What is EPDM?

placing roof

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. This is an extremely durable synthetic rubber that is widely used in various applications, most commonly in the roofing of flat surfaces. Ethylene and propylene, its two primary ingredients, are derived from oil and natural gas. This makes EPDM heat and weather-resistant and an ideal solution as a roofing material. For over 40 years, EPDM rubber roofing has been an attractive choice of the low-slope commercial roofing industry. Its appeal hasn’t slowed down as it continues to be the number one choice of roof consultants, architects, and building contractors. Whether it’s an entirely new roof or a roof replacement, EPDM serves its purpose without fail.

Some of the characteristics that contribute to EPDM having the roofing industry’s longest average service life is its superior overall system performance, which includes:

  • Cyclical membrane fatigue resistance
  • High resistance to extreme heat and fire
  • High resistance to wind damage
  • High resistance to ozone, weathering, and abrasion
  • Ultraviolet radiation resistance
  • Flexibility in low temperatures
  • Thermal shock durability
  • Proven hail resistance
  • EPDM’s time tested, long-term performance is all the proof architects, roof consultants, and building contractors need to depend on. EPDM roofs can last up to 50 years when properly installed and well maintained. Regular checks on your EPDM roof will play a large role in how long it lasts, so it’s important to find a reputable company with the required skills and experience to work on your roof. If you decide to go the DIY route, remember to dot your I’s and T’s.

Rubber roofing is more expensive than felt. Is it worth it?

For over a hundred years, felt roofing has been a popular material for flat roofing systems. Though durable, waterproof, and cheap, felt roofing has some disadvantages. It is highly flammable, contains known carcinogens, and produces harmful fumes during its installation, which are harmful to inhale. EPDM rubber roofing, on the other hand, boasts of a number of benefits over its ancestor as it is a more recent innovation.

Felt and EPDM share similar characteristics. They are both waterproof and weather-resistant, but EPDM boasts superior durability and versatility than its predecessor. EPDM can resist both subzero temperatures and extreme heat. Its resilience to the elements is higher than that of felt. As the world moves towards a greener ecosystem, felt roofing made from crude oil isn’t a sustainable option for a greener ecosystem. EPDM roofing doesn’t have the same impact on global warming as felt and is recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly alternatives. EPDM has a longer service life than felt roofing, which reduces its need to be replaced regularly. This, coupled with its insulating properties, helps bring down the building’s heating costs and reduces its carbon footprint.

Yes. EPDM rubber roofing is slightly more expensive than traditional felt roofing. Still, the benefits it provides, such as its potential energy savings, environment sustainability, and ease of installation, cost-effectiveness over a long-term period, make it the more economical option and the flat roofing system of choice for many property owners.

What does ponding on a flat roof mean?

Ponding is the unwanted pooling of water that forms on a flat roof. This happens as a result of the flat roof not being completely flat. Most flat roof systems are designed in such a way to have a slight pitch. This is to shed rainwater off the sides and into gutters or internal drains or a combination of both. When the drain is clogged or, for some reason, does not perform the way it should, rainwater tends to pool around the low area of the flat roof. Over time, the puddle of water accelerates many materials’ deterioration, the roof membrane becomes weak and brittle and slowly begins to crack and leak.

Can you use rubber roofing membrane for green roofs?

Part of the appeal of EPDM rubber roofing is its versatility. For green roofs partially covered by vegetation or some form of growing medium, EPDM is ideal. EPDM’s waterproof nature, resilience, and sturdiness against the weather elements make it stay durable or such roof types. Extra additional layers of insulation will have to be applied, though, to avoid roofing damage.

How much does rubber roofing cost?

The cost of rubber roofing varies depending on your location, cost of materials, installation cost, the thickness of the roofing membrane, color, and other factors. EPDM roofing membranes can cost about 50 cents-$1.50 per square foot if you want to go it alone and make it a DIY project. Having it professionally installed runs around $2.50-$4.50 per square foot or $2,250-$4,000 for a 30×30-foot flat roof. EPDM’s are slightly more expensive than other roofing options, but the long-term benefits make it more cost-effective than cheaper alternatives.

How to install rubber roofing.

Here are the four key stages involved in installing an EPDM rubber roof

  • Clean The Roof:This is the first ad most crucial step. Clean the roof and make sure it is done thoroughly; remove any debris that may already be on the roof, such as leaves, twigs, stones, and old shingles. Cleaning the roof prevents lumps or areas that won’t be able to bond with the adhesive once the material has been laid. Fill any gaps in the roof with wood strips as the rubber material will not hold to any gaps more than a quarter of an inch in size.
  • Position The EPDM Membrane: After the roof is cleaned, roll the material out and lay it into the required position across the surface of the roof. Leave the material for the 20-30 minutes to let any folds or creases fall out. Next, sweep a broom over the exposed rubber to ensure it’s completely smooth and flat.
  • Trimming the Material:This part requires steady hands to remove excess parts of the membrane that are making it difficult to work with. Carefully trim the excess material and make sure not to go off course and remove more than is needed.
  • Apply the Adhesive:Use a water-based adhesive and apply to the decking once one half of the membrane has been pulled back. The glue must be kept no more than 150mm to the edges of the roof. This is where the contact adhesive will later be applied. Use a stronger contact adhesive to stick the membrane down into corners and other complex areas of the surface.

Please note, before you embark on a flat roofing DIY project, please consult with a professional roofer.

Our Guaranteed Service

BIM is the No.1 professional roofing construction company in London. We have highly skilled roof repair specialists who employ the best quality grade roofing materials for any roofing project. Our service is perfection guaranteed as we strive to give our customers the very best they deserve. When roof repairs get too complicated for simple DIY tasks, BIM brings an effective and efficient roof repair service to your project. All at affordable rates, so you don’t have to worry at spending too much on repairs. From asphalt roofing to concrete roofs and EPDM rubber roofs, we handle them all and more. No matter which roof type you have, we will ensure the very best of roof repairs.

Matt HAuthor: Matt Holder

Matt Holder is our in-house writer. Matt has been working in the construction industry for 10 years. From working on-site to integration himself into our office.

 

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