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Which Commercial Roof is Best for My Saratoga Springs Property?

Oct 17, 2022 | Blog, Commercial Roofing, Saratoga Springs

When it comes to the roofing of your Saratoga Springs commercial property, there are many options to consider for your roofing material. It can be difficult to determine which one is the best for your situation, so how do you choose? To help you make an informed decision, let’s discuss two of the main types of single-ply membrane roofing: EPDM and TPO. Each material has its own pros and cons, which we will go over below, and traits that each material possesses and the weaknesses you will want to know about.

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EPDM

EPDM, commonly known as a “rubber roof” or ethylene propylene diene monomer, gets its name from the chemicals mixed in various proportions to form it. It’s manufactured in large sheets or rolls and is quick and easy to install, on top of being one of the most inexpensive roofing materials. EPDM roofing membrane is very lightweight, so the roof deck will not need any reinforcement. And because there are few seams, leaks are rare and a good quality EPDM can last for decades.

Pros

EPDM generally comes in at the lowest price per square foot for flat or low-sloped roofs. Generally, it is long-lasting with a lifespan of over 20 years. And if purchased in white, since it is easily paired with polyiso insulation, it can be a very energy-efficient roof choice.

Cons

Ballasted EPDM systems are relatively inexpensive when compared to others, however fully adhered or mechanical systems are slightly more expensive than TPO. In the wrong environment and toward the end of its life, EPDM can start to become fragile. Additionally, there is a common thought that the black flat EPDM roofs are not the prettiest sight to look at.

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TPO

TPO, Thermoplastic Polyolefin, is made up of a single layer of synthetics, usually a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. Its primary advantage is that it’s typically the lowest material cost for single-ply membrane roofs. It typically comes in white on top, which can help reflect the sun’s light and stop heat buildup within the building.

TPO can be attached with adhesives, fastened directly to the roof deck, or even heat welded in places around chimneys and other protrusions. It resists corrosion, mildew, and algae growth, and does not require pressure washing, making it even easier to care for during the annual checkup.

Pros

TPO provides outstanding resistance to ozone, ultraviolet rays, and some chemical exposure at a low cost. It reflects heat radiation better than EPDM and resists mold growth, dirt accumulation, tears impacts, and punctures.

Cons

Heat welding the seams requires a very high-quality installation to hold up over time. Some formulations of TPO may not last much past the 10-year mark, and newer technology makes for a lack of a proven track record.

Kornerstone Roofing in Saratoga Springs has a team of experts with years of experience in commercial roofing that will ensure you the job is done as intended the first time. If you’re ready to see what your roofing solutions can look like, schedule an estimate with us today.