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TPO & PVC Roofing: What Are the Differences?

August 26, 2021

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!