TPO roofs are a favorite roofing option amongst both home and business owners due to their unique properties. This roof type is relatively low maintenance and can last a long time when installed correctly. However, every now and then a tear in a TPO roof will happen and it is important to know how to handle that. Today we will be talking about what TPO roofs are, and what steps to take should a tear occur.
At Liberty Roofworks we believe that all home and business owners should have easy access to accurate and helpful roofing information. When a home or business owner is able to educate themselves on the realm of roofing, it makes them feel more confident in their investment as well as helps them make better-informed decisions for their roof. That is why we created our Learning Hub where we post new roofing-related content every single week. The topics can range from residential and commercial roofing all the way to solar panels and ways to extend the life of your roof. Check it out for yourself!
What is TPO roofing?
First, we need to understand what TPO stands for. TPO is short for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, but TPO is much easier to remember. TPO is a single-ply membrane that can come in white or black depending on the needs of your building. TPO roofs are used on both residential and commercial buildings and are installed in rolls and attached at the seams. TPO roofs tend to be the best option for roofs that are flat or have a low slope because they can easily handle standing water for periods of time.
Most roofs, especially residential buildings have roofs with higher slopes, meaning when it rains the water can run right down it and to the ground. With flat or low-slope roofs this doesn’t happen. Instead, the water will sit on the roof and that is why roof types like TPO are a great option. They are designed to handle water without it causing leaks or damaging the material. Materials such as most shingles on the other hand are not designed for this and instead will get easily damaged and need to be replaced.
Tears in TPO roofs
TPO roofs can experience tears from a few different things. Most commonly they occur from wildlife, strong hail, and debris from heavy storms. Sometimes wear and tear may be a cause, but that is not quite as common. When any of these things damage a TPO roof it is absolutely crucial that it gets addressed right away. Failure to fix a damaged TPO roof can result in even more damage and will cost you more money as time goes on.
When a tear happens in a TPO roof, the insulation of your roof is now exposed which means anything can get in it and cause damage. Insulation is not waterproof and the whole point of TPO roofs is to prevent water from reaching the insulation. Before you know it, a large portion of your roof’s insulation can be soaked unless the tear is fixed right away. When this happens your only option in most cases is to replace everything which takes time and money. We understand that it may be tempting to put it off, but remember that a repair is much cheaper than a replacement. Plus, you want to make sure you get the most out of your investment.
Now, you may not always be able to tell that there is a tear in your roof until it is too late. That is why routine roof inspections are so important, and professionals are trained on exactly what to look for. If a severe storm recently passed through and you are concerned, it never hurts to have an inspector come out and take a look. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to roof damage. When a tear is noticed early on, most of the time a simple repair is all that is needed.
Wrapping it up
TPO roofs have a lot of amazing qualities that make them unique from other roofing materials. However, every roof has its challenges and things to look out for and in this case, it is tears or punctures to the membrane. As long as you are sure to have at least two roof inspections a year as well as after any major weather event, you should be in the clear. Remember, never procrastinate fixing your roof should damage be found. We hope that you have a better understanding of what TPO is and what to do should you notice any damage.
We are here to help!
At Liberty Roofworks we understand how important a roof is to your building and how much of an investment it is. That is why we take what we do very seriously and we pride ourselves on our work. All of our roofers are professionally trained, licensed, and insured. No job is too big or too small for us and we are no strangers to installing and repairing TPO roofs.
Customer satisfaction is our top priority and we believe that all customers should be up to date on their roofing construction. That is why we inform our clients about the roofing process as it goes on and we are open to answering any questions at any point of construction.
This family-owned and operated business has been working on roofs for over twenty years, and that number just keeps increasing. Are you in need of any roof work? Whether it be for a commercial or residential building, we got you covered. We even offer solar panel installation! Contact us today and we will happily schedule an inspection for your roof where you can then discuss the next steps. With us, roofing is easy!
Frequently Asked Questions about TPO Roof Tears
We just gave you a lot of information about TPO roofing and it is perfectly normal to have some questions. Here are some of our most commonly asked questions about TPO roofs along with our answers. We also suggest checking out our Learning Hub where we have several other TPO-related articles posted.
Q: Can I install my TPO roof myself?
A: Yes, you technically can, but we strongly advise against that. TPO roofs are especially unique in the sense that it is easy to mess up. Any incorrect installation at any part can lead to soaked installation which would require a full replacement. Instead, we always suggest having a reputable local roofer with TPO installation experience come out to do the job. When professionally installed, you as a homeowner are protected by a warranty that you would not have if you did it yourself.
Q: Can I inspect my TPO roof myself?
A: Again, yes you can, but we strongly advise against that. Professional roofers know exactly what to look for and may spot issues that the untrained eye will not. It is very easy to overlook something that can lead to severe damage and cost a lot of money to fix. Not to mention, walking on roofs is dangerous and it is always best to leave it to the professionals.
Q: How long do TPO roofs last?
A: When installed correctly, TPO roofs can last up to 30 years. This is of course assuming they are properly maintained. This means having routine inspections and addressing any damage as soon as possible. You also want to make sure that your roof stays clean as dirt, leaves, and other debris can accumulate on it over time.
Q: Can I have a spray foam roof installed on top of my TPO roof?
A: The answer to this is both yes and no. No, you cannot have a spray foam roof installed directly on top of a TPO roof. However, you can have some type of board or second layer installed over the TPO roof and then use the spray foam. While this may save you money from having your roof torn off, it can cost you more money down the road. For example, say some type of damage occurred and went unnoticed. You will then have to have not one but potentially two roofs removed to address the damage. Either way, both roofs will have to go eventually and it is best to only have one roof installed at a time.
Q: How are TPO roofs installed?
A: The process of installing a TPO roof includes a few steps. First, assuming the existing roof is already removed, the insulation gets installed. Next, a cover board is installed over the insulation and is what the TPO will be installed on. Finally, the TPO gets installed in rolls and fitted to the size of the roof. The sheets of TPO are often long and wide and are installed at the seams. The seams are connected through various adhesives and glues, some requiring heat to install. Each roofing company may vary in their installation methods so it never hurts to ask how they seal the seams so that you know.