Capitol Ventures, a company based in Cincinnati, has been repairing and installing TPO (truss-to-ribbon) roofing for more than 30 years. In this brief article, we will discuss what you should know about this popular alternative to traditional residential roofing. Much like traditional wood shakes, TPO roofs are manufactured to be very rigid and are often used as flashings for businesses and government buildings. Although these roofs do meet the requirements of local building codes, they can also have some drawbacks. In particular, when it comes to the design and construction process, manufacturers typically must rely on some form of sub-assembly, and if this isn’t completed correctly, the finished product can be significantly different than one would anticipate. This short article will discuss what you should know about the differences between TPO and traditional residential roofing.
Both commercial and residential applications require flat roofs to provide adequate coverage and durability. Flat roofs have the added advantage of allowing for more efficient heating and cooling, due to their ability to diffuse rainwater and snowmelt, which can reduce air conditioning costs in the summer months. Although flat roofs may not last as long as other roof types, there is no denying that they can provide a beautiful look and practicality, which make them desirable for many applications. In fact, many experts agree that flat roofs are ideal for low-sloped applications and for applications requiring little slope.
One major drawback of flat roofs is that they are prone to having a reflective surface that catches and reflects UV rays, reducing the overall brightness of the building. For this reason, many architects and builders consider TPO (or Highly reflective Polyethylene) roofing to be superior to flat roofing, because it is highly reflective, allowing sunlight to pass through the roof’s surface while still providing adequate lighting. TPO products are also available in several bright white colors, which increase their appeal. However, it is important to note that although TPO may offer improved durability and appearance, it can also contribute to air conditioning costs.
TPO is made from expanded polystyrene (CS) or expanded polyurethane (CP), which are typically used to manufacture home insulation. Unlike regular insulation, which must be installed by a professional, TPO can be applied directly to the roof and be applied in one application using a single, slotted roller. This eliminates the need for repeated trips to a local insulation contractor. Moreover, because it is designed to reflect UV rays, which are considered harmful, the finished product has the potential to extend the life of an existing roof.
One key benefit of what is TPO is that it offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional, fiberglass-based single-ply roofing systems. While the TPO vinyl roof does require a thicker roof covering than traditional single-ply membrane roofing systems, it also offers increased strength and durability, as well as increased energy efficiency due to its reflective qualities. These benefits make what is TPO the most cost-effective and energy-efficient roofing option available today. In addition to this, what is TPO is a more environmentally friendly option compared to traditional roofing systems.
What is TPO, however, can have some drawbacks. Some homeowners prefer standard single-ply roofing systems due to lower installation time. Additionally, what is TPO usually requires additional ventilation and cleaning after installation, which can pose a safety issue. Moreover, since what is TPO can be applied directly to the roof and does not require a thick roof membrane, there is a higher risk of it leaking. For these reasons, it is often recommended that what is TPO be used on flat roofs only.