What is TPO Roofing?

If you need a practical and economic roofing option that will last for decades, then TPO roofing may be the best choice for your commercial facility or residential home. Made from relatively inexpensive recycled rubber, it is sold in various sized rolls that are held together at the seams with a heated adhesive. 

If you are thinking about using TPO or another form of rubber roofing on your home or business facility, this roofing material is best used on flat roofs and low-slope roofs. As a cost-effective and eco-friendly option, TPO roofing is a great go-to choice that is easy to maintain and will lower your energy costs, particularly during the summer months.

Here, we will discuss what TPO roofing is, why TPO roofing may be exactly what you need, and the typical TPO roofing costs in the United States.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roofing is a form of single-ply membrane roofing that is the most popular roofing material used for commercial facilities today, but can also be found in residential roofing. Unlike EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roofing, a black rubber single-ply membrane material, TPO roofing is usually bright white in color and provides a natural, UV reflective surface. It is made of single-layer sheets of rubber and other synthetic materials that are connected to the roof’s insulation for a greater layer of protection. 

Why You Need to Choose TPO Roofing

If you have a commercial building, TPO is ideal for its ability to protect the building from excessive heat and UV-ray exposure. Not only does it improve air ventilation, but it will also significantly reduce energy bills compared to PVC or EPDM commercial roofing systems.

Likewise, if you live in a residential home or building, TPO is a lightweight, versatile option that will consistently be able to stand-up to the effects of weather, such as corrosion, mildew, or dirt build-up.

Consider the Type of Roof

TPO roofing is best used on flat roofs and low-slope roofs that are less than 3 inches vertically for every horizontal foot. These types of roofs use TPO and other single-ply membrane coverings to resist the collection of standing water. Compared to traditional tar and gravel roofing options, TPO roofing provides flat and low pitch roofs with greater performance and value.

Color Options

Like other roofing options, TPO roofing materials are available in a wide variety of standard and customized colors and style options. White colored TPO roofing is the most eco-friendly for its ability to reflect heat and UV-rays, while gray and tan color options are also quite energy efficient. 

For a more stylish look that will not go unnoticed, TPO color palettes may also be available in a wide variety of colors. Commercial companies can attract customers with a decorative, colored roof or display a logo using colors ranging from browns, reds, blues, greens, and more.


The thickness of TPO roofing materials can vary depending on the manufacturer. Generally, TPO sheets tend to be wider and light weight, making the material easier to install and results in fewer seams seen upon completion.

When thinking about what TPO material is best for your roofing project, speak with one of our associates about what options will be long-lasting and come with a good warranty.


As a low-maintenance option, TPO roofing does not require pressure washing to withstand mold growth, rips, and perforations. However, it is important to keep your TPO roof clean to extend its life. To prevent the risk of personal injury or accidental damage to your roof and any equipment, it is often best to hire a professional roofing contractor every few months. 

To prepare for a TPO roof cleaning, be sure to cover any foliage near the building to protect it from any water and cleaning solution runoff. It is also important to have your roof inspected each year as part of your building’s annual maintenance routine. Catching potential maintenance problems early on can help you avoid significant, costly repairs in the future and help expand the roof’s lifespan.


Along with being resistant to certain weather damage, corrosion, breakdown, and algae growth, TPO roofing also has a Class A fire resistance rating and surpasses Energy Star ratings. Both of which play a significant role in the roof’s performance and speak to its high tensile strength that lasts decades.

These characteristics are what make TPO roofing a valuable option when considering the lifespan of your new roof. TPO commercial and residential roofing systems have a lifespan between 20 and 30 years when professionally installed and properly maintained. This is compared to other options, including PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and EPDM, which last no longer than 20 years on average. 

Cost of TPO Roofing

As noted, TPO is an exceptional option if you are looking for a reasonable price to replace your residential or commercial roofing system. In comparison to other rubber roofing systems, TPO is one of the most affordable materials on the market.

The cost of your roofing project will be dependent on several common factors. This includes the size of the roof, the condition of your current roof, the roof’s accessibility, roof penetrations (locations of AC units, chimneys, skylights, and air, combustion or plumbing vents), and the warranty that comes with the chosen materials.

According to Forbes in 2022, the average national cost of completing a commercial roof, including materials and labor, can cost anywhere between $3.50 and $14.00 per square foot, or an average of $12,000. This in part depends on the cost of rubber roofing insulation, which includes thickness and materials, along with flashing to prevent water leaks and the type of attachment system (attached, fastened, or ballasted).

If you are looking for an inexpensive, long-lasting option for replacing the roof of your commercial roof, TPO roofing may be the perfect option for your company. With 40 years of experience working with commercial customers, Shelby Roofing and Exteriors provides excellent service, quality installation, and long-term satisfaction. Connect with us today to discuss your commercial roofing project and receive a free estimate.