EPDM IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING COMMERCIAL ROOFING SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET.
Let’s look at its advantages and disadvantages and see if EPDM Roofing a good choice for your building.
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), is a synthetic rubber manufactured from oil and natural gas. It shows a lot of similarities to PVC systems, but EPDM is rubber and PVC is plastic. EPDM also has a lot in common with TPO. The three roofing systems are often discussed as one single-ply system, although there are differences.
The EPDM roofing system has grown in popularity in recent years based on the reputation it has built as a durable, inexpensive roofing option. Its durability and generally low price tag have made it the most common commercial roofing system in the US today. EPDM is also favored for its quick installation. Out of all the commercial roofing systems available, EPDM is quickly becoming the frontrunner. It appears as though EPDM may be the most common commercial roofing system for quite some time thanks to the following advantages.
As mentioned above, EPDM is very durable and has a very long life expectancy. A roofing system that building owners can depend on to work the way it should for a long time is a good roofing system.
EPDM can also be installed very quickly, and relatively inexpensive when compared with other roofing materials. EPDM roofing systems are made from recycled material, which is an obvious plus for the environment. EPDM gives old materials, such as rubber tires, a second life rather than ending up in a landfill.
As we already said, EPDM’s long life expectancy is a major plus for building owners, but is also great for the environment. If a metal roof and EPDM roof are installed on two different buildings at the same time, the EPDM roof will likely last longer than the metal roof and will require fewer repairs. When the metal roof is torn off, even if only partially for repairs, it results in more roofing material that will end up in a landfill. EPDM roofs last longer, with fewer repairs, so they send less material to landfills.
The most significant disadvantage EPDM roofs must overcome is that they are designed to have seems in them when installed. Contractors can try to minimize the number of seems on the roof, but there will always be seems that are prone to failure. When these seams are exposed to the elements, especially UV rays, they can become dry-rotted and fail, or begin to expand and contract which also leads to failure.
Once the seams fail, there will obviously be leaks inside the building, but there is another, less known problem. Once one seam fails, the roll of material next to it is now only bonded on three sides, and the failing seam can cause other seams or rolls to also fail.
EPDM is a great roofing system that has built a reputation around durability and a long life expectancy. It is not without its drawbacks, as is the case with every roofing system, but it is up to the building owner to determine if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and if the price point is right for the value delivered.