TPO vs Hot Applied Waterproofing Roof Systems


If you’ve embarked on a roofing project, a common question to arise is, “How will we ensure the roof is waterproofed?” In this article, we’ll look at two of the major types of waterproofing roof systems: TPO and Hot Applied.

Hot Applied Waterproofing

Also known as “fluid applied”, this is the premium waterproofing systems for buildings and homes that are:

  • – Seeking the flat roof aesthetic with a slope less than 2:12
    – Green roofs
    – Protected ballast roofs
    – Paver roofs
    – Paver plaza decks
    – Decks over living spaces

Hot-applied roof coating systems are made of asphalt, bituminous or tar-based products and applied using heat. They are the highest performance roof solution. Because of this, the investment is greater upfront for the building owner or homeowner, but is extremely durable and resistant to harsh climates.

A hot-applied roof coating system tends to be more environmentally friendly. They have low VOC (Volatile Organic Components), where other roofing systems tend to utilize chemicals that can be harmful to your health and the world around you. A hot applied waterproofing system uses very few of these chemicals.

The HYDROTECH 6125 Waterproofing Membrane is an example of an excellent hot applied waterproofing system. Its seamless membrane means less leaks and lower maintenance.


TPO Waterproofing

Also known as “Thermoplastic Polyolefin”. TPO waterproofing uses polymer single-ply membrane and hot air to connect seams. This is a more cost-effective solution upfront, but requires hands-on maintenance moving forward. If you are inconsistent with maintenance, you will likely experience leaks after a few years. The building owner or homeowner should be prepared for ongoing costs related to maintenance.

If you live in an area with an extreme climate (such as heavy snowfall or intense, dry heat), the installation and upkeep process for these systems is extremely complex and can be costly. Our experts often recommend a protected ballast roof to preserve the roofing membrane. The ballast is typically stone or gravel and lies on top of the fabric, which sits atop the roofing membrane.

On a more positive note, TPO has high solar reflectivity making this an environmentally friendly option, particularly if you use a white membrane, which acts as a super reflector of heat. This material is pliable and ideal for handling building movement while preventing cracks and splits.

The most important takeaway for TPO is manufacturers have their own product ingredients which can change and don’t have an industry standardization to comply with; so if you do choose this route, it is essential to work with a trusted contractor utilizing trusted manufacturers.



Whichever waterproofing system makes sense for you, be sure to work with an expert to ensure installation is completed properly. Waterproofing your roof is essential to preventing cracks and leaks, but also for your health — as moisture buildup from leaks can lead to mold, breathing problems, and allergies.

If you’re looking for a trusted contractor to assist with the installation of your waterproofing roof system, use this link to get in touch with Utah’s trusted roofing experts.

If you live in one of these Utah neighborhoods, we want to work with you! 


  • • Red Ledges
    • The Colony
    • Victory Ranch
    • Heber City
    • Deer Valley / Deer Crest
    • Promontory
    • Park City
    • Glenwild 
    • Tuhaye
    • The Perserve 

Anthony Ortega, COO & Partner

Anthony Ortega is a dynamic and results-driven executive with a proven track record of fostering growth and innovation. With extensive experience in business operations and high-functioning business acumen, Anthony has consistently demonstrated his ability to integrate and optimize complex business processes.

As the Chief Operating Officer of VIOTELL, Anthony oversees all facets of the company’s operations, finance, fabrication, vendor relationships, and client success. His strategic leadership and expertise in operational excellence have been instrumental in driving the company’s sustained growth and competitive edge.