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7 Most Reported TPO Roofing Problems In 2023

Posted on November 30, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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tpo roofing problems

If you’ve got a TPO roofing system on your commercial property, you probably appreciate its energy efficiency, durability, and cost effectiveness. TPO has gained immense popularity over the years due to its numerous advantages. 

However, like any roofing material, it’s not without its share of challenges. In 2023, we’ve seen some recurring issues reported by property owners with TPO roofs. In this article, we’ll delve into the seven most reported TPO roofing problems and provide you with valuable insights on how to address them.

Understanding TPO Roofing Membranes

TPO, short for thermoplastic olefin, is a popular and widely used roofing material in the construction industry. It’s known for its reflectivity against UV rays, energy efficiency, and resistance to impacts. 

TPO is a single-ply roofing membrane made from a blend of polymer materials, usually a combination of ethylene propylene rubber and polypropylene. These materials are reinforced with a polyester fabric or additives for added strength.

TPO is installed in large, single sheets heat welded at the seams. This heat welding process ensures a watertight seal and prevents water infiltration. TPO roofing membranes can be mechanically attached, fully adhered, or ballasted during installation. 

The Most Common TPO Roofing Problems

Miller Roofing and Renovations

If you want to install a TPO roof on your home or commercial building, consider the following issues that can occur over the years. It’s important to know their solutions beforehand to help resolve the issues in their initial stages. 

1. Leaks and Moisture Intrusion

One of the most common problems with TPO roofing membranes is leaks and moisture intrusion. While TPO is known for its exceptional waterproofing properties, issues can still arise over time. These problems are often linked to poor installation or harm to the membrane. Leaks can cause significant damage to your property, including mold growth, structural damage, and interior water damage. 

Solution: If you notice leaks or moisture intrusion, contact a roofing professional immediately. They will conduct a thorough inspection to identify the source of the problem. Repairs may involve patching, seam re-welding, or membrane replacement, depending on the extent of the damage.

2. Seam Failures

TPO roofs have seams where two sheets of the membrane are joined together. Seam failures are a frequent problem, particularly if the installation was done incorrectly. When seams fail, it can result in water infiltration and, subsequently, leaks. 

Solution: Address seam failures promptly. A professional roofing contractor can re-weld or repair the seams to ensure a watertight seal. Proper installation, including quality adhesive application and seam welding, is crucial to prevent future seam issues.

3. Weathering and UV Damage

TPO roofing membranes are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and UV radiation. However, over time, extended exposure to UV rays can lead to weathering and damage. The membrane may become brittle, cracked, or discolored. 

Solution: To combat weathering and UV damage, consider applying UV-resistant coatings to your TPO roof. These coatings can help prolong the life of your roof and protect it from the effects of prolonged sun exposure. Regular inspections will help you monitor the condition of your roof and apply coatings as needed.

4. Punctures and Tears

In addition to weathering and UV Damage, TPO roofing membranes are susceptible to punctures and tears, especially in high traffic areas or during roof maintenance activities. These vulnerabilities can lead to weak spots on the membrane and structural damage. 

Solution: Prevent punctures and tears by limiting access to the roof and using protective measures during maintenance activities. If punctures or tears occur, have them repaired by a professional roofing contractor. They will patch or replace damaged sections to maintain the integrity of the roofing system.

5. Ponding Water

Ponding water, where water accumulates and does not drain properly, can be a significant issue with TPO roofs. It can lead to membrane damage, increased stress on the roof structure, and potential leaks. 

Solution: Ensure proper flat roof slope and drainage systems are in place to prevent ponding water. If you notice water accumulation, consult a roofing expert to address the issue. They may recommend adjustments to the roof’s slope or drainage solutions to facilitate water runoff.

6. Poor Workmanship

In many cases, TPO roofing problems can be traced back to poor workmanship during installation. When roofing contractors do not follow industry best practices or cut corners, it can result in various issues down the line. To avoid these problems, it’s essential to choose a reputable and experienced roofing contractor who is well versed in TPO installation.

Solution: If your TPO roofing problems stem from poor workmanship during installation, consult a reputable contractor with experience in maintaining and installing TPO membranes. They can assess the current state of your roof and make necessary repairs to correct any installation errors.

7. Aging and Material Deterioration

As TPO ages, it may naturally deteriorate. This can manifest as cracks, brittleness, and loss of flexibility. While TPO is known for its longevity, addressing aging and material deterioration requires proactive maintenance and, in some cases, membrane replacement.

Solution: As your TPO roofing membrane ages, consider proactive maintenance to extend its lifespan and prevent deterioration. This may involve applying coatings or sealants to rejuvenate the membrane. If the membrane is reaching the end of its lifespan, a replacement may be needed to address extensive deterioration. Regular inspections will help identify aging related issues.

Final Thoughts

TPO is a robust and popular roofing solution, but it’s not immune to problems. Regular maintenance, inspections, and addressing issues are key to ensuring the longevity and performance of your TPO roof. To avoid these common problems, choose a qualified roofing professional for installation and invest in proactive care to extend the life of your TPO roofing system.

Hire Skilled Commercial Roofing Experts In Memphis To Repair Your TPO Roof

If you’re facing any of these issues with your TPO roofing membrane, don’t hesitate to reach out to Miller Roofing & Renovations in Memphis. We’re here to provide expert solutions and help you enjoy the many benefits of your TPO roof for years to come.
The experts at the company can proficiently handle any roofing and home exterior project. Whether it be a new roof installation, complete replacement, or commercial roof repair, we provide industry standard and reliable roofing solutions that are guaranteed to meet your requirements and expectations. Call us today at (901) 457-9405 to consult with a roofing professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

A. Yes, TPO remains a popular and cost effective choice for many property owners. When installed and maintained correctly, it can provide excellent performance and energy efficiency.

A. Regular inspections, timely repairs, and proper maintenance are key to preventing TPO roofing problems. Additionally, choosing a membrane from a reputable brand and experienced installers is crucial.

A. TPO roofing systems can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, depending on factors like climate, maintenance, and the quality of the installation.

A. Many TPO roofing problems can be repaired if detected early. However, it’s essential to consult with a professional to assess the extent of the damage and determine the best course of action.

A. To find a reputable roofing professional, ask for recommendations from friends or family, read online reviews, and verify their credentials and experience.

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