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TPO vs EPDM roofing: Which is Better? (Comparison)

When it comes to choosing the right roofing material for your commercial or residential property, the options can be overwhelming. Two popular choices for a flat roof are TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roofing systems.

Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, making it essential to weigh your options carefully. That’s why we’ve gathered all the facts you need to know about the world of TPO and EPDM roofing, including:

  • Insights into what each roofing system is
  • Their respective pros and cons
  • A cost comparison
  • Tips for finding a qualified contractor to install your new roof

TPO vs EPDM…which one will be the right roofing system for you?

What is TPO Roofing?

Close look at TPO commercial roof

TPO roofing is a single-ply membrane roofing system made from a blend of ethylene propylene rubber and polypropylene. It is renowned for its energy efficiency, durability, and ease of installation. TPO roofs are typically white or light-colored, which helps reflect sunlight and reduce cooling costs. This roofing system is commonly used in commercial and industrial applications, but it can also be used in residential settings.

✅ Pros of TPO Roofing:

  • Energy Efficiency: TPO roofing reflects UV rays and heat, helping to keep your building cooler and reduce energy consumption, which can lead to lower utility bills.
  • Durability: TPO roofs are known for their resistance to UV radiation, ozone, and chemical exposure. They can withstand harsh weather conditions and have a longer lifespan compared to some other roofing materials.
  • Ease of Installation: TPO roofing is relatively easy and quick to install, which can save on labor costs.
  • Environmentally Friendly: TPO roofing is recyclable, making it an eco-friendly choice. It can be repurposed at the end of its life cycle.
  • Cost-Effective: TPO roofing is often more affordable than some other roofing options, making it a cost-effective choice for both installation and maintenance.

❌ Cons of TPO Roofing:

  • Vulnerable Seams: TPO roofs rely on seams for waterproofing, and if these seams are not properly sealed, they can be vulnerable to leaks.
  • Limited Color Options: TPO roofs are usually available in white or light colors, which may not be aesthetically pleasing to all property owners.
  • Potential for Shrinkage: In some cases, TPO roofing membranes can shrink over time, which may result in stress on seams and potential leaks.

What is EPDM Roofing?

Roof view of EPDM commercial roofing

EPDM roofing is another single-ply membrane roofing system that has been in use for decades. It is made from a synthetic rubber material called Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. EPDM roofs are known for their durability and longevity. They are commonly used in commercial and residential roofing applications.

✅ Pros of EPDM Roofing:

  • Longevity: EPDM roofs are known for their durability and can last for 20 to 30 years or more with proper maintenance.
  • Resistance to Weathering: EPDM is highly resistant to UV radiation, ozone, and temperature fluctuations, making it ideal for all weather conditions.
  • Low Maintenance: EPDM roofing requires minimal maintenance, reducing long-term costs. Periodic inspections and repairs are usually all that’s needed.
  • Versatility: EPDM roofing can be installed on various roof types, including flat and low-slope roofs.
  • Cost-Effective: EPDM roofing is competitively priced, making it an affordable option for many property owners.

❌ Cons of EPDM Roofing:

  • Installation Complexity: While EPDM roofing can be installed by experienced contractors, the installation process can be more labor-intensive and time-consuming compared to TPO.
  • Limited Color Options: Like TPO, EPDM roofing is typically available in black or white, which may not suit every aesthetic preference.
  • Vulnerable Seams: EPDM roofing relies on seams for waterproofing, and improper sealing of these seams can lead to leaks.

Cost Comparison

The cost of TPO and EPDM roofing systems can vary depending on factors such as the size of your roof, location, and the complexity of the installation. On average, TPO roofing tends to be slightly more affordable than EPDM roofing. TPO’s ease of installation can contribute to lower labor costs, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious property owners. However, it’s important to note that both roofing systems offer long-term cost savings due to their durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements.

To get an accurate cost estimate for your specific project, it’s recommended to request quotes from reputable roofing contractors in your area. They can assess your roofing needs, provide cost estimates, and help you make an informed decision.

Finding a Qualified Contractor

Choosing the right roofing contractor is crucial to the success of your roofing project, regardless of whether you opt for TPO or EPDM roofing. Here are some steps to help you find a qualified contractor:

Downward aerial view of flat commercial roofing


Start by researching local roofing contractors. Look for companies with a good reputation, positive reviews, and a track record of successful roofing installations.

Ask for Recommendations

Seek recommendations from friends, family members, or colleagues who have recently had roofing work done.

Check Credentials

Ensure that the contractor is licensed, insured, and bonded. This protects you in case of accidents or unexpected issues during the project.

Request Multiple Quotes

Contact several contractors and request detailed quotes for your roofing project. Compare their pricing, materials, and warranties.

Review Past Work

Ask the contractors for references or examples of their past roofing projects. This can give you a sense of their work quality.

Verify Experience

Ensure that the contractor has experience with the specific roofing system you plan to install (TPO or EPDM).

Get a Written Contract

Once you’ve chosen a contractor, obtain a written contract that outlines all project details, including costs, timelines, and materials.

Learn More About Commercial Roofing Systems

Choosing between TPO and EPDM roofing ultimately depends on your specific needs, budget, and aesthetic preferences. Consider your priorities and consult with a qualified roofing contractor to make an informed decision.

Want to learn about all the options that are available for your commercial facility? Anchor Point Roofing can help! Contact us today to learn about TPO, EPDM, and more!

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