If you need a flat roof, you have a choice between TPO and EPDM roofing. You may have heard conflicting advice about which of these products is right for you. We’re here to compare TPO roofing vs. EPDM once and for all. We’ll tell you which you should choose based on your climate and budget.

What is TPO Roofing?

First, don’t confuse TPO roofing with the other popular types of roofing, PVC and modified bitumen. PVC is polyvinyl chloride, a kind of plastic. Modified bitumen is a plastized rubber. TPO is thermoplastic olefin, which is more environmentally friendly and simpler to install than PVC roofs. TPO is also more durable and easier to repair than modified bitumen roofing.

Not Just Any TPO

That being said, not all TPO roofing is the same quality. At Campbell Roofing we only approve of GenFlex TPO roofing.

GenFlex TPO exceeds every standard for flat roofing in California. Further, it is manufactured with a 12-foot wide sheet. This wider sheet means there are fewer seams on the roof, which means there is less room for error when sealing. Unlike other, older kinds of TPO, GenFlex also offers extreme weather and temperature resistance, which is good news in our hot climate!

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TPO Roofing vs EPDM

EPDM roofing is made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (or a kind of rubber.) Its primary advantage over TPO roofing is simply that it’s cheaper. Otherwise, EPDM roofing has worse performance and weaker seam strength, meaning there is a greater risk of water intrusion where the sections of roofing connect.

Though more expensive, we recommend TPO roofing over EPDM roofing simply because it offers better rain protection and better performance. You’ll get a longer lifespan from TPO, which helps to offset its higher cost. Plus, TPO is simpler to repair than EPDM. With TPO roofing, a repair job is as simple as cutting out and replacing the damaged sections.

We can install TPO roofing as peel-and-stick or with heat application, whichever best suits your roof.

When to Choose EPDM

While TPO is a better choice for most roof, there are a few circumstances where we may recommend EPDM roofing. For example, if you’re reroofing an exceptionally large roof, you may need to choose EPDM to stay under your budget.

Or, if you’re close enough to the coast that your roof will be exposed to salt and cold winds, EPDM may be a better choice to withstand these stressors than TPO. That being said, Metacrylic is an even better choice if your roof is exposed to coastal conditions.

What About Metacrylic?

While Metacrylic is neither TPO roofing or EPDM, it is among our two top choices for flat roofing in California. Metacrylic handles our climate perfectly, as it is resistant to high temperatures, earthquakes, salt spray and high winds. While Metacrylic is a newer roofing material, it offers superior weather protection for roofs in California. In fact, it is so durable that it is also used as ground cover, even under high traffic.

Which Roof is Right For Me?

If you’re still not sure which roof type in Palo Alto is right for you, reach out to us for a personalized recommendation.