Roofing Membrane Matchup: EPDM vs. TPO

By Stacy Mellete

Single-ply membranes are some of the best flat roofing options on the market. Among them, EPDM and TPO are two of the hottest. The former is a traditional favorite while the other is an emerging solution poised to be the superior version of PVC.

Although one is rubber and the other is plastic, EPDM and TPO share many winning characteristics. They hold their own in detrimental conditions, endure foot traffic exceptionally, deliver outstanding energy efficiency, and make installation a breeze.

In hopes of differentiating these popular, low-slope roofing solutions, the top local roofer in Tampa FL, Affordable Roofing System talks about the qualities that separate them from the rest:


  • Impressive Thermal Shock Durability – EPDM takes the heat well. It’s virtually immune to thermal shock and not subject to accelerated weathering due to high solar loading. No wonder it covers a lot of commercial properties in the Sunshine State.

  • Time-Tested Performance – It has been around for a while now. Like metal roofing, its longevity is no longer questionable. In fact, several studies have already validated the long-term performance of the EPDM membrane. With proper maintenance, they reveal it can remain structurally sound after 30 years in the field.

  • Proven Recyclability – In 2006, the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) initiated efforts to recycle this single-ply membrane. In its first few years, the project has already diverted about 3.5 million pounds of reclaimed EPDM membrane from landfills.


  • Low-Cost Thermoplastic Choice – Compared with PVC, TPO is the more economical thermoplastic. Its cost is incredibly low despite delivering the same benefits of its older cousin.

  • Remarkable Seam Strength – EPDM may have built a solid reputation for toughness, but TPO’s seam strength is three to four times better than EPDM’s adhesive and tape seams. New and better formulations of TPO continue to hit the market, so expect it to make a new for itself as a durable material.

  • Aesthetic Versatility – Any roofing contractor would agree that TPO roofs is king in the beauty department. When most of its counterparts are limited to white and black, it’s available in a wide range of colors without giving up its “cool” properties. Thanks to its ultraviolet resistance, the vibrant hue of TPO membranes isn’t going to fade quickly.

Which one is right for your flat roof? Let Affordable Roofing System help you choose between EPDM and TPO roofing.

Call us now at (813) 542-8462 to schedule your appointment for a free estimate in St. Petersburg or Tampa, FL, at your convenience.

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Our Roofing Solutions

Your roof has an important job to do to keep your home dry, but it can also be an impressive home feature.


Our stone coated steel roofing system is available in a wide range of styles including Tile, Shake, Slate, and Shingle, and in a variety of colors. We’ll help you to choose one that will fit your home’s style and your budget.


As the most-used roofing type across North America, asphalt strikes a balance between price and durability, with a life expectancy of up to 20. Shingles are available for those who want affordable, genuine slate roofing.


Tile roofs offer unparalleled value when cost per year of use is factored in. While upfront costs are higher, customers who choose a clay or concrete tile roof will enjoy the aesthetics and quality for a lifetime.


Metal roofs today come in a wide array of colors and finishes. Innovations in metal roofing technology have significantly enhanced the performance of metal roofs.

TPO Membrane

TPO can be installed to any scale with some of the world’s largest building utilizing TPO roofing systems – it comes in strips typically 8ft 10ft and 12ft wide that are heat welded on site.

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