What Is the Difference Between EPDM and TPO Roofing?

A quality, single-ply membrane roof is a must-have for any commercial, retail, or manufacturing building. The two most common types are EPDM and TPO roofing.

Difference Between EPDM and TPO Roofing

Understanding which roof is best for your commercial building is an important part of managing your business. Quality roofing not only protects the interior of your facility but also boosts your space’s energy efficiency. 

What is:

TPO Roofing

Thermoplastic Polyolefin roofing, also known as TPO roofing, is one of the most popular choices for commercial roofs. According to industry insiders, TPO roofing currently takes up 40% of the market, which is impressive considering how new it is.

A single layer of synthetics and reinforcing scrim allows TPO roofing to provide an even, durable cover for flat roofs

EPDM Roofing

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, also referred to as EPDM, is one of the longest-tenured roofing materials. EPDM roofing dates back to the 1960s, making it a tried-and-true material. It’s estimated that 60% of new commercial roofs are EPDM.

EPDM is popular due to its flexibility, thickness, and color choices. It’s available in 45, 60, and 90 mils (a measure of thickness). You can also choose between black and white when you opt for an EPDM roof.

How Are TPO Roofs Installed?

There are a few ways roofing contractors can install a TPO roof. The first is mechanical attachment, a method using plates and screws. Mechanical attachment is best suited for areas that experience high winds.

Roofing contractors can also install a TPO roof using a liquid adhesive, tar mopping, or a fleece-backed system with a two-part foam.

How Are EPDM Roofs Installed?

Roofing contractors can install EPDM roofs through the use of plates and screws or a liquid adhesive. Roofing contractors can also use a ballast installation method, such as the type used on tar and gravel roofs.

No matter which type of single-ply membrane roof you choose, the roofing contractor will use specialized tape to cover the seams.

What Are Some Benefits of:

TPO Roofing:

Since TPO adheres directly to the roof, its durability is one of its biggest benefits. The attachment method protects it from wind damage, and it lasts between 15 and 20 years with little maintenance.

The installation process is much quicker and more affordable than comparable products. 

EPDM Roofing:

Business owners look at their bottom line, which is why EPDM remains the most popular – it’s the cheapest option.

EPDM roofing is also durable, lasting between 20 and 25 years. In addition, EPDM roofing is both environmentally friendly and energy efficient. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How much does TPO roofing cost?

TPO roofing costs between $3.50 and $9.50 per square foot. Based on national averages, TPO roofing costs between $7,000 and $11,500 to install.

How much does EPDM roofing cost?

Typical EPDM roofing costs between $4.50 and $5.50 per square foot. Based on national averages, installing EPDM roofing costs between $6,000 and $10,000.

Is it easy to repair an EPDM or TPO roof?

It is uncommon to experience roofing issues if your TPO or EPDM roof is less than 15 years old. After that point, it is possible for seams to disconnect. If you notice water damage in your commercial facility, contact a roofing contractor who can reapply seam tape to the roof, which should remedy the issue.

Both EPDM and TPO roofs are great choices for business owners. You should speak to a roofing contractor in your area about which type of single-ply membrane roof is the right choice for your commercial facility.