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Comparing TPO and PVC Industrial Roofing

Commercial roofing is an important part of every building, but many people are not sure exactly how it is different from residential roofing. When trying to decide on what kind of materials to use for your Austin commercial roofing, you have several different choices, and if you have no idea what these roof types are then you might just leave it to a roofing contractor or architect to decide. In those cases you might end up with a great roof or you might end up with just an okay roof, so it’s good to know the differences so you can ask the right questions and make an educated decision. Here is a quick comparison of two popular choices, TPO and PVC.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

This is a rubber roofing material that is a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene. It is one of the most popular commercial roofing materials used today, primarily because:

  • It is affordable relative to other commercial roofing options
  • It is white so it offers additional savings and benefits by reflecting heat and keeping cooling costs down in the building
  • It is resistant to puncturing and weathering, as well as microbial growth

This type of roofing can be installed on your commercial building in Austin either mechanically attached (screwing it on) or fully-adhered (glued to the roof). It comes in a variety of different sizes, generally in rolls that are 8 feet wide and 50 to 100 feet long so you can customize it to the size of your commercial roofing. You can also customize the thickness between 45 mils and 90 mils. Seams are often glued or heat-welded together, but it is critical that you hire a qualified Austin commercial roofing company to install it. One of the primary reasons that roofing fails, especially commercial roofing, is improper installation.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

This material is made from the chemical reaction polymerization, produced when ethylene reacts with oxygen and hydrochloric acid. It is more elastic and pliable than the PVC pipes that you might think of when you hear the name, but still very durable. During the installation process it is generally mechanically attached at the edges and heat-welded at the seams. This creates a very durable single structure that is resistant to puncturing and moisture, as well as extreme heat. Sizes range from 36 to 90 mils and rolls are available between 5-12 feet wide and 50-100 feet long.

PVC roofing also comes in colors like white, gray, or tan, and has the same cooling properties that prevent too much heat from getting trapped in the building.

With both TPO and PVC roofing it’s important to remember that not all roofing is created equal. Some manufacturers offer higher quality while others offer lower quality. As mentioned previously, installation is also critical to the success of your Austin commercial roofing. Hiring qualified installers can be the difference between a great roof and one that leads to problems down the road.

When choosing the right system for Austin commercial roofing, consult with a qualified roofing contractor to make sure you know the pros and cons of each and can pick the one that is right for you.