Largest-Ever Independent TPO Study

The increasing popularity of TPO roofing systems has led to much confusion, exaggerated claims, and misinformation about TPO as a product class (and about which TPO brand performs the best).  GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, has maintained that its EverGuard Extreme® TPO is the best-performing TPO available in the market. In an effort to obtain independent confirmation for that claim, GAF engaged and commissioned Structural Research Inc. (SRI) www.sri-msn.com, a well-known and highly respected laboratory that has done testing with UL, NRCA, and MRCA, to perform the largest independent performance study ever completed of the major TPO brands.

SRI independently obtained various rolls (a total of 45 in all) of GAF, Carlisle, Johns Manville, and Firestone TPO, which were made in each of the manufacturers’ plants throughout 2013 and early 2014.  Over 400 samples were cut from the 45 rolls. Those samples were subjected to over 6,000 individual measurements over the course of the study.  All membranes tested were 60 mil thickness (with the exception and addition of 50 mil GAF EverGuard Extreme® TPO).

SRI conducted a variety of ASTM physical property testing including thickness above scrim and weld strength which showed that the four TPO brands exhibit relatively similar performance on these tests. It wasn’t until ASTM heat aging, weathering, and weight loss tests—the tests most closely associated with long-term membrane performance—were conducted that the various TPOs exhibited significant differences.

“It was no surprise that this independent study proves that all four TPO membranes outperform the requirements of the ASTM standard; it was also no surprise that our EverGuard Extreme® membrane is the top-performing TPO, by far,” stated Chris McGroarty, Senior Product Manager, Single-Ply Membranes at GAF.  “What was truly eye-opening were the differences in performance among the rest of the TPO products, especially in terms of accelerated weathering.  Anyone who uses or specifies TPO needs to see these results.”

GAF has created a website, www.gaf.com/TPOresults, which has a summary of the results issued by SRI.  To find out how your favorite brand of TPO fared in the study, visit www.gaf.com/TPOresults.

TPO membranes continue to show their benefits for low-slope roofing projects with their durability, reflectivity, and value.  Enhancements by all TPO manufacturers continue to push the industry ahead; and GAF is taking the lead in driving performance for the benefits of its end-users.

Study Highlights:

  • Structural Research Inc. (SRI) sri-msn.com, one of the roofing industry’s oldest and most trusted testing laboratories, performed the largest-ever independent study of TPO membranes. 
  • A total of over 400 TPO samples were cut from 45 rolls, produced by the four major U.S. manufacturers and subjected to rigorous weathering, heat aging, and other ASTM physical tests to determine how each brand performs. 
  • The results confirmed that GAF’s EverGuard Extreme® TPO is the top-performing TPO available—by a wide margin.
  • The study also revealed that, while all four brands exceed minimum ASTM standards, some perform much better than others in long-term weathering/performance tests.
  • Full results and images can be found at gaf.com/TPOresults

To learn more about GAF, visit www.gaf.com.

About GAF: Founded in 1886, GAF is the largest roofing manufacturer in North America. The company’s products include a comprehensive portfolio of steep-slope and commercial roofing systems, which are supported by an extensive national network of factory-certified contractors. Its success is driven by its commitment to Advanced Quality, Industry Expertise, and Solutions Made Simple. GAF was the first roofing manufacturer to offer a Lifetime limited warranty on all of its laminated shingles, which then evolved with the introduction of the GAF Lifetime Roofing System by extending the Lifetime coverage beyond just the roofing shingles.

With a focus on social responsibility, GAF developed Advanced Protection® Shingle Technology, providing superior durability and wind resistance while reducing the use of natural resources. The company also developed single-ply and asphaltic roofing membranes with superior durability and high reflectivity to meet the most rigorous industry standards while helping commercial property owners and designers reduce energy consumption.

GAF also supports the roofing industry through CARE, the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, which has provided education to over 125,000 professionals. CARE’s mission is to help professional contractors and distributors build their businesses through sales and management education, and to provide product and installation training to contractors, distributors, architects, property owners, and related industry personnel. For more information about GAF, visit gaf.com.

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