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Introduced to the roofing market in the early 1990s as a more economical and efficient alternative to PVC roofing products, TPO roofing systems are gaining in popularity these days, and for good reason, says Commercial Roofing Expert David Bade of Bade Roofing Company.
Now, with the new rib profile system available, TPO is experiencing even more popularity as seen on the Maryland Heights Community Center in St. Louis, MO, which boasts the country's largest Versico TPO Rib Profile roofing system to date. Bade Roofing crews installed the 60,300-square-foot roof in July 2016.
"This type of roof was selected for this facility for three main reasons. One, the community center is located adjacent to a busy highway and is highly visible, so having an aesthetically pleasing roof was a priority. Secondly, the facility's roof needed to be durable and able to withstand St. Louis' harsh weather conditions. And third, city officials wanted a roof that would provide solar reflection and be energy efficient," said Bade. "The TPO Rib Profile roof achieved all of these requirements."
As building owners and facility managers contemplate their roofing needs for future projects, it’s important to first understand TPO roofing systems and the pros of installing them, said Bade.
TPO is a single-ply roofing system consisting of a thermoplastic polyolefin membrane that’s comprised of three layers:
1. A TPO polymer base
2. A polyester-reinforced fabric center (scrim)
3. A thermoplastic polyolefin compounded top-ply
"There are several benefits to installing TPO roofing systems," Bade said. "One of them is its reasonable cost in both residential and commercial construction. Like PVC roofing, TPO roofing systems supply hot-air weldable seams and energy efficiency, but at a lower cost."
Another benefit of a TPO roofing system is its versatility, said Bade. "Business owners appreciate the fact that TPO is manufactured to look great on a variety of commercial building styles. They also appreciate that all colors of TPO roofing membranes are UV resistant. And you’re not limited to a white roof in order to enjoy energy saving and reflective properties. TPO roofing systems have white, light grey and black reflective color options," he said.
Durability is another benefit of TPO roofing systems. TPO membranes are flexible, allowing for a building’s movement and settling. TPO’s thermoplastic membranes resist dirt accumulation, mold growth, tears, impacts and punctures. Compared to other single-ply roofing products, TPO membranes handle a building’s thermal expansion and contraction much more effectively, Bade said.
A fourth benefit is its ease of installation. Because TPO membranes are manufactured with wider sheets and are lightweight, their roofing systems are easier to install and require less seams, said Bade. This also means less work and time associated with installation, translating into direct savings on installation costs.
Similarly, there are several benefits to installing a TPO Rib Profile roofing system. First, rib profile systems have aesthetic appeal.
"The Maryland Heights Community Center’s roof achieves the look of a standing-seam, metal roof with the TPO Rib Profile hot-air welded in a parallel pattern to the exposed surface of its TPO membrane," Bade said. "This design casts a distinctive shadow that can be seen from the ground or surrounding areas."
Additionally, TPO Rib Profile roofs stand up to harsh weather conditions, channeling rain water, sleet and snow better than other roofs, Bade said. The TPO Rib Profile is extruded from the same weather-resistant TPO compound as the TPO roofing membrane, ensuring comparable weathering characteristics. A 1/8” fiberglass reinforcing cord runs the length of each section for dimensional strength and stabilization. During installation, rib profile sections are joined together by non-corroding, fiberglass pins for continuity and compatibility throughout the application.
To learn more, visit www.baderoofing.com.