One type of commercial roofing membrane is becoming increasingly popular: thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO). The TPO roof offers a number of sizable advantages, from cost effectiveness to energy efficiency. But to maximize the benefits of TPO roof, it must be routinely cleaned and properly maintained.
What is TPO roofing?
TPO roofs consist of thermoplastic polyolefin, which is a type of rubber featuring a blend of polypropylene and ethylene-polypropylene rubber. TPO is a single ply roofing membrane. A single layer of synthetics and reinforcing scrim are installed on flat commercial rooftops.
Due to its low cost, TPO roofs are popular choices for commercial roofs. For example, covering a 20,000 square foot roof with a single-ply roofing can be costly in both materials and labor. Obtaining the best price involves a few variables.
These variables include the size of the commercial roof, the current condition of the existing rooftop and how difficult it is for workers to access the roof. Additional factors include the choice of insulation, membrane, and installation. The type of warranty also significantly affects the price.
What are the benefits of TPO roofs?
Other than being among the least expensive materials available on the market, TPO roofing membranes are heat reflective and energy efficient. Being white on top, the TPO roof reflects the sun’s UV rays. Indoor heat buildup is reduced, and energy usage dramatically drops in summer.
Installing TPO roofs is also much easier than traditional roofing systems. Adhesives may be used, or the TPO roof can be directly attached to the roof deck. It can also be heat-welded around chimneys.
Flexibility is an advantage of TPO roofs, as it resists corrosion.
Since TPO roofing systems are strong, they resist punctures, tears as well as dirt buildup. Mildew and algae seldom grow on TPO roofs, which reduces the need for frequent pressure washing. These are reasons that the TPO roof requires minimal cleaning.
Why should a TPO roof be cleaned?
Despite the need for infrequent cleanings of the TPO rooftop, this type of roofing system should still receive regular attention and care. Several practical reasons will persuade the facility manager to perform routine cleanings and maintenance of the TPO roofing system.
The white TPO roof will only retain its anti-reflective properties if it remains white in color. In order to keep the roof white, dirt and debris should be regularly washed away. Plus, accumulations of dirt and debris should be periodically removed so that potential algae growth has zero nutrient sources.
How should the TPO roof be cleaned?
Firstly, it is important to protect low curbs, base flashing, and any other points by which water from the pressure could enter. Similarly, any shrubs or vegetation should be protected from runoff of the cleaning solutions used to power wash the TPO rooftop.
A low-pressure power washer featuring 2,000 psi or lower should be used to clean and rinse away the top layer of dirt and dust from the TPO rooftop. Prepare to use a mild, non-abrasive household detergent as the cleaning solution.
Use a floor broom or a soft-bristle, long-handle brush along with the cleaning solution to clean the surface of the TPO rooftop system. During the cleaning, be extra careful to avoid damaging the top surface of the TPO roofing membrane.
Completely rinse off the cleaning solution on the roof with a low-pressure power washer. Following the final rinse, inspect the rooftop for any damage. Look for instances of ripped seams, failed flashings, and punctured membranes. Promptly repair any incidental damage.
How should a TPO roof be maintained?
The TPO roof should be regularly maintained. The cost to replace a TPO roof far outweighs the time, expense and energy needed to maintain it. Neglecting a TPO roof can lead to structural damage, inventory damage, operational downtime and even mold growth.
A TPO roof can prematurely fail due to a lack of routine maintenance. The best time to start a roof maintenance plan is immediately after a new installation; however, older roofs also benefit. TPO roof maintenance should be handled by experts, as DIY fixes can result in more damage.
The roofing contractor will visually inspect the condition of the roof membrane. The seams, flashing and fasteners will be closely examined for flaws. The pro might resort to an infrared thermography survey to check for miniscule penetrations that are invisible to the naked eye.
The roof inspector will check for signs of deterioration in sealants and around coping joints, coping ends, and skylights. Additional responsibilities include looking for ponding water or inadequate or blocked drainage. The overall condition of the TPO roof is scrutinized.
Work with a Roofing Contractor
Any flaws that require repairs should be tasked to a professional roofing contractor. For instance, sealants, seams, and fasteners should be repaired, as necessary. A qualified roofing crew will use products that are compatible with TPO roofing membranes to prevent further damage.
A TPO roof can last 15 to 20 years. Cleaning and maintaining a TPO roof on a routine basis extend its lifespan. The first indication that the roof needs repair is water intrusion. Water enters because the roof seams are ripped. In such instances, consult a qualified roofing contractor.
One commercial roofing contractor Chicagoland businesses depend upon is Reliable Roofing. When your TPO roof shows signs of wear and tear, a call to our roofing experts should be your next step. Our professional crews provide a range of comprehensive commercial roofing services.
Reliable Roofing has an industry wide reputation for excellence. Whether need a roof repair, inspection, maintenance or replacement, our expert roofing crews will perform the task efficiently, within budget and on schedule. We’ve successfully serviced countless commercial rooftops.
When your goal is to extend the lifespan of your TPO roof, schedule regular maintenance with Reliable Roofing. We also install TPO roofs according to the manufacturer’s specifications. We continue to proudly serve businesses in the Chicagoland area.