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TPO and PVC Roofing

Whether you have a low slope roof or a flat roof where the natural flow of water is slow, it is important that your roofing membrane is durable. Two options that have become popular for their longevity and durability over the years are TPO and PVC roofing.

TPO (Thermoplastic olefin) and PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) are two different kinds of plastics used in roofing projects. These thermoplastics are a great single-ply membrane option and are perfect for larger roofing projects.

Single-ply membranes are sheets of plastic and other synthetics that can be adhered to insulation to create a layer of protection for your roof. Then a watertight membrane seal is formed by hot air welding the seams.

TPO and PVC Roofing

TPO & PVC Roofing Applications

Single-ply roofing membranes are extremely versatile and can be used in many different roofing projects.

Low slope roofs can utilize single-ply membranes by directly adhering them to the insulation, creating a layer of protection. This roof replacement option is very simple and creates a fully leak-proof membrane that is smooth and visually pleasing.

Steel, wood, or stone ballasts can be attached to the single-ply membrane to create greater strength and durability.

Single-ply membranes can be used on low slope and flat roofs, and are ideal for commercial buildings, particularly in climates that have a lot of heavy rain and wind.

Differences between TPO & PVC Roofing

Although TPO and PVC roofs may look the same, they are in fact quite different in composition. The key factors that you want to consider when choosing between TPO and PVC single-ply membrane installation is the longevity of the roof, weather conditions, ease of installation, energy efficiency, and environmental impact.

  • TPO is a more affordable roofing application, but PVC has greater life span.
  • One of the biggest benefits of PVC membranes is their chemical resistance. For roofs that are exposed to grease and oil, PVC has an advantage over TPO. Although TPO does experience weathering due to acid, in the long run it is a better choice for water resistance. It is less likely to tear, break, and puncture due to non-chemical causes.
  • PVC is much easier to install due to its flexibility. TPO is stiffer and harder to weld.
  • Both PVC and TPO roofs are great choices in terms of energy efficiency. Both products come in light colors that are reflective, which improves heat and UV resistance.
  • If environmental impacts are a concern for you, your best option is TPO, as it is made 100% of recyclable materials. PVC contains chlorine and other chemicals which can cause environmental pollution during disposal.

TPO Roofing


  • More affordable
  • Energy efficient
  • Good weather resistance
  • Recyclable


  • Inconsistent manufacturing among different suppliers
  • Not very resistant to harsh chemicals

PVC Roofing


  • Trusted and proven system
  • Energy efficient
  • Strong chemical resistance
  • Easy to install and flexible system


  • More expensive than TPO
  • Not environmentally friendly

Thermoplastic Benefits

Single-ply membrane roofing has a proven track record for being a high performance roofing option.

Living in Vancouver’s rainy climate makes TPO and PVC great choices for your next roof. They are known for their excellent performance in extreme weather conditions including heavy rain, wind, and acid or chemical rainstorms.

TPO and PVC are available in various grades. This allows you to choose the protective grade you are looking for in terms of durability. The different grades come at different price points so you can choose the right grade for your roofing budget.

These roofing applications are also lightweight, flexible, energy efficient, and easy to install.

TPO and PVC Roofing

A roof perfect for climates with heavy rain and wind, like the Lower Mainland. Contact Mountain West Roofing today to inquire about our torch-on roofing solutions.

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