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  • Ragland Construction

TPO Membrane vs Coatings

Updated: Oct 12, 2019

When researching options for your roof, your may come across Fluid Applied Silicone Membrane Coatings, and TPO Single Ply Membranes as the prevalent roof systems. Here is what you should know about each, when making the decision to get a new roof.

While both TPO and Silicone Coatings are viable options for your roof, a prospective Property or Business Owner must know the difference between the two.


TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) (has quickly become the staple material for the Commercial Flat Roof Industry. It has a proven history of long-lasting durability and Flat Roof Solutions. TPO typically comes in rolls of 4', 6', or 10'. It is rolled across the roof surface, mechanically attached, and heat welded together, creating one continuous single-ply membrane. Pros

  • Long Lasting

  • Energy Star Rated

  • Ideal for all Flat Roof Applications

  • Many different Accessories and Options Give great Flexibility in Price and Installation

  • Can be Used to Recover your Current Roof System

  • Long Warranty Terms (10 Year, 15 Year, 20 Year, 25 Year and even 30 Year)


  • May be More Expensive than a Coatings System in some cases

  • Proper Installation is Crucial

Silicone Coatings

Silicone Coatings (Fluid Applied Membrane) have been around since the 1960's, and has remained a common option for Flat Roofs everywhere. This product typically comes in a 5 Gallon Bucket, and is either rolled or sprayed onto the Roof Surface. Careful prep-work is required to ensure the proper adhesion of the substance to the roof substrate (surface), and the thickness (millage) is crucial to ensure a proper installation and long lasting system. In addition to this, products such as Asphalt Primer and Microfibers may be required for proper installation. Pros

  • Long History of Use

  • Seamless Roof System

  • Simple Application

  • Energy Efficient and Renewable


  • Won't Hold up to Ponding or Standing Water Long

  • Depending on the Roof Substrate, Installation can get Very Pricey

  • Doesn't Last as Long as TPO

  • No Impact Resistance

  • As with TPO, Proper Installation is Crucial

  • Shorter Term Warranties

Overall, both Roof Systems have their ins and outs. TPO is great for longevity, longer warranty periods, and energy efficiency. For a Flat Roof, Silicone Coatings are less than ideal because of ponding. Many times, older flat roofs will have low spots that hold water, which deteriorates Silicone. Depending on the Roof Type and requirements, a Silicone Coating System can be more expensive than TPO. In a Sloped Metal Application, a Silicone Coating Excels, and can be far less expensive than TPO. At the end of the day, it is the prospective Property or Business Owner to decide what roof system they want to install. Give us a call today for a FREE Estimate: (256)-836-8152

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