A TPO roofing installation being completed by professional roofers.

TPO roofing installation might be the ideal choice if your business is in the market for a durable, cost-efficient flat roofing solution. TPO has quickly become a preferred product for commercial buildings, offering energy efficiency among many other advantages. But just how long does it take to install this type of material, and what should you expect during the entire process?

A Deeper Look at TPO Roofing

Many business owners are shifting away from traditional roofing materials and switching to TPO for a new roof. When it comes to rubber roofing options, single-ply TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofing membranes are a popular choice, as are their EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) counterparts. TPO, in particular, has rubber material at the base, with a polyester fabric center (the scrim) and thermoplastic polyolefin layer on top.

But, what exactly makes TPO a top pick? For starters, it’s a highly durable material that’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold temperatures. It can be energy-efficient, helping to lower your heating and cooling costs, and its affordability compared to other types of roofing materials is nearly unmatched. (TPO roofing costs range from $6 to 12 per square foot, depending on the attachment method – ballasted, attached or fastened).

All of these reasons are why TPO roofing membranes have risen to the top of the ranks for trusted, cost-effective roofing systems that keep commercial properties protected and energy-efficient.

Pros of a TPO Membrane

TPO roofing has great qualities that make it a top pick for commercial buildings.

    • Perhaps the biggest advantage of TPO is its ability to positively impact your energy efficiency. Coming in a variety of color options, including white, tan or gray, it’s resistant to UV rays and can help cut your energy bills.
    • As a building settles, TPO adjusts on its own.
    • It’s an environmentally friendly option, and reduces your business’s carbon footprint.
    • TPO is resistant to water damage, punctures and tearing.
    • You can expect your TPO roof’s lifespan to be around 20 to 30 years.

Cons of a TPO Membrane

Although it’s an optimal choice for many commercial buildings, TPO roofing can have some disadvantages.

    • TPO doesn’t withstand extreme heat well.
    • TPO isn’t as flame resistant as PVC or metal roofing.
    • For repairs, the membrane needs to be heat-welded, which means the roofer needs to be a knowledgeable welder.

Competing Commercial Roofing Systems

While TPO has the advantage in many circumstances, it’s important to know a little bit about other types of roofing systems as you research your roofing project.


Another synthetic rubber, single-ply membrane, EPDM roofing is secured with ballasts, glue or fasteners. It’s available in black or white, and may be a little more costly than TPO because it’s heavier.


Metal roofing is a nice steep-slope or low-slope roofing option. However, it’s on the pricey side because of its extreme durability (lifespan can be upwards of 50-70 years). It can also be noisy during a storm and hard to regulate the interior temperature of your commercial building.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a type of plastic, is noted for withstanding severe weather, but is prone to shrinkage. Like TPO, PVC is also in the single-ply roofing family and is highly water- and fire-resistant.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are traditionally a great option if you have a pitched roof. The shingles are installed in overlapped rows, which make a barrier against water.

TPO Roof Installation Breakdown

TPO roofing installation is easy for experienced roofing contractors. In some cases, it can be installed right over an existing roof, but the professional contractor will determine if it’s possible.

To prepare, make sure you’ve communicated with the contractor about their estimated timeline. Also talk about any requests or concerns you have.

Expect TPO roofing installation to take between 1 to 2 weeks. Typically, installation shouldn’t disrupt operations.

In the first step, the contractor will either clean the existing roofing system or remove it. If the roofing system is abated, then an insulation board (polystyrene) will be installed to the roof deck. Once that’s done, either an adhesive will be applied or the TPO roofing system can be attached to the cover board by fasteners. Lastly, the TPO membrane is spread on the rooftop and seams are joined together by a hot-air gun. Once installation is complete, the roofers will inspect their work.

Keep in mind that roof size (how many square feet), the roofers’ experience and weather conditions will play a part in how long it’ll take for your roof to be installed.

Best Time to Have a TPO Roof Installed

Winters in Ohio are unpredictable (but so are the summer months!). It’s optimal to have a new roof installed in the fall when temperatures are starting to cool so the adhesive and other materials aren’t compromised. Summer is also a great time of the year because the sun’s heat helps keep materials from becoming stiff or difficult to work with.

Maintenance Tips to Improve the Lifespan of Your TPO Roofing System

As a property owner, a new roofing system represents a significant investment. Whether you’re installing a TPO system for the first time, or you’re working to extend the lifespan of an existing roof, proper maintenance is critical. By taking steps to protect your TPO system, you can avoid costly roof replacements and extend your warranty far into the future.

Clear Debris

One of the most important steps you can take is to keep your roof surface clean and clear of debris that can contribute to wear and tear over time. If you live in an area prone to severe thunderstorms or hurricanes, it’s important to trim trees that hang over or near your building, as well as check out your TPO roofing after an event.


Part of your warranty may include regular roof inspections by a professional roofing company. Checking for roof leaks caused by penetrations can help thwart a larger bill – and headache.

Regular Repairs

By keeping up on minor roof repairs on your TPO roofing membrane, you’ll prolong its intended lifespan which will save you money.

Still Have Questions? TEMA Can Answer!

A commercial roof is an investment, no matter what roofing material you choose. Contact TEMA Roofing Services, a family-owned business with decades of experience (spanning properties coast to coast), to discuss your unique needs. We’re a leader in the roofing industry for a reason, and we’re happy to walk you through TPO roofing installation methods and more.