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Léa Plourde-Archer
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Plourde-Archer

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5 Things to Know About TPO and EPDM Roofing

Last modified: 2018/10/05 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

TPO and EPDM roofing membranes are used to cover flat rooftops. These roof covering materials are very durable and have grown in popularity in the past few years in Canada. If you want to learn more about TPO and EPDM roofing, RenoQuotes.com has prepared a global overview of these materials:

Main characteristics of TPO and EPDM roofing

If your house is equipped with a flat rooftop or a (very) small slope, TPO and EPDM membranes can turn out to be a great option. Compared to other types of materials, they are very durable and their ecological footprint is quite small. Also, contrary to asphalt-based roof coverings and elastomeric membranes, TPO and EPDM roofing is monolayer.

The difference between TPO and EPDM

The difference between which are two different materials even though they are often presented together- is their composition and their installation method:

  • TPO membrane (thermoplastic polyolefin) is made of vinyl.
  • EPDM membrane (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is made of synthetic rubber

In urban environments, white roofing has been known to help reduce the heat island effect. TPO and EPDM membranes are available in white but other shades are also possible, depending on your preferences.

TPO roofing

Photo: Total roofing solutions

The pros of TPO and EPDM membranes

  • The main advantage of monolayer roof membranes is the fact that they are durable, resistant and waterproof. If they are well taken care of, they can last anywhere between 15 and 35 years (or longer).
  • Although EPDM has the reputation of being more solid, under certain conditions, TPO is better in terms of its lifespan. During the installation process of the TPO membrane, the joints that serve to assemble the different sections of the membrane are welded and glued to the surface of the roof using hot air. When trying to achieve the same result with EPDM, the roofer will use glue. It seems that the hot air technique produces joints that are slightly more long-lasting.
  • Monolayer membranes are very good at supporting Canada’s unpredictable weather conditions. Both in summer or winter, they offer good resistance against UV rays, rain, snow and temperature changes.
  • TPO and EPDM membranes are also very light. If necessary, they can be installed directly on top of the old rooftop.
  • They can be used as a base for a green roof

The price of TPO and EPDM membrane roofing

TPO and EPDM roofing is relatively affordable. They cost between $6 and $10 per square foot (including installation). TPO membrane is slightly less expensive than EPDM.

The cons

If they haven’t been well installed, monolayer membranes can be very fragile. The joints can come undone, perforations tend to occur and stories have come out about rodents hiding in the folds. Therefore, the installation process must be done by a professional. 

Even though they are more environmentally friendly than the average roofing material, TPO and EPDM roofing materials are still made of petroleum-based chemicals. However, they are recyclable.

How to upkeep an EPDM or TPO rooftop

In general, TPO and EPDM roofs are easy to clean. Once or twice a year, inspect your roof to see if all the joints are well sealed and to check the general state of the roof. Rainwater will take care of most of the dirt that accumulates on the roof. If needed, you will find special cleaning products in hardware stores.

green roof

Photo: roomsoutdoors.co.uk

Repairing an EPDM or TPO roof

Much like with the installation process, it is recommended that you entrust this type of work to professional roofing specialists. The risk of making serious mistakes is simply too high. RenoQuotes.com is there to help you find your contractor. 

Would you like to get more information about roofing? Check out our RenoQuotes.com roof renovation guide

Get 3 renovation quotes for your TPO or EPDM roofing project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your TPO or EPDM roofing projectIf you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from the best roofing companies.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives



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