Ethylene propylene diene monomer. What a mouthful! Luckily, this rubber roofing material is better known as EPDM. A staple of the commercial roofing industry for over 40 years, EPDM is a very popular choice for commercial roofs, especially those with low-slope roofing. It’s also strong, resistant to most weather, and very reliable. If you’re interested in learning more about EPDM’s characteristics and benefits, read on! We can help you decide if EPDM roofing is the right choice for your building.
Unlike newer competitors (like TPO roofing), EPDM has been around for over 40 years. However, as the years have passed, the EPDM roofing system has changed in response to new technologies. In the 1980s, for example, seam tapes replaced liquid adhesives and greatly improved the performance of EPDM roofs. Strong and reliable, EPDM roofs installed in the 1970s are often still in great condition today.
EPDM roofs are composed of ethylene propylene diene monomer (a synthetic rubber), as you might have guessed. The rubber is formed into a single-ply membrane that is around 45-60 mm in thickness and is sold in rolls that can be as wide as 50 feet. Most are black, but pigments and dyes can be added to create a white finish (which will reflect sunlight and keep the building cooler). At the seams, it is bonded with heat to form a strong, solid barrier.
PROS & CONS
Although EPDM roofing is most popular with low-slope roofs, you’ll find it on all sorts. It provides excellent resistance against UV heat, strong winds, and dangerous precipitation. With proper maintenance, it doesn’t require any special treatment or extra coatings. Plus, it can be applied as a ballasted, fully-adhered, or mechanically-attached system. The most important benefit of EPDM roofing, however, is its age. Due to its 40-year history, many manufacturers have grown with the product and understand it better than some other systems. Over the years, it has become easier to install and repair due to improved technology and the creation of EPDM-specific accessories. And since it’s been around for so long, roofers can confidently state that EPDM roofing has a potential life span of 50 years or more.
There are very few cons when it comes to EPDM roofing. This is a reliable, time-tested product that people continue to purchase and love. As long as you find an experienced roofing contractor who can install it correctly and you don’t forget to conduct regular maintenance, you should be satisfied with a new EPDM roof.
However, if you live in a very humid and wet climate, you may have trouble with an EPDM roof. Because it requires dryness for proper installation, you may find it bubbling up, blistering, or tearing. Also, EPDM cannot be installed directly over asphalt, tar, felt, or shingle roofing, so you will need to have those materials removed first.
Looking to replace or repair your commercial roof with an EPDM system? If you’re interested in learning more about EPDM roofing and you live in the Springfield, Missouri area, give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-877-7548 or click here to get a free quote. It’s that easy!