When it’s in good condition, a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof reflects harsh UV rays and resists heat and chemical damage. Like all roof membranes, however, over time, TPO’s integrity can be affected by structural stress and environmental exposure, resulting in surface degradation, thinning and shrinkage. No roof lasts forever, but with a good maintenance plan, you can greatly extend the life of your TPO roof.
The Cost of Neglect
In the absence of visible leaks, many facility managers adopt the old “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it,” motto. Unfortunately, by the time leaks show up, damage to the TPO membrane, the insulation layer and the roof deck could result in the need for costly repairs or complete roof replacement. The expense to maintain a TPO roof is much less than the cost to replace it. Neglect can result in added expenses if leaks cause structural damage, inventory or equipment damage, operational downtime or financial loss due to health claims arising from exposure to mold. Lack of maintenance is one of the biggest causes of premature TPO roof failure, ranking right up there with misuse and abuse, faulty workmanship and improper design. The best time to adopt a maintenance plan is right after the installation of the new membrane but older roofs will also benefit.
Get Your Records Together
Accurate records are essential for documenting roof-related events. Keep a file that contains the following:
- Initial TPO roof specs and related construction documents
- Roof modification records (such as rooftop equipment installation)
- Detailed bid sheets, estimates and change orders
- Manufacturer’s warranty documents
- Inspection records (including photos and videos)
- Repair and maintenance records
A good maintenance plan starts with a comprehensive evaluation of the membrane’s current condition by a reputable roofing professional. Request a written report that includes a detailed survey of known problems, potential issues, recommendations and a cost estimate for repairs. A professional evaluation should include a visual inspection of the membrane’s surface, seams, fasteners and flashing. An infrared thermography survey can locate tiny penetrations that aren’t visible to the naked eye. The inspector will look for voids or signs of deterioration in sealants around coping joints, coping ends and penetrations such as skylights and rooftop units. He’ll also be looking for inadequate or blocked drainage, ponding water and the condition of roof/wall tie-ins and parapets.
Taking the Guesswork Out of TPO Maintenance
A qualified roofing company will check and repair sealants, seams and fasteners as necessary. Because certain products, like roofing cement, are not compatible with TPO, avoid do-it-yourself fixes, which can cause more damage. At North American Roofing, we know that inspecting, repairing and maintaining your TPO roof can be a daunting task for the typical facility manager. That’s why we developed the RoofGuard Maintenance Program, which allows managers to focus on their daily business without worrying about scheduling the inspections, maintenance and repairs necessary for keeping the roof in good shape and for keeping the warranty in effect. No matter what your roofing needs are – North American Roofing has the answer. We’ve earned the reputation as being the most trusted and respected roofing company in America because we provide our customers with the highest level of professional workmanship and service.