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What is the difference between TPO and EPDM you say?

Let’s start by breaking down those acronyms (TPO & EPDM)

  • TPO: Thermoplastic Polyolefin
  • EPDM: Ethylene propylene diene monomer or terpolymer

WOW, ok, now that we’re past that point, let’s take a quick look at the two and compare them.


This was commercialized in the early 1990s in North America. It is made with olefinic materials (unsaturated organic hydrocarbon). To keep things short, it is not created with plasticizers. In the long run embrittlement due to loss of plasticizer isn’t of any concern. These membranes are typically white. They are usually found in rolls 12 feet wide by 100 feet long and most commonly used in commercial applications.


EPDM is the leading roofing material since 2005. It is a synthetic Rubber. While these membranes are very durable and weatherproof, they are not made to be installed just anywhere. Any of the following solvents could cause an undesired swelling of the membrane.

  • Aromatic
  • Halogenated
  • Aliphatic solvents
  • Animal oils
  • Vegetable oils

Just by taking a quick look at this list it becomes apparent which types of roofs could accommodate such a material and which could not. The material comes in different lengths and widths, these are as follows:


  • 10 feet – 3 Metres
  • 20 feet – 6 Metres
  • 45 feet – 14 Metres
  • 50 feet – 15 Metres

With lengths of up to 200 feet – 61 Metres

Ok, so you want me to get to the point already, don’t you?

Here is the break down; TPO is a superior product with performance characteristics beyond that of EPDM. While this may be true, TPO also comes with a higher price tag, but longer warranties to compensate.

For more information on the subject we recommend the following source .

Lucas Contracting is an expert in TPO & EPDM Installations in Ottawa and the surrounding areas in Ontario. Please contact us for a free estimate on flat roofs or otherwise and we’ll be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Contact us


2013 Prince of Wales
Ottawa, Ontario
K2C 3J7
Phone: 613-913-5539
Fax: 613-680- 9089

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