EPDM vs. TPO Commercial Roof: Which Is Right for You in Youngstown, OH?

Looking for the appropriate commercial roof solution? Stuck in the notorious battle of EPDM vs. TPO roofing?

It’s one of those problems that can only be resolved by knowing more. So, let’s take a look into each one to determine which is best for you.

Read on to discover the pros and cons of EPDM and TPO roofing.

What is a TPO Roofing System?

Thermo-Plastic Olephine, otherwise known as TPO, is made out of a combination of ethylene propylene and polypropylene.

TPO is extremely durable, and a wonderful option for property owners who are looking to invest in a roofing system that will serve them for many years to come. (It’s known to last more than 20 years when maintained properly.)

Even though its EPDM competitor has been the industry leader for more than 50 years, in terms of single-ply roofing, TPO has gained significant ground over the years. This shift in popularity is thanks, in part, to TPO’s easy installation and energy efficiency. 

Many expect TPO to overtake EPDM in the coming years as the preferred industry selection. 

As compared to EPDM’s dark surface, TPO roofing comes in a variety of colors that help to reflect sunlight, allowing your HVAC systems to work as it should without going into overload during summer months.

TPO is also more resistant to certain types of damage. For example, restaurant vents can emit chemicals, fats and oils that would otherwise wear down a roofing surface. TPO roofing is different in that these things don’t negatively affect the membrane. When installed, this roofing system is welded, which also helps to improve durability.

What is an EPDM Roofing System?

EPDM, short for ethylene propylene diene monomer, is a roofing system made of a synthetic rubber membrane. It is developed to be installed on a low-slope, flat roof and is popular among most commercial properties for its longevity. 

If you own a commercial building in an area prone to hail storms, EPDM is a great option to consider. The rubber surface allows hail to bounce off with little to no damage as opposed to a TPO system, where hail can dent and compromise the membrane if not dealt with.

EPDM roofing has a proven track record of performance despite the fact that it is a single-ply, fairly thin, material. Repairs are generally quick and easy when needed, and cost-wise, EPDM is right in line with TPO as one of the most cost-effective commercial roofing options.

Which Is Better: EPDM or TPO Roofing?

Alright, let’s move onto the comparison in brief. 

Simply said, the primary advantage of EPDM over TPO is that it’s a little cheaper. It also has a slightly longer lifespan and is less likely to be damaged from hail.

TPO is (slightly) more expensive, but when it comes down to it, choosing one over the other may ultimately be based on your geographic location. (Do you get regular hail storms? Is it a hot, sunny climate? Is your building surrounded by a lot of trees where falling branches could puncture to roof’s surface?)

Either way, both roofing systems come with their own benefits. Ultimately, it’s up to you, but know that a qualified commercial roofing company can review your building’s unique situation and give suggestions for various systems.

Commercial Roofing – Your Choice, Your Satisfaction

Now that we’ve covered the basics of both EPDM and TPO roofing, hopefully, you’re slightly more informed on the subject when deciding which is best for you. 

TPO and EPDM are two of the most common single-ply roofing options, and while both roofing materials are rather similar, they come with a varied list of pros and cons. Each presents its best light for specific use cases and industries. 

TPO, in general, is a better choice in regard to energy efficiency and swiftness of installation. But, it dwindles under less than perfect conditions, in which the climate and environment can have an effect on the material and has a shorter lifespan as compared to EPDM (15-20 years, as compared to EPDM’s 20-25 years).

EPDM is typically the less expensive option and can be installed without the presence of electricity because it’s mechanically fastened. 

But fear not, we’re here to help guide you toward the option that works best for your situation! If you’re unsure of whether to go with TPO or EPDM roofing, you’re not alone. Get in touch with us – that’s what we’re here for! With over 50 years of experience and three generations strong, you will get unmatched knowledge and long-term support from everyone at TEMA Roofing Services.