From Minor Repairs To Major Replacement

Tailored Solutions For Northern Wisconsin's Weather Challenges

Transparent, Friendly, And Hassle-Free Service

From Minor Repairs To Major Replacement

From Serving Our Country
to Serving Your Roof

Get Instant Quote call (920) 791-0414

What Is TPO Roofing (Pros and Cons With Cost)

Posted on May 17, 2024

tpo roofing

Over the years, the roofing industry has seen many new materials emerge, each promising better performance, durability, and cost-effectiveness. While some have faded into obscurity, others have stood the test of time and become industry standards. TPO roofing membranes, although a relatively recent addition, are quickly gaining popularity and taking over as a preferred choice for many projects.

Let’s dive into TPO roofing systems– an innovative solution making waves in modern construction. In this guide, we will go over what TPO roofing is, discuss its advantages and drawbacks, break down the costs, and more.

After reading this, you will be much more prepared to decide whether this is the right roofing material for your commercial flat roof.

What Is TPO Roofing? 

So, what is so special about this material that contractors and business owners are talking about? TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin, a synthetic compound that has many attractive properties.  

This is a predominant type of single-ply membrane roofing system characterized by its impressive balance between quality and affordability. Notably lightweight yet impressively durable, the material possesses significant resistance to UV radiation, chemical exposure, and general wear. It is composed of thermoplastic polyolefin membranes precisely engineered to maximize longevity and functionality. 

How Did TPO Come into existence?

TPO’s popularity started in the early 1990s when it was first introduced as a more economical alternative to PVC (polyvinyl chloride) roofing systems. Since then, continuous advancements in polymer sciences have significantly enhanced its capabilities.

Now comprising three layers – a base layer made of thermoplastics, a middle layer reinforced with polyester fabric for heightened durability, and a smooth top layer ensuring weather resistance – contemporary TPO retains its predecessor’s versatility but with considerably amplified strength and resilience. 

If you’re thinking about getting a TPO roof, it’s a great decision. It has several benefits, which we will cover next. 

Benefits of TPO Roofing Systems

When embarking on a roofing project, an array of options are available with various benefits. So why should you consider TPO as your top choice? Let’s explore the distinctive advantages that make TPO roofing membranes stand out from other flat roofing materials. 

TPO Roofing

High Performance

One of the unique strengths of TPO is its robust durability. Here are some of the features of this membrane roofing system that help it withstand severe conditions associated with states like Wisconsin. 

  • TPO roofs are designed to resist impact damage, punctures, and tears exceptionally well compared to other types on the market. 
  • They’re also highly tolerant to other aspects such as bacteria growth and debris buildup, so you will spend less time on maintenance and more time on your business. 
  • They have excellent resistance/reflectivity against harsh UV rays. 
  • TPO roofs are also class A fire-rated thanks to the fire-retardent chemical composition. 
  • Additionally, these membranes display fantastic flexibility over fluctuating temperatures. Whether it’s scorching hot or freezing cold outside, your TPO roof can handle it without warping or cracking.

Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact

The energy efficiency offered by TPO roofing systems is remarkable—it’s one characteristic that really steals the show. Flat roofs generally receive more sunlight, and too much UV exposure accelerates the wear and tear process.  

TPO roofing membranes are usually available in white, which helps reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it. This reflective property reduces the amount of heat transferred into the building. This feature allows it to keep homes cooler during sweltering summer months, consequently reducing reliance on air conditioners.

Not only are they efficient, but TPO is quite sustainable too. TPO roofs are 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan and most do not contain chlorine, which is better for the environment. 

So by opting for a TPO roof membrane, you will make a sound investment for your building and contribute towards mitigating environmental hazards too!


Practicality often comes hand-in-hand with cost-effectiveness, and this rings particularly true when considering TPO roofing systems. With prices falling well below many alternatives such as PVC and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), getting a high-quality roof does not have to break the bank. Furthermore, future savings via reduced energy bills provide additional long-term financial benefits.

Versatility in Colors and Designs

Back in the day, choosing a durable flat roofing material meant compromising on aesthetics. This is not the case with TPO roofing membranes. This material proves that functional building components don’t have to be unattractive, bland, or monotonous.

With a wide array of vibrant TPO roofing colors available, ranging from traditional white to unique green or blue options, there is potential for matching and elevating any architectural style perfectly. Plus, unlike some other materials, you’ll find that these colors stay bright over time thanks to their robust resistance to fading or discoloration—even under relentless sun exposure.

Overall, choosing a TPO roof offers economical benefits and an efficient energy-saving structure with customizable design flexibility. 

Limitations of TPO Roofing Systems

At Prestige Roofing, we follow the rule of transparency. Whichever material we discuss, we make sure that we provide you with the full picture, including the limitations. Like other alternatives, there are some downsides to TPO roofing membranes, including the following:  

Complex Installation

A TPO roof system requires specialized installation techniques and trained professionals to ensure proper sealing and water-tightness. Improper installation can lead to premature failure or leaks, negating many of the benefits of this roofing system. This is why it is essential to choose an experienced roofing company for your commercial roof. 

If you are unsure where to begin, read our guide: 6 Tips For Finding The Best Roofing Contractor In Wisconsin 

Newness Of The Roofing Material

One key factor is the newness of this roofing technology compared to more established options like EPDM or modified bitumen. TPO membranes have only been in use for a few decades, so there is less long-term data available on their performance and durability over extended periods, especially in different climates and environments.

Lifespan of a TPO Roof: What To Expect

Understanding the life expectancy of a roofing material is crucial, especially when it comes to a commercial building. TPO roofs have an impressive lifespan of around 20-30 years. 

However, the durability of TPO roofs should be viewed with some caution. The main reason is that these roofing systems have only been widely used since the 1990s. As mentioned above, as a relatively new technology, there isn’t extensive data available on their maximum lifespan.

Cost Analysis: What Is The Cost of a TPO Roofing System In Wisconsin? 

Let’s talk about one of the most important factors when choosing a roofing material: cost. Understanding the different elements that make up the total cost of installing a TPO roofing system is crucial. First, the cost of the TPO material itself can range from $3.50 to $5 per square foot, depending on its thickness and quality. A thicker membrane is generally more durable and leak-resistant, which could save you money on repairs in the long run despite the higher upfront cost.

For a 1,500-square foot flat roof you’re looking at an overall estimate of $8,000-$13,000 for a full TPO roofing system including both material and installation costs.

But it’s important to see beyond just initial expenses. When calculating the financial impact of your new roof:

  • Factor in long-term benefits such as durability (less frequent replacements) and energy efficiency (lower HVAC usage)
  • Consider possible warranties offered by manufacturers
  • Check if your choice qualifies you for any tax credits or rebates related to energy efficiency

Premier TPO Roofing Installers In Wisconsin

All in all, TPO is a very impressive option for your flat roof. It has a good lifespan, shows exceptional puncture and tear resistance, and is not very expensive. However, if you are installing a TPO roof you need to make sure that you hire a professional roofing contractor. 

With Prestige Roofing, you get the best TPO roof installation services in De Pere and the surrounding areas of Wisconsin. We use the best materials and can help analyze your building-specific factors such as wind loads, average rainfall, daily temperature changes, etc., which will influence your decision when choosing a suitable roofing material.

Other than TPO roofs, we also install EPDM roofs too. Contact us today at (920) 791-0414 to book a consultation with our experts.