What Is EPDM Roofing?

January 14, 2023
What Is EPDM Roofing? When it comes to flat roof systems, you may have heard of the term EPDM. But what is EPDM and why is it such a popular choice for flat roofing systems over a typical asphalt shingle or other options? This article will explain what EPDM is, as well as its benefits and uses in the roofing community.
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is commonly used in flat roofing applications. It is known for its durability, flexibility, and resistance to extreme temperatures, UV rays, and weathering. It is popular choice for commercial and industrial buildings, as well as residential properties with flat or low-sloped roofs. It can be installed using various methods such as fully adhered, ballasted, or mechanically attached.
EPDM roofing has several benefits, including:
  1. Durability: These roofs are known for their long lifespan, often lasting over 20 years with proper maintenance.
  2. Weather resistance: The membrane can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions, such as high winds, heavy rain, and snow.
  3. UV resistance: Highly resistant to UV rays, which helps to prevent the roof from cracking or becoming brittle over time.
  4. Flexibility: EPDM is a flexible material, which allows it to expand and contract with temperature changes without cracking.
  5. Low maintenance: These roofs require minimal maintenance and can be easily repaired if needed.
  6. Cost-effective: These roofs are relatively inexpensive compared to other roofing options, making them a cost-effective choice for flat or low-sloped roofs.
  7. Environmentally-friendly: EPDM is a sustainable roofing option as it is made from a synthetic rubber, which is a renewable resource.
Mechanically fastened EPDM and fully adhered EPDM are two different methods of installing EPDM roofing.
  1. Mechanically Fastened EPDM: This method involves attaching the EPDM membrane to the roof deck using mechanical fasteners, such as plates with neoprene washers. This method is faster and less labor-intensive than fully adhered, and it is also a good option for roofs that experience a lot of movement. However, this method can lead to a higher risk of leaks over time, as the fasteners can loosen or come loose.
  2. Fully Adhered EPDM: This method involves applying an adhesive to the roof deck and then laying the EPDM membrane on top of it. The membrane is then pressed into the adhesive, creating a strong bond. This method is more labor-intensive than mechanically fastened, but it provides a more secure and long-lasting bond. It’s also a better option for roofs that experience minimal movement.
Overall, both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. The choice between the two will depend on the specific roofing needs, budget and the roof’s movement. It’s best to consult with a professional roofer like us here at Tier 1 Roofing who can help you decide which method is best for your specific roofing project. If you are interested in an EPDM roof, contact us today! 

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