When it comes to flat roofing materials for commercial buildings, thermoplastic polyolefin, often shortened to TPO, is one of the most popular options available in the commercial roofing market. This rubberized roofing material is made from recycled rubber and manufactured in rolls. When installed, the edges of these rolls are heat-sealed together to form an impenetrable bond. Though it's popular, is TPO right for your building? Here are a few pros and cons to consider as you make your choice.



One of the most desirable characteristics that contribute to TPO's popularity as a material for flat commercial roofing is its cost. It is less expensive than other flat roofing materials such as EPDM or PVC roofing. You can expect to pay between $3.50 and $14 per square foot, depending on the chosen thickness.

Energy Efficient

TPO has the option of a white top membrane and that helps reflect a significant amount of sun and heat, making it a very energy efficient material. You can save significantly on cooling costs in the summer months.

Low Maintenance

Another major benefit of choosing TPO for a commercial building is its low maintenance. It requires very little in terms of cleaning or repairs. You won't have to worry about mold or mildew, punctures, or leaks.

Easy Installation

One reason for the reasonable price tag for TPO is that it's so simple to install. It can be glued or nailed to any surface or held in place with ballast like gravel or rocks. The seams are heat-welded together using hot air. That means labor costs are low.


New Technology

One disadvantage of TPO is that it's a relatively new product and that means there is little known about its longevity or ability to hold up under extreme wear and tear.

Installation Problems

Most problems with TPO arise because of poor installation. That's why it's vital to choose a roofing company that is knowledgeable about the product and one that has prior experience with TPO installation. Repairs to seams after the fact can be costly.

Limited Color Options

One disadvantage of TPO, when compared to other flat commercial roofing options, is that it's only available in a few color options. For that reason, it's not quite as versatile where design is concerned.

High Heat Issues

TPO is not ideal for climates with extreme heat. Extreme heat can cause serious issues with the membrane so it is best suited for installation on commercial buildings in temperate to cold climates.

For more information regarding commercial flat roofing, contact a local company.