PVC Roof Options and Costs – PVC vs. TPO Membrane in 2022

PVC, technically known as Polyvinyl Chloride is really vinyl roofing, though is routinely referenced as PVC roof.

PVC competes with TPO and EPDM in the synthetic roof membrane arena, and indirectly with all other roofing materials including BUR, modified bitumen, and structural standing seam roofs designed for lower sloped roofs.

Membrane roofs are usually applied to flat or low-slope roofs but using a single-ply membrane on a sloped roof is also possible and common on roofs with slopes between 1:12 and 3:12.

Why not just use traditional roofing materials (asphalt shingles or other tiles) on a low sloped roof? Because they are very likely to leak unless a minimum specified slope for shingles or tiles has been met.

When used with a slope, the overlap of those materials is designed to shed water away from the roof deck. Whereas flat roofs have only a slight pitch, and any standing, or pooling water, could lead to immediate leaks and rotting soon thereafter.

PVC membrane is a kind of roofing material that can withstand pooling or standing water — puddles of water that accumulate on roofs with low slopes.

Cost

Of the three primary membrane roof types, PVC is the most expensive. EPDM is the least costly option, and TPO is somewhere in the middle.

TPO allegedly offers the benefits of both the other types, yet that material keeps undergoing formula changes, and so compared to PVC and EPDM is considered less reliable, particularly when it comes to warranties.

Prices for residential installs can vary greatly. A roofer is likely to quote differently than a professional PVC installer, probably less, but also likely to not have the proper tools. A fair range is between $8.50 and $14.50 per square foot or $850 to $1,450 per square, depending on the project complexity and location, when installed by a PVC expert.

For a typical 1,200 square foot flat roof, you can expect a total average cost range between $10,200 and $17,400 for a new PVC roof mechanically attached to a roof deck. The cost includes all the necessary materials and supplies, professional installation, building permits, and installation warranty.

Asphalt Shingles

$8,500
Average Cost
Metal Roof

$15,500
Average Cost
Flat Roof Membrane

$11,500
Average Cost

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EPDM Rubber Roof Cost, Plus Pros & Cons in 2022

Welcome to the default, or old school, material for flat roof installations. It’s technical name: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is a mouthful. While it is simply a rubber material, we’ll go with EPDM since everyone else does.

EPDM rubber roofs compete directly with TPO and PVC single-ply membranes as a low-slope roofing material. EPDM, though, tends to only be used on flat roofs while PVC and TPO are sometimes used on sloped roofs.

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2022 TPO Roof Cost and Pros & Cons of TPO Membrane Roofs

Say it with me: Thermoplastic polyolefin. Yes, TPO is much easier. According to Firestone Building Products’ white paper, TPO is technically a polypropylene based plastic combined with ethylene/propylene rubber.

So, plastic and rubber, mixed is what comprises a thermoplastic roofing membrane designed primarily for low-slope roofing applications with energy-efficiency in mind.

Much of the information online boasts how TPO is increasingly popular in commercial flat roofing. The thing is, we aren’t concerned with commercial buildings, and instead focus on the membrane options available, along with the costs, for adding this material to a low-sloped residential roof.

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