TPO vs. EPDM vs. PVC: Which Roofing Type is Best For Me?

Sep 1, 2019


Welcome to Bio-One Atlanta's comprehensive guide to choosing the best roofing type for your needs. Whether you're a homeowner, business owner, or involved in the construction industry, selecting the right roofing material is a crucial decision. In this article, we will explore three popular choices: TPO, EPDM, and PVC. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each material, you can make an informed decision for your roofing project.

TPO Roofing

TPO, or Thermoplastic Olefin, is a single-ply roofing membrane that has gained popularity in recent years. It offers a unique combination of affordability, durability, and energy efficiency. TPO roofs are made from a blend of rubber, ethylene propylene, and fillers. One of the key benefits of TPO roofing is its ability to reflect sunlight, thereby reducing cooling costs during hot summer months. Additionally, TPO roofs are known for their resistance to UV radiation, punctures, and tears.

Advantages of TPO Roofing

  • Cost-effective: TPO roofing is often more affordable compared to other options.
  • Energy efficient: The reflective properties of TPO help reduce energy consumption.
  • Durability: TPO membranes can withstand severe weather conditions and are resistant to mold growth.

Disadvantages of TPO Roofing

  • Limited color options: TPO roofs are available in a limited range of colors.
  • Potential for seam failure: Improper installation can lead to seam failures, so it's crucial to hire experienced professionals.

EPDM Roofing

EPDM, or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is another popular roofing material known for its durability and low-maintenance requirements. EPDM roofs are made from synthetic rubber compounds and are resistant to a variety of weather conditions, including hail, wind, and extreme temperatures. EPDM roofs have been widely used in commercial and residential applications for decades.

Advantages of EPDM Roofing

  • Excellent weather resistance: EPDM roofs can withstand extreme temperatures, hail, and UV radiation.
  • Long lifespan: Properly installed EPDM roofs can last up to 40 years.
  • Low-maintenance: EPDM requires minimal upkeep, reducing long-term maintenance costs.

Disadvantages of EPDM Roofing

  • Potential for punctures: Although durable, sharp objects can puncture EPDM membranes.
  • Difficult repairs: Repairing EPDM roofs may require professional assistance to ensure proper bonding and sealing.

PVC Roofing

PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is a roofing material known for its strong durability and ability to resist chemicals, fire, and high winds. PVC roofs are made from a synthetic polymer reinforced with polyester. They offer excellent flexibility and are commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings. PVC roofing is known for its exceptional fire resistance and resistance to chemicals, making it ideal for facilities with specific safety requirements.

Advantages of PVC Roofing

  • Fire and chemical resistance: PVC roofs are highly resistant to fire and a wide range of chemicals.
  • Long lifespan: PVC roofs can last up to 30-50 years with proper maintenance.
  • Low-maintenance: PVC requires minimal upkeep, making it a cost-effective choice over the long term.

Disadvantages of PVC Roofing

  • Higher cost: PVC roofing tends to be more expensive initially compared to other options.
  • Environmental concerns: PVC is derived from petroleum, raising concerns about its environmental impact.


Choosing the right roofing type for your project depends on several factors, including your budget, climate, and specific requirements. TPO, EPDM, and PVC all offer unique advantages and disadvantages. TPO is a cost-effective and energy-efficient option, while EPDM is known for its durability and low-maintenance requirements. PVC, on the other hand, provides exceptional fire and chemical resistance. By considering these factors and consulting with experienced professionals, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs.

Remember, when it comes to roofing, it's essential to prioritize quality materials and proper installation. Working with a reputable roofing contractor, such as Bio-One Atlanta, can ensure that your roofing project is executed to the highest standards.