TPO vs. EPDM RoofingYour commercial building needs a roof you can depend on. As a business owner, you need to be able to tend to your work, not worry about a leaky roof or constant repairs. But which roofing material do you choose to help keep you dry so you can be productive?

Many of today’s commercial roofing systems are strong and durable, but not all are energy-efficient or adapted for regional weather. Take two of the most common commercial roofing materials: TPO and EPDM. They’re both solid roofing options in their own right, but each has pros and cons to consider when making decisions about your roof.

What Is TPO?

TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin. That’s a very fancy name referring to a material that is great for commercial roofing. TPO is designed specifically for energy efficiency, which is why it has gained prominence over the last 20 years.

What makes TPO special as a roofing material is that it is designed to reflect sunlight. This helps to prevent buildings from absorbing as much heat from the sun, and it lowers cooling costs and cooling maintenance over long periods of time.

TPO is also known for its high puncture resistance. In fact, TPO is rated for triple the puncture resistance of EPDM. That makes TPO a better roof in high wind.

What might be most distinguishable about TPO is the installation process. TPO comes in sheets that are heat welded together. This creates a very strong seal that helps dramatically with durability and lowers maintenance, but it makes installation more complicated, and that can translate to higher installation costs. The welding process can also make repairs more complicated and less accessible. Regardless, the quality of TPO as a roofing material is undeniable.

What Is EPDM?

Ethylene propylene diene monomer, or EPDM, is a complicated name for what is essentially rubber roofing. EPDM has been around for a long time and is particularly praised for its toughness in the face of hail storms. The rubbery surface causes most hail to harmlessly bounce off the roof, and that makes this a desirable material in northern Texas.

EPDM is a naturally dark substance, and this affects sunlight absorption. This means that EPDM roofs naturally transfer more heat to the building than their TPO counterparts, but in some cases, low reflectivity is a good quality in a roof. That scenario is when you have solar panels. Highly reflective roofing interferes with a solar panel’s ability to absorb sunlight and lowers its overall efficiency.

Easily installed, EPDM is glued to the surface of the roof. Over time, the seams are where the roofing begins to degrade. Repairs are relatively easy for a professional, but these roofs need to be maintained regularly to look for failing seams.

Choosing the Best Roof

If you’re trying to decide between TPO and EPDM, the price probably won’t be your determining factor because these materials are priced almost identically. On average, both will range from about $2.00 to $3.50 per square foot. Even though the installation of TPO is more complicated, the total out-of-pocket expense of installing a TPO roof is extremely close to that of an EPDM roof.

So what will make the decision? In the end, your unique situation will be what determines the best roof for you. Is energy-efficiency important? Do you have solar panels? Are you located in an area that is regularly exposed to high winds or hail?

These are the kinds of questions that will lead you to the best choice. But you don’t have to make the decision alone. The experts at Paradigm Roofing can walk you through every commercial roofing option to help you decide what’s best for you.

Contact the Roofing Professionals

If you’re looking to install or replace a commercial roof, you need experts who can do a great job throughout. Contact Paradigm Roofing. We work all over Texas, and we can help you pick the right roof for your business. Then we’ll install it professionally so you won’t have to worry about quality or reliability. You can trust your roof, even in the worst weather, and your business will be protected from the elements. Contact Paradigm Roofing online or by phone at 972-542-7774.