What’s the Difference?
As we work to educate our customers on the benefits of silicone, we can’t ignore the substrates that it covers. Although silicone will adhere to almost anything (including existing silicone), today we are going to focus on TPO roofing.
TPO is one of the main single ply roof substrates you will hear about in America. When installed correctly, it is a strong, versatile, and long-lasting roofing solution. TPO has unique values that make it a great option for a new roof, but it also has characteristics that make silicone a great solution after it has run its course.
Thermoplastic polyolefin or “TPO” is a plastic roofing membrane that sits above the roof decking and insulation to offer UV protection and waterproofing to the building. White TPO is highly reflective and offers the building great UV protection. Some TPO roofs can last up to 30 years, offering the building owner a great solution to a new build. You can find out more information on single ply roofing here!
The Downside to TPO
Like any single ply roofing substrate, seams are the biggest issue you will have with TPO roofs. Over time, the seams will begin to dry rot and split. Once this happens, it’s the beginning of the end of your TPO roof. Similarly, on TPO roofs that are mechanically fastened, you will eventually find that water will find its way through the cracks and to the screws, allowing water into the building. The water can also saturate the insulation and cover board below the TPO deteriorating the insulation and causing an environment prime for mold growth.
On aged TPO, the field of the roof will also fail, eventually showing the skrim. If this is the case, a roofing contractor may not even consider coating it and the building owner will be forced to purchase a costly replacement. That’s why it is important to do routine checks on your roof on a yearly or 6-month basis. You can find our free roof preservation tips page here!
The Seamless Solution
Silicone works perfectly with aged TPO as it offers all of the benefits of TPO without any of the seams. Unlike acrylic roof coatings, silicone does not break down under ponding water making this seamlessness even more impressive. Silicone roof coatings are designed specifically to coat TPO (and many other roofing substrates) roofs after their lifespan has ended.
Another benefit to using a silicone roof coating as opposed to replacing TPO is that there is no roof tear off with a silicone restoration. Coating right over the old substrate is a benefit in the following ways:
- The building will not have to shut down while the roof is removed.
- Tons of waste will be kept out of landfills.
- It cuts the time of the overall labor in half.
- It cuts the size of the labor crew in half.
- It cuts the cost of the project in half.
Overall, we believe it’s pretty clear that once your TPO roof has aged, a silicone restoration is the right move. Why would you replace your TPO roof when you could get all of the benefits at half the cost and offer a more environmentally-friendly solution? You can find out more about PM Silicone over TPO here. Although this blog was dedicated to silicone over TPO, you can also use silicone on new construction instead of TPO. If you’re interested in using PM silicone on new construction, check out PM Silicone’s PS-900 fully reinforced silicone system here.