Welcome to our guide on everything you need to know about EPDM roofing, where we strive to peel back the secrets of the world of rubber roofing!
What Is EPDM?
EPDM – otherwise known as ethylene propylene diene monomer – is a synthetic rubber roofing material commonly used for low-slope roofs throughout the United States. They’re a popular choice for many commercial buildings due to their versatility, benefiting from such useful traits as UV- and ozone-resistance, as well as great adaptability to all types of harsh weather and intense temperatures.
Pros and Cons of EPDM Roofing
If you’re thinking about installing an EPDM rubber roof, take a gander at our Pros and Cons list below to see if this rubber roofing material is right for you.
These are just some of the pros of installing an EPDM membrane for your roof, among many:
- Great durability: EPDM can be resistant to temperatures as high as 300 °F and as low as −40 °F.
- Long lifespan: With proper maintenance, EPDM roofing can last up to 40 years with minimal degradation. You may only need to climb up to apply a fresh coat of paint every decade or so!
- Simple installation: EPDM rubber is an extremely accessible material to work with, and can be installed by almost anyone with the proper PPE and tools.
- Fast and cheap repairs: If your roof’s EPDM membrane is ever compromised by a tear or leak, it is extremely easy to repair it.
- Environmentally conscious: EPDM rubber is often made from recyclable materials and can be considered a “green” alternative for many roofs. At the end of its lifecycle, EPDM roofing material can also be recycled itself.
While not many, there are some downsides to this unique rubber roofing material, especially when we compare them to other popular choices such as shingle and metal roofs:
- Appearance: Most EPDM roofing is black, although some manufacturers are now producing them in white and off-white colors. They can also be painted over with acrylic paint to suit the color you want.
- Roofers and warranties: If you decide to go with commercial roofing contractors to install this rubber roofing material, then make sure you choose a well-respected and expert crew of roofers who know what they’re doing. Hiring an inexperienced roofer who doesn’t know how to install an EPDM membrane can lead to an installation that’ll need plenty of future repairs, which could even void your warranty.
- Fragility: When installed correctly and properly reinforced, EPDM can be quite elastic. A non-reinforced EPDM membrane is another thing entirely, however, especially when it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. As it ages, EPDM can shrink by as much as 4% of its original size, which can lead to “bridging” (stretching out across the roof instead of “hugging” it, due to the bonding agent drying out over the years) and easy puncturing.
How to Install Rubber Roof?
Although we recommend reaching out to a professional roofing company to install any type of EPDM roofing material, this can be a personal DIY project as well, if you’re up to the task.
What’s most important here is being prepared. Make sure you have all the equipment and tools needed before even thinking about climbing up that roof!
- Quality: Make sure your roof is not only clean and devoid of debris, but in good condition as well. Plastering rubber roofing over an already-existing, severely damaged roof is only covering up the problem, and not dealing with it correctly!
- Rest: Make sure to leave your EPDM membrane to rest once you’ve rolled it out over your fresh, clean roof. During transport and shipping, the membrane could have retracted, shrunk, or gotten wrinkled. Letting it stretch out over time will have it bounce back to its original shape.
- Application: With a water-based adhesive, glue your EPDM roofing material down to the roof decking. Make sure to roll down any air bubbles that may have come up. Once this is done, use the much stronger contact adhesive to glue down the edges.
Congratulations, you’ve now got yourself an EPDM rubber roof!
EPDM Roofing Experts in Jackson, TN
If you’ve liked what you’ve read and are heavily considering an EPDM roof for your business, give the #1 roofing company in Jackson, TN a call. At Titan Roofing & Construction, we offer a free quote estimate, and can get out to your neighborhood within the day. We also offer commercial roof repairs and replacements.