30 Jul

TPO or PVC Roofing – What is the difference?

Single-ply roofing is the “go to” choice for most commercial businesses these days. Many of our commercial roofing clients in the Houston and Dallas areas state affordability as the primary reason. Once the decision to use single-ply is made, the next topic is roofing materials. The two choices are TPO roofing and PVC roofing. Both are effective and energy efficient, but there are important differences between the two options. Let’s look at the materials used in their construction.

What is PVC roofing material?

PVC (Polyvinylchloride) is a roofing material used primarily for commercial buildings. Highly energy efficient, PVC works well for flat roofs. PVC is composed of two main components: ethylene and chlorine. Either petroleum or natural gas is used to produce the ethylene portion and salt is processed to create the chlorine (in a similar process used in saltwater pools). For roofing, two layers of PVC are bonded together using reinforced scrim. Additives are used to make the product UV resistant and flexible.

PVC roof material is composed of two layers of PVC with a polyester reinforcement scrim in between. The top ply contains additives that make the membrane UV resistant. The top layer is typically white (to reflect as much heat as possible, but several colors are available) and contains plasticizers, making the sheet flexible.  This is adhered to a base sheet of the same material for added strength.

What is TPO roofing material?

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is used for commercial building and is known for being easy and quick to install. Three layers make up the TPO material. It starts with a polymer base. The second later is a polyester-reinforced fabric core. The top layer consists of a thermoplastic polyolefin compounded top ply. The fillers vary by manufacturers but can include talc, fiberglass, carbon fiber, wollastonite, and Metal Oxy Sulfate.

PVC vs. TPO – Which is better?

The right choice for a building depends on your specific situation. If you want the lowest cost, need to ward off fungus/mold, or seek the most environmentally friendly product, look at TPO first. If fire resistance (especially in wood framed construction), long-term product flexibility, or chemical resistance (common for restaurants) is a priority, PVC is likely the best choice.

Regardless of the product, keep in mind the quality of the installation is equally important as the material. For your Dallas or Houston developments, only use a trusted commercial roofing installer, like Peak Roofing & Construction, that guarantees both the products it uses and the workmanship.

About Peak Roofing & Construction

Peak Roofing & Construction is family-owned, with 30-years of experience. Bonded, insured and accredited, we provide roofing, gutter, fence, window and exterior facelift services. Guaranteed. Call (972) 335-7325 in Dallas-Fort Worth (residential & commercial) or 281-290-7325 in Houston (commercial roofing).

Jeff Riss

Jeff Riss

Jeff has 20 years of sales experience, a love of roofing, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He leads Peak Roofing & Construction’s team but also is known for getting his hands (and knees) dirty on a job site. His passion for customer service, integrity, and quality craftsmanship drives his success. Peak Roofing & Construction is a family-owned, locally-operated business focused on doing things the right way. His deep understanding of roofing, gutters, windows, fences and exterior painting provide a strong foundation for running the business and serving his customers.
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