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EPDM vs. TPO Roofing: Which is better?

EPDM vs. TPO Roofing: Which is better?

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You’re undoubtedly wondering which is better for you: EPDM or TPO roofing, but you’re not sure what attributes to look for. After all, having a roof over your head and being able to pay for it is the most important thing. 
A comparison between EPDM and TPO reveals the innate details of each option. Although either one of them could be the perfect choice for you, the installation process matters a lot. Thankfully, Roof Master experts can help you with installation services. 
Improper installation of either of the two options will not deliver the expected results. Roofing can be costly, but you should never compromise on quality. Each of the roofing alternatives has qualities that you will find enticing. 
This article will reveal what makes either EPDM or TPO roofing better. But first, read through this brief description of what either roofing alternative is about. 

What are EPDM and TPO? 

EPDM is Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, a synthetic product of oil and natural gas. It comes in large sheets and rolls. Installation for EPDM requires using adhesive, fasteners, or ballasting. 
TPO is Thermoplastic Polyolefin and is famous for commercial roofing. TPO contains a single layer of synthetics and is rubber instead of plastic. It’s available in white. Installation for TPO Involves adhesives, fasteners, or welding. 

EPDM vs. TPO: A Detailed Comparison Based on Various Qualities 

Knowing what makes up each of the roofing alternatives is just the beginning. Considering factors like your location and the longevity of either of the choices can help you know what’s better. 
If that’s not enough, here is a comparison of the various qualities of the two that will help you know what to choose. 


EPDM is an economical roofing material if you want to have a single-ply roofing membrane installed. When it comes to cost, TPO is generally more expensive than EPDM. 
Single-ply roofing may not always be the best choice if you consider other factors like the weather when installing your roof. Investing in a thicker membrane may not be a bad idea once you look at it that way. 
You can get it in thicker fractions, as it guarantees durability and delivers better performance. Although TPO is more expensive, you might have to pay more for repairs if you ignore it as an available alternative for your roof. 


Given that EPDM has been in use longer than TPO, the contractor can certify its durability. After installation, an EPDM roof lasts up to 25 years. Its longevity is that it has adequately tapered seams and detailed flashings. 
EPDM’s construction ensures that it can tolerate UV rays, oxidants, and different weather conditions. TPO has a structure that is just as tough as EPDM. TPO is three times stronger than EPDM, according to manufacturers. 
Issues in durability for TPO come in because there are several varieties of TPO, each with its formulation that may tamper with durability qualities. TPO has a hard time withstanding weather changes and impacts. 


Installation for EPDM is easier and faster than for TPO. With EPDM, the roofing experts unfold them and iron them to fit the shape of a roof. Attaching the EPDM to the frame requires adhesives, fasteners, or ballast. There is no special equipment required. 
TOP needs hot air welding. You will have to secure a mechanical system, especially with a flat roof. Also, prepare to pay extra for the special equipment used in installation and its specialized labor. 
Unlike with EPDM, a beginner roofing contractor cannot have enough skill to install TPO. Avoid shortcuts and look for cheaper contractors to install your roof to avoid leaks and costly repairs. 


You will never have to pay much for maintenance if you have a properly installed roof. It’s essential to ensure proper technique and use of adhesive when installing an EPDM roof to eliminate the need for frequent repairs. 
As long as it’s clear of solvent and oils, maintenance is only a requirement when it happens as scheduled. Ensure that you keep it free of any petroleum solvents, abrasives, or citric cleaners to avoid damaging an EPDM roof. 
TPO is problematic for installation as it requires welding. Over time the compounds in TPO age and lose their flexibility and thermoplastic abilities. Maintenance and repairing old membranes requires an activator which is a complication. 

Energy Efficiency 

TPO membranes are famous for their energy efficiency capability. You can get TOP roofing in white with cooling technology. Other varieties of TPO also have reflective properties to ensure there is no spike in your cooling costs. 
Consider white TPO roofing a proper chive if you live in a sunny region. Likewise, EPDM roofing is available in white and can also reflect heat. However, its energy efficiency performance is not as impressive as TPO’s. 

Life Span 

The method of attachment of overlapping seams on a single ply roofing membrane is one of the things that determine its lifespan. Attaching the overlapping seam is the best way to go in that context, and so the fact that it prevents leaks. 
TPO roofing is a relatively new roofing product, so there hasn’t been much research into its longevity yet. The oldest TPO membranes to date are no more than 15 years old. It is experimental. EPDM has been around longer and can last up to 25 years. 

Final Words 

Choosing the proper roof necessitates a thorough examination of all available information on the product. Still, there are three crucial variables to consider before opting on any option. While EPDM is equally inexpensive as TOP, their resistance to weather changes varies.. 
Get something that can withstand weather changes suitable for you in terms of cost. Your contractor can guide you to know what you have to expect from EPDM and TPO. Take up the measure of what you will accommodate in terms of shortcomings of EPDM or TPO and have a roof of your dreams. 


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