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As building technology improves, the market sees an ever-increasing number of sophisticated roofing materials with improved water resistance, heat retention, reflective and damage-resistant properties. One of those materials is Thermoplastic PolyOlefin, known more commonly as TPO.
TPO has been quickly increasing in popularity as the single-ply roofing membrane material for flat roofs (along with many other applications, such as in automobile construction). Its many advantages with Boston commercial roof repair include energy efficiency, heat and sunlight reflectivity, as well as high resistance to corrosion and degradation from ozone, chemicals and ultraviolet radiation.
TPO is a blend of a number of plastic polymers, such as polyethylene, polypropylene and BCPP, as well as rubber and a range of various filler materials, which can include fiberglass, talc, carbon fiber and many others. In order to turn all these components into TPO, they are blended and treated at a temperature of around 220-270°C, as a continuous stream is formed with the help of a twin screw extruder. Other components can also be included as needed, to give the resulting membrane various additional properties.
TPO has a number of advantages compared to most other flat roofing materials, not just in terms of performance, but also when it comes to installation. TPO is flexible, both in the literal and metaphorical sense – it can be installed mechanically, glued onto a substrate or simply laid flat and weighed down with ballast (this can consist of concrete blocks, pavers, or simply loose gravel or river rock, though the last option is steadily falling out of favor).
As we’ve already mentioned, TPO’s desirable qualities include a high resistance to degradation from ultraviolet rays and ozone exposure.
The energy benefits from TPO membrane roofing are largely due to its reflective qualities, which reduce the amount of sunlight absorbed through the roof, therefore making the building cheaper and more energy-efficient to cool during hot seasons. A new TPO roof with no ballast will reflect in the range of 80-90% of the sunlight light that it receives, and retains reflectivity in the low 80% range after three years if cleaned properly. For comparison, the EPA’s Energy Star qualification criteria include an initial solar reflectance of 65% and greater for low slope (flat) roofs, and 50% reflectance after three years.
Given that there are many different kinds of TPO membranes with different properties – varying thickness, width, composition – you should consult us before deciding on a TPO manufacturer and product line. Call us today to find out what kind of TPO roofing is right for your building!