What is the difference between EDPM and TPO roofing?

What's the Difference Between TPO and EDPM Roofing?

If you own a commercial property that is 20 or more years old, it is probably time to take a good look at your roof. It might be time to replace it. A new roof can be a major investment, and it's important to make the right choice when you spend your money.

If you need to select the right roof for your industrial property, Last Call Exteriors can help. We provide installation and maintenance of all commercial roofing types.

Do You Need a New Roof for Your Commercial Property?

If you have a flat roof or a roof with a low slope, you may have heard the terms TPO and EPDM as your commercial roofing options. Both are single-ply, affordable solutions for a commercial or industrial structure. Which one is right for your business?

Comparison of Commercial Roofing Types

Are you confused about the right roofing choice? There are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds.

When it comes to toughness, either one can work for you. Both TPO and EPDM roofing meet the industry standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4637 specifications. This means they're able to withstand heavy rain, snow, hail and falling debris without sustaining major damage.


TPO stands for thermoplastic polyolefin. This is a lightweight, flexible material. A TPO roof contains a layer of synthetic material reinforced with fiberglass. Fiberglass gives it durability.


  • Compared to other roofing styles, TPO is fast and easy to install.

  • Fiberglass keeps the roofing tough and low-maintenance.

  • It provides excellent UV protection.

  • TPO comes in a huge variety of colors.

  • It is more esthetically pleasing.

  • TPO reflects heat and is excellent for insulation.


  • It isn't clear how durable a TPO roof is, because they have only been around for the past 15 years. They are designed to last 20 years, but it's difficult to say with certainty if they're that durable.

  • TPO is more expensive to buy and install.

  • It attaches chemically rather than mechanically to your structure. This can make it more prone to splitting at the seams.

  • The materials are not recyclable.


EPDM refers to ethylene propylene diene monomer. It is a thick, reinforced rubber. Manufacturers make EPDM roofing from recycled tires, boots and other rubber items. The result is a strong, flexible material.


  • EPDM roofing can last 25 to 30 years.

  • The material is completely recyclable.

  • It has been a proven roofing solution for more than 50 years.

  • It is a lower-cost option.

  • EPDM attaches mechanically to the roof. This tends to make it more secure.


  • The roofing only comes in black. You can order it in other colors, but doing so adds to the cost.

  • It is not as good at UV protection as TPO roofing.

Making the Choice for Your Commercial Roof

The final decision depends on your priorities for your commercial roof. If you want a green solution with a proven track record, you should choose EPDM roofing. If your priority is curb appeal, you should choose TPO or a colored EPDM roof. If you're concerned about UV protection, your best choice is probably TPO.

Discuss your options with a knowledgeable roofing contractor who has experience in commercial roofing - like the team at Last Call Exteriors!

Installation Is the Most Important Factor

The type of roofing you choose is less important than the installation. A properly installed roof will give you the protection and durability you need. At Last Call Exteriors, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure that your new roof lasts for many years. Contact us today to discuss your options for a new commercial roof.