TPO VS EPDM: Which Roof System Is More Reliable?

When choosing quality, energy-efficient solution for a commercial roofing system, two approaches are commonly employed on most projects today. It is either TPO or EPDM, and the wide acceptability of both puts a lot of the customers in a dilemma regarding which roofing option to choose for their structure. 

It might not be easy to distinguish between a TPO roof system and an EPDM synthetic rubber roofing membrane because both are single-ply roofing installations. While there are numerous parallels between the two forms of roofing, there are also some notable distinctions.

This post will look at the distinctions between TPO and EPDM roofs and determine which is the most dependable. 

Roofing Systems

TPO roofing systems have a single-ply membrane made of synthetic components and a fabric reinforcing scrim that stabilizes and reinforces the membrane for enhanced and increased performance.

EPDM roofing systems use a synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is exceptionally durable. Mechanically connected EPDM systems can be built with large panels attached through the membrane or narrow boards fastened in the side laps.

Although EPDM roofing systems have been the market leader for single-ply roofing for more than 50 years, TPO is quickly gaining ground. TPO is also somewhat more resistant to punctures than EPDM, but if your commercial building project is in a location that is prone to hailstorms, EPDM is the way to go.


EPDM roofs are the most cost-effective single-ply roofing membrane option. TPO roofing membranes are more costly than EPDM roofing membranes.


EPDM roofs are well-known for their long-term durability. EPDM roofs, made of a rubber mix, have been on the market for decades. In colder regions, an EPDM membrane will outperform TPO.

TPO seam strength is three to four times that of EPDM adhesive and tape seams, and it is designed to last as long as EPDM.


A properly placed EPDM membrane will not require much maintenance in the early stages of its service life. However, unlike TPO, EPDM seams are coated with an adhesive, rendering them susceptible to separation in the end.

TPO membranes are more difficult to maintain than EPDM roofing membranes. Welding fresh materials to a TPO membrane is difficult because compounds lose their flexibility and thermoplastic characteristics as they age.

Ease of Installation

EPDM rubber roofing membranes are easier and faster to install than TPO roofing membranes. EPDM does not require any specific tools for installation, but TPO must be hot air welded. As a result, installing a TPO roofing membrane is a more complicated and costly operation that needs specialist skills.


Due to their energy efficiency, TPO membranes have grown in popularity as a single-ply roofing material. With a TPO roof, saving money on cooling expenditures for business premises is attainable, particularly in southern regions.

While white EPDM roofing membranes have superior reflective characteristics than darker colored EPDM, an EPDM roof will not provide the same amount of energy and cost savings as a TPO roof.


You’ve made it this far, and you’re probably expecting a miraculous, well-reasoned response to the question, “What roofing system should I choose?” The difficulty is that any roofing contractor worth his salt won’t know unless a full examination of current problems is performed. 

For this reason, TEO roofing offers a free-of-cost estimate regarding what sort of roofing option you should opt for. Get in touch with our professionals to get a free quote for your next roofing need.   


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At TEO Construction, we have been in the improvement business for over a decade. In that time, we have perfected our skills – in fact, we are so confident in our workmanship that we offer lifetime labor warranties and three types of warranties on materials. Our mission is always to service our customers with the best quality roofing materials and labor.


Frederick Office:

5229 New Design Road

Frederick, MD  21703

(301) 466-3630

Thurmont Office:

10610 Powell Road
Thurmont, MD 21788

(301) 466-3630

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