EPDM Rubber Roofing Membrane - What You Need To Know

What You Need To Know About EPDM Roofing Systems

EPDM Rubber Roofing Membrane - What You Need To Know

EPDM Rubber Roofing System Facts & Information
What Consumers Need To Know About Their EPDM Roof

EPDM roofing is a foreign term to many homeowners who are familiar with the most common roofing systems such as asphalt shingle or metal roofing.  EPDM is actually a very popular choice of roofing material for buildings with a low-slope roof or a completely flat roof where other, more traditional, roofing systems cannot be used.  EPDM has proven itself to be a great flat roofing system offering a very long service life.

What Is An EPDM Roof?

EPDM stands for (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) now you can see why we call it EPDM for short!  EPDM roofing is a very durable, long-lasting, synthetic rubber roofing membrane containing two primary ingredients.  Ethylene and proplyene which are both derived from oil and natural gas.  It comes in two primary colors which are black and white.  The white version of EPDM offers superior heat and UV reflection properties and is why it is sometimes referred to as “cool roofing” because it can help keep your building cool in the hot summer by reflecting heat, this often makes it an environmentally friendly choice as it can help reduce energy bills.

EPDM roofing comes to the project in rolls that can vary from 7.5 feet all the way up to 50 feet in width, depending on the size of the project.  The material is often found in two thicknesses from 45 mm to 60 mm, each offering it’s own benefits.  The smaller rolls (7.5 feet) are more suitable for residential projects, while the larger rolls are more suited to large commercial roofing projects.  Ideally, your contractor should be choosing a width so that they can minimize the amount of seams on your roof which makes the project less costly and more durable.

EPDM Roofing Benefits

  • Resists cyclical membrane fatigue
  • Offers superior hail resistance
  • Very resistant to abrasion
  • Very resistant to extreme weather
  • Offers flexibility in cool weather
  • Ultraviolet radiation resistance

The Benefits Of White EPDM Roofing

We are often asked what the benefit is to choosing a white EPDM roofing system over the traditional black EPDM.  The white EPDM roofing system retains the high-performance standards of a traditional black color but because it’s white, it is highly reflective.  These reflective properties help make white EPDM an environmentally friendly roofing surface that is designed to reflect away heat and help to reduce a buildings energy costs.

Traditional black EPDM roofing is designed to retain heat and the black color is achieved through the addition of “carbon black”.  The black coloring helps convert UV rays into heat.  White EPDM doesn’t have carbon black in the material instead reyling on titanium dioxide to help reflect the UV rays and prevent them from destroying the polymer material.  When used in the right setting white EPDM can work to reduce the air-conditioning costs of a structure and it can do this without sacrificing any durability.

Where Is EPDM Usually Installed?

EPDM is a very popular roofing system for medium to large sized commercial and industrial structures that have a low sloping or flat roofing system.  When a roof is flat or low slope it doesn’t have the same load bearing capacity as a triangular peaked roof.  These buildings include warehouses, car dealerships, office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, large retail stores, hospitals, schools, universities, and more.  While EPDM can work well for residential applications it’s usually best suited for larger structures because of the size of the rolls.  This can include apartments, townhomes, and condominiums.

How Is EPDM Roofing Installed?

There are several methods of installation for EPDM roofing system and it really depends on the existing structure, the roofing substrate and the roofing slope or shape.

Fully Adhered EPDM is generally the most popular choice for both new construction projects and roof replacement.  Especially where ease of inspection and regular maintenance are primary concerns for the building owner or management. A fully adhered EPDM roofing system is a lightweight system that has great flexibility and adaptability to work on many different roof lines and slopes. It can work just as well on a contoured roof, or roofs that have an irregular shape.  A fully adhered EPDM roofing system is also a good choice for any roof that has limited load bearing capacity.

Mechanically Attached EPDM Roofing also offers a lightweight flat roofing system that can be applied on many different types of building.  The most important requirement is that the particular roof decking can provide enough pull-out resistance to keep the fasteners from “pulling out”.  With a mechanically attached EPDM system large sheets of insulation are laid out on the roof and then adhered or mechanically fastened with special plates and fasteners.  Sheets of EPDM are rolled out to cover the layer of insulation and adjoining sheets are overlapped, spliced with proper seam tape, and mechanically fastened with special seam plates and  all weather fasteners.

Ballasted EPDM Roofing Systems are the more economical method of EPDM roofing installation and can be applied to a wide variety of building types assuming that the roof decking and supporting structure can support the additional weight of the ballast required (looks like gravel on your roof).   The ballast weighs down the roofing material and holds it on the roof during extreme weather.

The ballasted system is preferred to be used on large open roofs that do not have very many penetrating fixtures such as air conditioning units, chimneys, drains, skylights, and other protrusions on the roof.  Buildings like large warehouses, apartments, hotels, shops, and more can find a ballasted EPDM installation is the way to go for their particular structure because of it’s sheer speed of installation (the sheets can be very large) and other benefits such as fire resistance, great weather resistance, and low maintenance requirements.

Good Stuff Enterprises LLC Installs EPDM And Flat Roofing Systems

Good Stuff Enterprises LLC has extensive experience installing, repairing, and replacing flat roofing systems on residential, commercial, and industrial structures throughout Versailles, Lexington, Louisville, Nicholasville, and the surrounding areas.

We can install white or black EPDM on all sizes of structures.  Request your estimate today and one of our roofing professionals will inspect your current roofing system, answer any questions you might have about your roof, and we’ll be able to go over your options for replacement or repair for your specific flat roof.

If you’d like an estimate for your EPDM roof installation, repair, or replacement give us a call (859) 699-4344 or fill out our contact form and someone will get back to you shortly.

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