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Unlike residential roofing, commercial roofing systems generally adopt flat roofing systems, because they follow simpler structural designs, and cover larger areas compared to residential buildings. Traditional roofing systems of tiles and shingles are not advised for a commercial building like these. In shingles and others, water, dirt and other foreign agents can get trapped easily, which could lead to leaking. Also, given their large area, the repair and maintenance of these shingles could become a head-ache. Alongside this, the cost of these individual shingles or tiles would become too large for a commercial project.

 For these and other reasons, most commercial buildings pitch for flat roofing solutions. Flat roofing is easier and quicker to put in place. Also, the installation costs are much lower compared to residential roofing solutions. Their damage and repair costs are also lower. Allied technologies like solar panels are better supported by flat roofing systems as they require a large, flat surface for installation. If drainage is efficiently managed, they make for durable, lasting roofing solutions. Let us look at two such synthetic roofing services near me in commercial buildings: EPDM and TPO Roofing.

 TPO Roofing Systems

 Thermoplastic Polyolefin roofing is made using polymerized polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. Manufacturers also incorporate fibreglass and talc into the base to reinforce the making. These materials give it the strength and durability that is comparable to asphalt-fibreglass shingles, which are strong as steel. Traditionally, EPDM was the preferred roofing option for flat roofing; however, of late, TPO is rapidly taking over the industry. This is due to the advantages that it offers over EPDM roofing.

  • Durability: Punctures often equal leaks. Added with fibreglass and talc, TPO is far more durable and resistant than other flat roofing solutions. It offers roughly three times more protection against punctures than EPDM does
  • Energy Efficiency: Unlike an EPDM roof, which is available mostly in the Black shade, TPO is available in a variety of colours and is known to reflect more sunlight, and lead to reduced insulation. It is more suited for hot weathers and can lead to reduced electricity consumption
  • Installation Convenience: TPO is a versatile roofing system, and can be installed in a variety of ways including mechanical attachment, adherence, etc. Electromagnetic welding technique is also pretty popular in TPO, which increases its durability
  • Colour Options: Unlike EPDM, this roof is available in a variety of colour options like grey, white, tan, and others. However, this leads to a higher per-unit cost of $3 to $8 for TPO

 EPDM Rubber Roofing Systems

 If you live in an area where the weather is a bit cooler and receives more hail and rainfall, EDPM is the answer for you. Made of synthetic rubber, this roof is best at warding off hail and rain without any damage to its surface. Their repair and installation are somewhat easier due to the absence of welding systems. Also, it is most suitable for roofing systems with solar panels installed, or on the way of installation. TPO roofs bounce back the sunlight. Thus solar panels may not work that effectively.

  • Durability: While rubber is not the most elegant and attractive, it sure is long-lasting. With an average life of 30-40 years, EPDM rubber roofing lasts as long as other roofing systems, like asphalt shingles. They also resistant to hail storms, fire, electricity, and others
  • Energy Efficiency: Even though stand-alone, EPDM roofs absorb a lot of heat and increase energy costs in hot weather. However, when incorporated with solar energy systems, they become an energy powerhouse, saving you tons of money and energy
  • Ease of Installation: Compared to TPO roofing, EPDM roofs are easier to install as their seaming systems are easier – seam tape or adhesives mostly. However, these seaming technologies are not as lasting as welding or other electrical methods.

 Other Features and Differences

Historical Usage 20 years 60 years
Sunlight Reflects sunlight Retains heat from sunlight
Colour Options White, grey, tan, others Black
Cost $1.90-$6.50/sqft $1.80-$3.50/sqft
Duration Over 30 years Over 40 years
Seaming Welding Seam Tape/Liquid Adhesive
Reinforced Always May or may not be
Chemical Resistance Good Poor
Temperature Impact Cools Roof Heats Roof


 When the decision comes to choosing between TPO and EPDM, the most crucial consideration is the need of the client, area of installation, local weather of the place, and the attached cost constraints. Both the roofs have their own set of advantages and disadvantages when evaluated on the different aspects, and both are best suited for specific settings. Broadly, when it comes to practical and durable solutions, cost-effective, set in cold weather, etc. EPDM rubber roofing will greatly benefit the company. However, for hotels, restaurants, and other buildings in hot weather, TPO roofing services near me would be more attractive.