The benefits of installing a thermoplastic olefin flat roof include thermally fused seams, ultraviolet light resistance, flame-retardant roofing and single-layer application. Thermoplastic olefin comes in a variety of roll sizes, ranging from 6- to 12-foot lengths. The polymers in thermoplastic olefin roofing are not crosslinked, so installers can heat and cool the film repeatedly.
Traditional flat roofs require a buildup of several layers of roofing felt and tar but are prone to leaks at seams. Thermoplastic olefin roofing joins using a hot-air welder to form a single sheet that covers the entire roof, eliminating many leaks. The seams are effective enough to allow completing the new roof by applying a single layer of film across the surface.
Thermoplastic olefin membranes work on a variety of flat and low-slope roofs. The white roofing material works well with many commercial structures. Installation options other than using the hot-air welder include ballast and fully adhered applications.
Thermoplastic olefin roofing also makes economic sense. Installation of the single layer reduces the cost of both labor and materials. With excellent Energy Star ratings, the membrane continues to save money by reducing cooling costs.
Early versions of the materials had drawbacks, including shrinkage that lead to pulling apart of seams and joints with other materials. Other reports indicate splits along fasteners and erosion of the membrane.