Featured Article — TPO Roofing Membranes

This is the second in a series of articles on roofing options to help our readers become better informed and educated as to their features and benefits. Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO)-type roofing material moved into the roofing industry in 1989, as a non –reinforced sheet. In 1993, the non-reinforced TPO membrane was replaced with membranes reinforced with polyester.

The membranes are designed to provide the durability of rubber (EPDM), yet have greater flexibility and ease of installation by having hot air weldable seams.  The single-ply membranes contain colorant, flame retardants, UV absorbers and other proprietary substances to achieve the desired physical properties.

TPO Roofing Membranes also offer these Features and Benefits:

  • Environmentally safe containing no chlorine or chlorine-containing products.
  • Is compounded with components that can withstand the elements associated with rooftop exposure.
  • The combination of the fabric and TPO plies provide reinforced membranes with high breaking and tearing strength and puncture resistance.
  • Hot air welds result in a bond that is actually stronger than the sheet itself.
  • Provide exceptional resistance to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure

As with all roofing systems, the life cycle and efficiency of the roof will be extended with regular maintenance and cleaning. White TPO membranes typically display reflectivity ratings in the high 80 percent range when new and in the low 80 percent range after three-year rooftop exposure with cleaning. TPO membranes are highly resistant to mold and algae growth, adding to the efficiency of the overall reflectivity of the roof and anticipated energy savings.

For more information on roofing systems, contact Jottan at 800-364-4234 or visit jottan.com.

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Common Roofing Problems of Low-Slope Roofing and Other Roofing Systems

As with all roofing systems low-slope roofing systems present their own set of problems that can, over time and without proper maintenance, shorten the life expectancy of the roof and cause catastrophic problems. Below are some of the most common problems of low-slope roofs as well as other roofing systems.

  1. Roof Leaks and Moisture Filtration–Leaks can occur for a multitude of reasons such as improper installation of flashing; lack of proper moisture barrier underneath a coping cap on parapet walls; backwater laps; and poor seams on a single-ply membrane roof.
  2. Blow-Offs, Tenting, Wind Uplift and Billowing – Improperly installed flashing may also lead to open seams and laps that can ultimately cause blow-off and reduce puncture resistance. Seams made with cold adhesive that are not adequately cured can allow wind uplift damaging the roof membrane. Single-ply roofs are susceptible to blow-off, billowing or tenting of the flashing if not properly adhered to the substrate.
  3. Ponding – This is a common problem across all roof types. Care should be taken in the design of the roof to avoid ponding.
  4. Punctures – Foot traffic can be problematic for all types of roofs but especially single-ply systems. Only trained personnel should be allowed on roofs. Additionally, caution should be taken when adding new equipment and making penetrations to the existing roof.

Roofs are impacted by many factors which can’t be controlled such as weather and UV rays. But, with proper installation by highly qualified craftsmen and regular maintenance schedules, problems such as leaks, tenting, ponding and punctures can be minimized and perhaps completely avoided.

To learn more about how to care for and extend the life cycle of one of your most valuable assets, contact Jottan at 800-364-4234.