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When people opt for flat roofing solutions like EPDM, PVC, or TPO, it’s always because it stacks too many advantages that are so irresistible to ignore.

People for ages build houses to live comfortably. Having a ‘roof’ under your head is so important. But what’s even more important is having a roofing system that can protect your home or products/merchandise,your employees, as well as your clients/customers for a long time to come. Roofing materials like TPO, PVC, and EPDM has over time, proven to be an energy and money saving option for your home. They maintenance and repairs are less demanding than others. Above all, when applied as a flat roofing solution, it affords building owners with so many luxuries such as green options, solar, and additional space for recreational purposes.

If you’re in the market for a new roofing system, you will come to understand that there are many options to pick from. Amongst all these, TPO, PVC, and EPDM are the most prominent for flat roofing.

PVC, EPDM, Or TPO, How Do You Decide?

When evaluating roofing materials for your next flat or low steep roofing, it’s much easier to get confused. You may even end up leaving that decision for your local roofer. Although the PVC, TPO, and EPDM are the standard roofing materials for flat roofs and share remarkable similarities, they also have apparent differences. By understanding the benefits and pitfalls of each material, you can easily come up with a better choice that is in line with your needs.

We will look closely at TPO, EPDM, and PVC roofing. In the end, you will easily point out which one is the best well-rounded material for your roof.

TPO Roofing

As a homeowner,hoping to install a membrane roofing (single-ply membrane roofing)that will be energy efficient, budget-friendly, and dependable, consider going with the TPO roofing.  The TPO is heavily praised for seamlessly having the positive sides of its two other direct siblings, the PVC and EPDM roofs, without having much of its serious drawbacks. TPO is one flat roofing material that you can’t easily spot its flaws.

However, before you run with the idea of a TPO for your home or commercial building, you may have to take your time and peruse through its benefits and drawbacks. And also compare them to that of its siblings.

What is TPO?

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a single-ply roofing membrane that can be used for both residential and commercial roofing. It was introduced as a more efficient and sparing alternative to the already booming PVC roofing material. The TPO is much tin and light in weight, yet much durable and flexible enough to adjust tothe varying climate. Technically, the TPO is composed of polymer, polyethylene, polypropylene, BCPP, rubber, and a reinforcement filler. Some of the common fillers used include talc, fiberglass, carbon fiber, wollastonite, and Metal Oxy Sulfate.

TPO remains one of the best flat roofing materials because it is much flexible like the EPDM, and has heat weldable seams just like the PVC. Its ability to reflect heat waves makes it an energy-efficient option.

Benefits of TPO Roofing

One great advantage of installing TPO over the likes of PVC and EPDM roofing in both residential and commercial roofing lies in its cost. It is the least expensive option between the EPDM, PVC, and any other rubber roofing.

Installing TPO takes lesser work time and resources, which will save you a lot in the cost of installation.

In most cases, TPO roofs can last for over ten years. Aside from that, they are resistant to mildew or algae growth, dirt build-up, punctures, and tears as well. They also handle thermal expansion and contraction astutely.

TPO is UV resistance. The membrane’s often white reflective surface leads to lower cooling costs.

TPO is made from environmentally friendly materials. Also, it is available in different color options, which are all reflective.

Disadvantages Of TPO Roofing

PVC Roofing

The PVC roofing is another famous option for many flat or gently sloping roof projects, and it affords a lot of benefits. Knowing its advantages, especially compared to the others, will help you arrive at the best decision.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing membranes, just like other single-ply membranes, can be mechanically attached or even fully-adhered or ballasted. This roofing system is relatively flexible and made to eliminate seams and joints. It is also very easy and quick to install, durable, and resistant to tears and punctures.

PVC membranes are typically heat-welded at the seams, which is even better than a glued or taped seam. The need for hot air welded seams rather than adhesives further makes the PVC more peculiar.

Made by three layers of material that feature PVC material reinforced with polyester backdrop between, PVC is much stable under extreme heat or cold weather and also much resistant to the growth of any fungi or plant materials, chemicals, and tears.

However, care should be taken not to bring the PVC in contact with any asphalt material. If there’s ever a need to install a PVC with an asphalt-based product, your local roofing contractor will use separator sheets.

Benefits Of The PVC Roofing

If you’re looking for a single-ply membrane that will last for a long time, try the PVC membrane. Its hot-air welded seams add to the durability and strength of this roofing system.

Thanks to its hot-air welded seams, when a professional roofer installs it, you won’t have to spend much on repairs and maintenance throughout its service life.

With its hot-air welded seams and renowned strength, PVC roofs are highly resistant to winds. It also does not encourage combustion and is hardly damaged by chemicals and toxins.

PVC roofing is recyclable, and its reflective properties help to lower energy costs.

Disadvantages Of PVC Roofing

One of the remarkable disadvantages of the PVC roofing system is its high cost of installation.

EPDM Roofing

The ethylene propylene dieneterpolymer (EPDM), commonly known as rubber roofing or rolled rubber,is made up of recycled tires, slate dust, and sawdust.

EPDM roofing membrane is a tough roofing material that is highly resistant to chemicals and all harsh weather conditions. Regardless of the weather condition in your region, you can trust EPDM roofing to offer you the best protection from the elements.

The EPDM roofing system is a thermoset; it doesn’t need welded seams. The seams are mostly glued with adhesive or butyl seam tape.

Advantages Of The EPDM Roofing

Compared to the PVC, the EPDM is a much pocket-friendly option. It’s one of the cheapest among the PVC, TPO, and EPDM comparison. However, it is best to contact your local roofer for a free estimate.

EPDM roofing is so simple and straightforward to install that you can even attempt a DIY. It is still best to leave the job to a professional roofer near you.

When properly installed, it can last for decades as there are very resistant to heat, water, and wind.

EPDM has high reflective properties leading to reduced energy costs. Also, its materials can be easily recycled.

Disadvantages Of EPDM Roofing

TPO, PVC Or EPDM: Which Should My Roofing Contractor Install For Me?

Most times, even the renowned best product will still fail to live up to expectation if not correctly installed. Getting a roof that will serve you best involves installing the best product and, more importantly, hiring a professional roofing contractor to do the job. Without any of these, for you to get the best value you pay for, pigs might fly.

Regardless of if its PVC, TPO, or EPDM that suites best with your needs, always make sure you do your homework before running with any of them. Also, contact a local roofer near you to do the service.

If you need to install any of these roofing systems, contact us at 118-35 Queens Blvd Forest Hills, NY 11375 (718) 414-6067 https://www.nycrenovators.com/ for your free estimate.

Flat roofs are one of the most popular roofing designs and yet still one of the best investments for most of the facilities. However, the type of materials used for the flat roofs depends a lot on your locality. For instance, in hot areas where rainfall is scarce, the flat roofing could be constructed with some cement or even brickwork.

Basically, this is because such materials help to deter the hot temperatures. More to that, they are inexpensive as well as easier to install since wooden materials are inaccessible in such areas. On the same note, in locations that are cold and are likely to rain more often some other materials could be used.

The major reason behind this is that: a lot of water could in some cases lead to breaking up of the stonework, cement or the concrete used in the construction of the roof. This being the case, such roofs may not be so suitable in a location that experiences a lot of rainfall. Therefore, below we will discuss everything that you would like to know about the flat roofs.

The Three Major Types of Flat Roofs

Normally, a flat roof would last up to 10 all the way to 20 years. However, when the flat roofing installation is up to very high standards, it can add a few years to the life. That is because it’s not only the quality of the roof installed that matters, with the addition of a professional touch, you will have a roof that will serve you for 20 years or more.

  1. The build Up Roof

Well, this type of low sloped roof is one that is crafted from either 3 or more layers of materials that are water resistant. More to that, these materials are alternated with hot tar as well as ballasted with a layers of what resembles the smooth and flat river stones. With this type of a roof in your premises, you get to make use of more advanced construction materials which include the membranes of fiberglass.

Pros of The Build Up Roof

Cons of The Build Up Roof

  1. The Modified bitumen

Unlike the previous flat roof style, this one is a single-ply folded roof that resembles the ice and water protections shields although its surface area is saturated with a mineral based wear. This type of a roof could be installed with the cold adhesives, the asphalts or the common torch method.

Pros of The Modified bitumen

Cons of The Modified bitumen

  1. The Rubber Membrane

Also known as the EPDM which stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, a rubber that resembles a good inner pipe. The only difference with this one is that it has a property that is resistant to harm from the sun rays. The EPDM is one type of a roof that has very easy installation procedures which include gluing, or mooring it mechanically with nails or ballasting it alongside the stone.

Pros of The Rubber Membrane

Cons of The Rubber Membrane

Final Verdict

In summary, it’s my hope is that this article helped you identify the ideal flat roofing for your structure. For those living in New York City, you probably already have heard of the many advantages involved in using flat roofing for your Brownstoner. Also, remember to select a leading installer in flat roofing installation that will provide you with all the expert services you need for complete installation of your roofing.

Deciding on the type of flat roof most suitable for your property can be difficult.  One type of material that may work for one roof, but does not necessarily work for another; meanwhile, other materials are a little more flexible and work for all sorts of roofs. While some flat roofing solutions work for large industrial buildings, on a smaller or residential property it may cause complications.  Several issues must be taken into consideration when deciding which roofing solutions work best for you – installation expense, upkeep and energy performance to name a few.

It is imperative to hire an experienced, reliable roofing contractor.  A contractor with the know-how and the means to get the job done with little to no hiccups provides you with a superb installation.  A skilled, professional and considerate crew, adequate equipment and tools, experience in installation and familiarity with the materials being used, are just a few things to consider when making your roofing decision.  Below are brief descriptions of the flat roofing materials available to help you make your decision. There is no doubt that flat roofing is the best material to use for Big Apple Brownstoner’s, the only question is which type is best for you.


Built-Up Roofing (BUR) is an older form of flat roofing treatment, not outdated – just a little old-fashioned.  Roofing felt (tar paper) is layered several times.  The top layer is either gravel or a reflective coating to reduce heat absorption and increase durability.  Maintenance and repairs usually require more felt and coating layers to be applied where needed.  With time, however, the weight of these layers accumulates and can create a big mess and increase the cost of removal.  There is no doubt that BUR is the thriftiest roofing solution, however, there is no competition when it comes to modern roofing solutions; for their low maintenance, light weight and durability.

Modified Bitumen is ideal for either residential or small commercial flat roofing.  The roofing material comes in 3 ft. wide rolls making it easier to use and apply.  The material is rolled out into overlapping seams which are fused together either by torch or a special adhesive. Lastly, a reflective coating is applied for durability and reduction of heat absorption. Tamko & GAF are likely the two most reliable Modified Bitumen suppliers in the US.

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) has the look and feel of rubber inner tubing.  These flexible extra-large rolls are great for sizeable roofing and are glued down.  The lifespan of this particular application is 20 years with little upkeep.  A downside to EPDM is that it is dark and consequently absorbs a lot of heat, as a result, requires a reflective coating.  Or, at an additional cost, EPDM is available with a white top layer.

Contacting a professional, experienced roofer for services such as flat roof repair and maintenance, commercial, industrial and residential installation is a step in the right direction.  Your roofing needs will be evaluated, and the right type of roof or maintenance selected, offering you the best possible solution.

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