EPDM and TPO Membranes Face Off in Roofing Covering Comparison

Man working on the PVC roofing membranes

Commercial and residential properties are leaning toward flat roofs. This means everyone needs a lesson or two about contemporary roofing members. Let us compare and contrast two of the most popular options.

Why flatten it?

Roofing expert jacoroofing.com states that flat roofs exist because they look great and they are convenient. Having a flat roof over a recently added wing makes sense because the form harmonizes easily with the rest of the property.

Nevertheless, flat roofs pose a challenge especially since they can be more prone to water leaks than their pitched counterpart can.

EPDM rubber membrane roofs

Flat roofs with little to no pitch are prone to interior leaks from water seeping under tiles and shingles. Rubber membranes, specifically EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) membranes, today protect most flat roofs in America. The material is affordable and easy to install, hence its popularity.

Homeowners can install the product themselves because it does not require special tools or skills. However, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned with a chemical and wiped dry. They come in wide rolls, which make seamless installation possible.

One of the main disadvantage of EPDM as a flat roof covering is the heat gain due to absorption of the black-colored material of heat, which makes the adhesive at the seams less effective, and probably increases the temperature of the roof itself.

TPO vinyl or PVC roofing membranes

For a more secure bond, the heat welding used to glue together TPO membranes is more effective and reliable than the adhesive used in rubber coverings. Another advantage of TPO membranes is the lack of heat gain and cleaner and smoother finish.

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Unfortunately, despite the better seal and hold, this material tends to shrink and may be more prone to tearing. They are also more expensive than EDM rubber.

A roofing contractor in Houston can give you a head up on current options for creating an effective barrier that makes a flat roof impenetrable to rainwater and snow-melt. Follow sound advice from roofing professionals.