EDPM Roofing - Everything You Need To Know

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    EDPM Roofing Project

    So, by now you've probably heard of EPDM roofing. Does it pique your interest? Well, EPDM roofing is a type of single-ply membrane roofing where a material that is a blend of recycled tires, slate dust, and sawdust chemically adheres to insulation creating a protective layer on a facility. The EPDM material can also be chemically attached or mechanically fastened directly on the roof decks.

    EPDM roofing is one of the two primary types of single-ply membrane roofing, the other being TPO roofing.

    Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

    Single-ply membrane roofing is a type of roofing where rubber sheets and synthetics are chemically attached, mechanically fastened or ballasted to insulation to achieve a layer of protection on the building.

    It is this blend of rubber and other synthetics that are known as single-ply membranes. Single-ply membranes are low-budget thin roofing materials highly favored in commercial projects where the owner can choose between EPDM and TPO.

    You can easily distinguish between EPDM roofs and TPO roofs from their colors. TPO roof structures have a bright white reflective look while EPDM membranes are naturally dark; hence the use of the term 'Black Roofs,' to describe EPDM roofing. Rarely will you find EPDM in lighter colors, plus this raises the cost by about 30 percent.

    How Are EPDM Roofing Materials Made?

    EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. It is a type of synthetic membrane created by mixing recycled materials like sawdust, worn-out rubber tires, and slate dust.

    The EPDM membranes are manufactured in sizes 45, 60, and 90 Mil thick, rolled up, and transported to the site of the construction project.

    The composition of sawdust, rubber tire, and slate dust surely places EPDM among the lightest roofing materials. This reduces the need for extra materials to heavily support a roof deck. In fact, a medium-density fibreboard and standard timber purlins will just do fine to support your EPDM roofing.

    EDPM Roofing Project

    The Benefits of EPDM Roofing

    Affordable Roofing Material

    Running from $5.50 to $9.50 per square foot, EPDM roofing is one of the inexpensive types of roofing in the market. In fact, this is one of its biggest advantages. Experts say it only takes between $8,000 and $ 14000 to install an EPDM roof on a 15-foot square roof.

    The cost of installation depends on the insulation layer and the labor to tear off the existing roof.

    Easy To install

    Compared to other types of roofing materials. Single-ply membrane roofing is frigging easy to install. EPDM rubber membranes are lightweight. To install this material, the contractor starts by tearing off the existing roof; he then applies a chemical adhesive and rolls out the EPDM roofing material. No reinforcements are needed.

    Installation Options

    Like all single-ply membranes, EPDM rubbers do not have an installation factor. The customer can choose the installation method that suits his/her budget. You can choose to use chemical adhesives, ballast, or fasteners to secure the rubber in place.

    What is great is that whichever installation method you choose, the process remains easy and fast. It is also DIY-friendly, so you may choose to do it yourself too.

    Waterproof Capability

    EPDM roofing uses very few seams. The benefit of this is enhanced waterproof capabilities. Honestly, with EPDM roofs, leaks are very rare. But if they do occur, don’t worry, you can easily fix patches using latex tapes, adhesives or liquid roofing membranes.

    Class A Fire-Rating

    During the manufacturing process, fire-redundant chemicals are blended into the EPDM materials to achieve Class A fire-rating. EPDM roofing materials won’t catch fire in case of lightning strikes or other accidents at the facility.


    While not 100 % energy efficient because of the heat-absorbing black color, EPDM roofing membranes are made from recyclable materials and can be recycled at the end of service too.

    EPDM roofs can also be combined with a 'green roof' to minimize carbon emission. You just install a rooftop garden on the structure. This reduces temperature and improves air quality inside the house too.

    EDPM Roofing Process

    The Downsides to EPDM Roofing

    Yes, there are downsides to EPDM roofing. The biggest disadvantage is the roof's natural black color. As mentioned earlier, rarely will you find EPDM membranes in a lighter color, plus these costs more.

    The dark color makes EPDM roofing not energy-efficient. Because of the likelihood of superheating, EPDM roofing membranes are not suitable for facilities in coastal and other hot climates.

    The black color is also not aesthetic, and though ballast stone can be used to improve appearance, EPDM is not the best choice for roofing sheds or garages for the sake of curb appeal.

    Lastly, EPDM membranes are vulnerable to punctures from falling branches, foot traffic, etc. and even though patches can be fixed easily, once water gets in the material, it tends to compromise the integrity of the structure.

    EDPM Costs

    EPDM Roofing Costs

    At $5.50 to $9.50 per square foot, EPDM rubber sheets are among the most inexpensive roofing materials. This thin roofing material is eco-friendly and offers various benefits for your low-slope or flat roof. If you are ready to go shopping for EPDM roofing materials, here is what to keep in mind:

    What is your geographic location? As mentioned before, the natural dark look of EPDM tends to cause superheating making this roofing type not suitable for structures in warmer climates.

    Do some research on the manufacturer. Do they provide a warranty for both commercial and residential applications? What is their track record? There are various EPDM roofing membranes in the market. It is easy to get lost selecting between EPDM roofing brands. You'd better focus on the warranty and the manufacturer's track record. 20 years to Full-Time Warranty is the best. Make sure it is comprehensive in what it covers.

    Alrighty loves, there you go; are you there or not about EPDM roofing membranes? If you can’t make up your mind, check out further information at kogroofing.com, your ultimate roofing website.

    EDPM Roofing Frequently Asked Questions

    What is EPDM??

    EPDM is a synthetic roofing material made from two components, ethylene, and propylene. It is an elastomeric compound that is resistant to ozone, ultraviolet, and weathering. 

    What does EPDM look like?

    EPDM is typically available in two colors, black and white. EPDM has a highly reflective surface that helps lower energy costs. In areas that experience hot and humid weather conditions, white EPDM roofing reflects the heat away and thus helps decrease energy expenses. 

    How long does EPDM Roofing Last?

    A quality installation can provide a property owner with up to 50 years of roof life, or more. Preventive maintenance and inspections can extend the life span of the roof for even longer.

    Does EPDM Come in Differnt Sizes?

     EPDM is available in different colors, thicknesses, and widths. Depending on your location and needs, talk to your expert roofing contractor a KOG today.