize the lifespan of your flat roof, you must prepare it for winter. This includes seasonal maintenance on top of its regular upkeep schedule.

Clean Out Your Gutters & Downspouts

Although ice can still accumulate in the trenches and downspouts, removing debris before winter will make it easier for the snow to flow through. It will also make it easier to flush out any debris that gets stuck in the gutters and downspouts during winter.

Inspect the Roof to Identify What Needs Repairing

Take the time to give your roof a thorough inspection before or at the start of winter. Any small cracks or holes will likely worsen once the weight of snow falls on them. The worst-case scenario would be your roof collapsing in the middle of winter!

WaterTight Roofing offers free roof inspections and maintenance tips to ensure your roof is in good shape following the winter weather conditions as well!

Schedule Snow & Ice Removal Throughout Winter

Removing ice and snow from your flat roof is essential to its winter maintenance. If you don’t have the human resources to spare, consider hiring professionals. They have the tools and expertise to carry out this task, leaving you to focus on your core business activities.

WaterTight Roofing: Your Partner in Protecting Your Roof

If you’re unsure where to start with your winter maintenance, consider calling in the professionals. WaterTight Roofing offers free roof inspections and maintenance tips to ensure your roof is in good shape before winter, during, or after the season is passed!

We specialize in commercial roofing solutions, including seasonal care and upkeep. Let us help you keep your roof clean, sound, and secure throughout the year.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our services.