Which Is Better: TPO or PVC Roofing?

A man is working on the roof of a building, performing roof installation.

Although TPO and PVC roofing membranes have some overlapping characteristics, are they really interchangeable? While they may look the same, you’ll be surprised to find there are more differences than similarities between the two.

TPO roofing and PVC roofing belong to single-ply roofs (roofs that are made of one layer or “ply”) and are both classified as thermoplastic materials. These thermoplastic membranes are suitable for commercial applications, as they offer a massive reduction in heating and cooling costs – a big plus, if you ask us!

TPO vs. PVC Roofing

While TPO and PVC roofs are both thermoplastic, their material composition is quite different.

The High Resistance of TPO Roofing

Thermoplastic polyolefin, known in the roofing industry as TPO roofing, is a mixture of color pigments, ethylene-propylene polymers, ultraviolet radiation absorbers, and other elements required for the superior protection of both commercial and residential roofs.

A TPO roofing membrane has three different layers:

  • TPO polymer base,
  • Polyester-reinforced scrim (used for reinforcing roofing),
  • The top layer of thermoplastic polyolefin.

As a property owner, you have a wide variety of TPO roofing to choose from. It’s available in 4’, 6’, 8’, 10’, 12’, and 16’ widths by 100’ lengths, as well as in 45, 60, and 80 mil thicknesses. Also, you can find TPO roofing in different colors – white, tan, or gray, but it can be medium bronze, patina green, terra cotta, and slate gray as well.

The Flexibility of PVC Roofing

On the opposite side, PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride – a remarkable membrane known for its excellent chemical resistance.

Connected by a polyester reinforcing scrim, a PVC roof consists of two layers. The top layer contains additives that make this material UV-resistant, and the bottom layer has plasticizers for better flexibility.

PVC roof materials are also available in different widths – 40.5”, 81”, 5’, and 10’, with thicknesses of 50, 60, and 80 mil. Like TPO roofing, PVC roofs are available in different colors, including white, gray, and tan. Regarding installation, they are most often installed as fully adhered, but they can also be mechanically attached.

Which Is Better – TPO or PVC Roofing?

Both TPO and PVC roofs are considered “cool roofs”, due to the highly reflective materials used that help in reducing your building’s energy consumption. They are both relatively more straightforward to install than, for instance, built-up roofs.

Aside from that, they both offer chemical resistance; however, PVC roofing provides excellent chemical resistance and is nonreactive to most chemicals, whereas TPO roofing offers adequate protection.

Both roofs can also add fire resistance to their repertoire. As with chemical resistance, PVC roofs are generally more fire-resistant than TPO roofs, although both are kept up to code and abide by fire safety regulations.

Are TPO or PVC Roofing Membranes Right for Your Property? Revived Exteriors Has the Answer!

Don’t know who to call for TPO roofing in Chicago? Call Revived Exteriors, a respected roofing contractor in Chicago!

After consulting with us, you can expect us to give you the answers you’re desperately looking for, and if you opt for us, we’ll make sure to provide you with the best TPO or PVC roofing services you can find in Chicago.

You can count on our guidance throughout the entirety of your project’s journey – so get ready for a blend of innovation, convenience, and uncompromising quality when you hire us!

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