Common TPO Roofing Problems to Know About

Prevention is better than cure, and the best strategy to stay ahead of potential problems is to learn how they form and be ready with the solutions. In this post, we'll share common thermoplastic olefin roofing problems every property owner should know about and look out for to avoid expensive and devastating roofing problems later.

Punctures and Tears

TPO roofs are manufactured to be extremely durable, but even so, they're still susceptible to punctures and tears. If your roof always has heavy foot traffic or carrying a huge weight load, it might be best to tread carefully – your TPO roof might wear out quicker due to ongoing wear and tear as the years pass.

To prevent punctures and tears, it's important to minimize foot traffic on the roof and use walkway pads or designated paths. You can ask your contractor to help you design this and ensure that any equipment placed on the roof has protective padding underneath. Next, schedule regular inspections – these have helped many property owners identify and repair any potential issues before they worsen and weaken their roofs.

Seam Failure

While TPO roofs are typically installed in large, seamless sheets, these are also the most vulnerable areas that quickly fail over time and can lead to leaks and further damage.

More often than not, this problem usually occurs due to improper installation. A well-installed TPO roof can prevent seam failure. If you plan to replace your existing roof, a reliable commercial roofer ensures that the seams are properly welded or adhered according to manufacturer specifications. Furthermore, they will recommend regular inspections and maintenance to identify and repair any failing seams before they cause significant damage.

Ponding Water

TPO roofs are designed to be water-resistant, but ponding water (water that remains on the roof for 48 hours or more) can still be a problem. Ponding water can lead to leaks, membrane deterioration, and the growth of algae and mold.

Prevention: Proper roof slope and drainage are essential for preventing ponding water. Ensure that the roof is designed to allow water to flow off effectively. Regular inspections can help identify and address any areas where ponding water may occur.

Membrane Shrinkage

TPO membranes can shrink over time due to exposure to heat and UV radiation. This shrinkage can lead to stress on the membrane and cause the seams connecting each membrane to pull apart and age prematurely, leading to leaks.

Again, a poorly installed TPO roof will always be at risk of membrane shrinkage and other forms of damage. Manufacturer-trusted and certified technicians always account for the proper expansion and contraction of the membrane material membrane to prevent membrane shrinkage. Manufacturers have set expected estimates on the membrane's expansion to guide their roofers on proper installation.

UV Degradation

While TPO roofs are designed to be UV-resistant, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause the membrane to degrade and then crack, turn brittle, or even split at the seams without any warning.

The best way to address this is to conduct routine inspections and maintenance. Your trusted roofers can easily identify any signs of UV degradation early on. Applying a reflective coating can help protect the membrane from UV radiation and extend its lifespan.

If you need a dependable commercial roofer in Denver, CO, count on us at Roper Roofing & Solar for your commercial roofing and solar projects. Call us today or visit our social media page to learn more about what we can do for you!

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