What Is EPDM?
EPDM, commonly known as a “rubber roof” or ethylene propylene diene monomer, gets its name from the chemicals mixed in various proportions to form it. It’s manufactured in large sheets or rolls and is quick and easy to install, on top of being one of the most inexpensive roofing materials around. EPDM roofing membrane is very lightweight, so the roof deck will not need any reinforcement. And because there are few seams, leaks are rare and a good quality EPDM can last for decades.
The Pros of EPDM
Generally, EPDM comes in at the lowest price per square foot for flat or low-sloped roofs compared to other types of roofing. It’s also a great option that is commonly chosen for low-sloped roofs. While the contractor and manufacturer costs will vary, this material is mostly chosen by price-conscious building owners.
While the majority of EPDM roofs are black, they can also be white, allowing them to reflect UV rays and even reduce energy costs. They are compatible with rooftop gardens and solar cell arrays. This material is also lightweight, allowing it to adapt to any shape or style of the roof while providing the same advantages.
In addition, very little effort or materials are required to manufacture this material, and it’s 100% recyclable!
Not only is this material fire-resistant, but it actually slows down the progress of fires.
Provided that it is installed correctly, you can expect an EPDM roof to last around 20 years or longer. In fact, new manufacturing formulas have allowed this material to become impervious to radiation and damage from UV rays. They are also resistant to wind and hail of up to 3 inches. You can also depend on them to be leak-proof, given that the material is fairly new.
Lower Energy Costs
EPDM is easily paired with polyiso insulation and it also comes in white color. Properly installed, this material can be great for keeping out the sun’s heat as well as keeping the heat in the building during colder temperatures. EPDM can also be coated to prolong its life and provide additional reflectivity and hence, greater energy efficiency.
The Cons of EPDM
Ballasted EPDM is a relatively inexpensive roofing system when compared to others. However, fully adhered or mechanically attached systems are slightly more expensive than rival products such as TPO. Your contractor must be very knowledgeable about what installation method best fits your building’s unique needs. Many roofers who claim to know how to install this material properly are not trained to do it correctly.
Relatively Fragile in the Wrong Environment and at End of Its Life
While reinforced EPDM is offered by many, EPDM is most common in its non-reinforced form and punctures more easily. EPDM is subject to shrinkage as it ages and can shrink up to 4%. This leads to “bridging” where your EPDM roof, and your building, are most vulnerable. Make sure you have your EPDM roof maintained twice a year by a qualified roofing contractor to spot this condition as the roof ages.
A black rubber roof is unsightly in certain locations. Consider white EPDM or digital patterned PVC on low roofs on apartment buildings or hotels, for example, which can be seen by people on higher floors. You may be surprised that a little color can go a long way as far as making this material easier on the eyes.
If you think EPDM roofing is the best option for you, contact Certified Inc. Roofing today to get the best in EPDM roofing for your commercial business.