EPDM and TPO are the most popular commercial roofing materials–but which one is best? If you’re planning a roof replacement project and not sure which material to choose, read on as MASCON Inc. provides a comparative guide to EPDM and TPO roofing.
EPDM, which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, is more affordable than TPO, with an average cost of $0.6 per square foot. Manufacturers make EPDM by recycling rubber, such as from old tires, and mixing it with filler material like sawdust. This makes the end product dense and sturdy. This is why it’s common for roof inspection technicians to see EPDM still in operation even 30 years after installation.
While EPDM is certainly cost-effective, it’s not the most attractive. It only comes in one color—black—reminiscent of car tires. This is somewhat irrelevant in flat roofing, as you won’t usually see the roof. However, the dark color makes the roof more susceptible to heat retention and subsequent warping, which is detrimental to businesses in hot climates like Texas.
TPO, or thermoplastic olefin, is somewhat more expensive, but it’s more attractive and better at resisting heat. TPO integrates advanced properties like “cool” roofing and UV-reflective panels. This means that even if you choose a darker-colored TPO roof, you won’t suffer from the warping and “melting” that EPDM suffers from. Like EPDM, TPO has a life span of up to 30 years.