Plastic Roofing Sales Grow on Cool Roofing Advantages

Plastic roofing is forecast to post the strongest annual increases of any major low-slope roofing product through 2023, rising 1.5% per year, due in part to its ease of installation and low maintenance requirements. TPO remains the leading plastic roofing type, supported by its lower cost and comparable performance properties to PVC roofing. The ability of most plastic roofing products to meet cool roofing criteria will continue to support demand growth. These trends and more are analyzed in Low-Slope Roofing published by The Freedonia Group.

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Plastic roofing (TPO roofing, specifically) began to gain significant traction in the 1990s after several of the leading low-slope roofing suppliers – including Carlisle, Firestone, and GAF – began offering TPO products. In fact, TPO roofing’s share of the low-slope roofing market (in squares of area covered) expanded from 7% in 2000 to 18% in 2018.

Plastic roofing products compete primarily with polymer-modified bitumen membranes and rubber systems:

  • Many contractors have shifted away from bituminous roofs to plastic in order to take advantage of plastic’s easier installation and performance benefits.
  • White-colored EPDM membranes compete by offering similar reflective, energy efficient advantages as plastic roofs and can have longer lifespans. However, TPO roofing is often less expensive than EPDM membranes and features performance advantages such as superior resistance to leaks.

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