TPO vs. EPDM

WHY TPO (AND WHY NOT EPDM)?

LOOKING FOR A DURABLE, RELIABLE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT LOW-SLOPE ROOF? TORN BETWEEN EPDM AND RISING INDUSTRY FAVORITE TPO?


Consider this:
TPO systems have grown from a tiny share of the single-ply roofing market to the #1 choice, making up more than 50% of the single-ply market.

Need more reasons? How about five.

1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY

In buildings that use natural gas heat and electric air conditioning, reflective TPO can save money on energy costs* compared to dark EPDM. This is true in the sun belt as well as the snow belt, thanks to the simple fact that the color of the roof only matters in sunlight. And when the snow melts, an EPDM roof becomes a dark, heat-absorbing sponge — just when you want to reflect sunlight away.

On average, electricity costs 4 times more, per BTU, than natural gas. That doesn’t even include electricity demand charges, which can account for 30-70% of a total electricity bill. Want to know more? Check out our Cool Roofing page.

2. PUNCTURE RESISTANCE

Punctures often equal leaks. EverGuard® TPO offers greater puncture resistance than reinforced EPDM – up to three times the puncture resistance of non-reinforced EPDM of the same thickness.**

3. INSTALLATION CONVENIENCE

TPO is a versatile membrane and can be installed in a variety of ways including mechanically attached, adhered, and with the RhinoBond® System. RhinoBond® is an electromagnetic induction welding system and cannot be used with thermoset products such as EPDM. It’s a great way to achieve the look and performance of an adhered system when it is too cold to use adhesives.

GAF offers many different adhesives to install both smooth and fleece-back membranes, including low-VOC options. Install fleece-back TPO in as low as 25°F with LRF M Low-Temperature Adhesive.

REPAIRS

TPO is thermoplastic, so you can heat-weld seams, and it’s ideal for repairs. Simply clean the membrane and heat-weld directly to it. EPDM cannot be welded and cannot be re-taped when the weather is too cold to use primer and adhesives, requiring a temporary fix until the weather warms up. 

4. DIMENSIONAL STABILITY

TPO has better dimensional stability than EPDM. EPDM is more likely to shrink which can cause a variety of problems on your roof.

 

 

5. SEAM STRENGTH

An effective roofing system depends on strong seams. EverGuard® TPO’s welded seams are stronger than taped EPDM seams. By welding the seams, TPO becomes one monolithic membrane across the entire roof.

Make EnergyGuard® TPO Your First Choice for:

  • Puncture Resistance
  • Dimensional Stability
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Installation Convenience
  • Seam Strength

EPDM can't offer you all that.

GAF offers a full line of EverGuard® TPO membranes, the best-performing TPO in accelerated aging in the largest independent TPO study ever conducted.

Find out more about GAF EverGuard® TPO including:

  • EverGuard® TPO
  • EverGuard Extreme® TPO
  • EverGuard Extreme® and EverGuard® TPO Fleece-Back Membrane
  • EverGuard® Freedom™ TPO
  • EverGuard® TPO Colors

*Energy cost savings are not guaranteed and the amount of savings may vary based on climate zone, utility rate, roof reflectance, insulation levels, HVAC equipment efficiency, and other factors.

**GAF commercial roof warranties and guarantees do not cover puncture damage. The Everguard® TPO Puncture Resistance Limited Warranty may be available for purchase for qualifying systems. Contact GAF Technical Services at 877-GAF-ROOF for availability, coverage, and restrictions.