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EPDM Roofing

The Complete Guide

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EPDM roofing has been a reliable option for flat and low-slope roof installation projects for nearly 60 years. If you’re contemplating an EPDM roof…

This guide is designed for you.

In this EPDM roofing guide ››

You will discover all the essential information:

  • Composition of EPDM roofing material
  • Choosing the suitable EPDM flat roof system
  • EPDM’s hail resistance and other advantages
  • Selecting an EPDM rubber roofing contractor

Let’s commence with your EPDM roofing knowledge.

EPDM Roofing Introduction

What is EPDM Roofing?

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a durable single-ply membrane composed primarily of propylene and ethylene.

Often referred to as a “rubber roof,” EPDM roofs can provide extended coverage for 50 years or more with appropriate maintenance.

Upon installation, a fully adhered EPDM roofing system exhibits high flexibility and remarkable versatility. However, rubber roofing is particularly suitable for low-slope roofs or flat commercial roof structures.

Comprising four distinct layers, EPDM roofing material ensures 100% waterproofing and does not contaminate rainwater runoff in any way.

EPDM Roofing Membrane Details

You may be curious…

What is EPDM roofing material composed of?

Let’s delve into it.

EPDM roofing comprises four layers, making it one of the most robust and enduring roof membranes available.

1. EPDM Elastomeric Base Layer
2. AFR Fire Retardant Middle Layer
3. FRM Polyester Fiber Reinforced Top Layer
4. Optional White EPDM Roofing Top Layer

Incorporating fully adhered vapor barriers, fiberglass, and polyethylene reinforcements, an EPDM roofing system can withstand some of the most challenging environmental elements, including high winds and hail storms.

Various installation methods exist. Some EPDM roofing systems are installed using a stone or paver ballast placed on top of the membrane.

Ballasted EPDM Roofing Detail

EPDM Roof Membrane Thickness and Color Options

EPDM roof membranes are supplied in rolled sheets that are wide and long, manufactured in three common thicknesses:

1. 45 Mil EPDM rubber roofing
2. 60 Mil EPDM rubber roofing
3. 90 Mil EPDM rubber roofing

Some manufacturers also provide a 75-mil EPDM membrane.

When contemplating membrane thickness for single-ply roofing installation…

Your roofer will take various factors into consideration when making a recommendation.

The thickness is directly related to the material’s resistance to damage.

Those located in high-risk zones for flying debris and severe storm conditions may prefer a robust thickness for their EPDM rubber roofing.

Fully Adhered EPDM Roofing Detail

White EPDM Roofing vs Black EPDM Roofing

EPDM membranes are offered in black and white.

The color is determined by compounding various ingredients that enhance UV resistance.

For a black EPDM membrane, carbon black is added, converting UV rays into heat.

For a white EPDM membrane, titanium dioxide is typically used to reflect UV rays.

How crucial is EPDM membrane color?

Dark-colored roofing systems tend to absorb more heat, whereas white is more reflective of the sun’s rays.

The choice of color should depend on the specific needs and uses of the structure, as well as the region’s typical climate, considering that heating and cooling costs can accumulate.

Mechanically Fastened EPDM Roofing Detail

The Benefits of an EPDM Roofing System

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is suitable for nearly any roof type and stands out as one of the most cost-effective options, ensuring decades of use. In addition to outperforming competitors, an EPDM roof installation offers several advantages:

Fast and Easy Installation:

EPDM rolls, being large and lightweight, cover more area quickly, facilitating swift installation. This efficiency translates to a more cost-effective solution for customers.

Cost-Effective Roof Repair:

While structural failures are rare, EPDM's design makes repairs comparatively simple. Punctures and leaks often require only a few tools, seam tape, or seam overlays for effective and cost-efficient repairs.

Highly Resilient and Durable:

EPDM rubber roofing, especially thicker options like 90 Mil or 60 Mil membranes with ballasted layers and external fleece reinforcement, provides exceptional resistance against hazards such as hail, snow, heavy wind, and falling trees. Thicker systems can prevent damage related to environmental elements up to 300 times better than thinner or lower-quality alternatives.

Optimal Energy-Efficiency:

EPDM flat roof systems contribute to energy efficiency, whether in cold or warm climates. White EPDM roofing is beneficial in warmer regions, reflecting sunlight and lowering cooling costs, while those in colder climates might opt for black membranes to absorb heat and reduce heating expenses. Additionally, these materials boast a superior ozone-resistant rating, with a grade of 'A' in temperatures up to 100º F.

Long-Term Lifespan:

The lifespan of rubber roofing depends on quality installation, climate, and membrane thickness. In moderate climates with a low risk of penetrations, roofing experts may recommend 45 Mil EPDM rubber roofing membranes, typically lasting 12-15 years. Opting for a 90 Mil option can extend the lifespan to 25 years or more when installed with care.

EPDM vs TPO Roofing

TPO, short for thermoplastic polyolefin, is a roofing membrane composed of ethylene-propene and polypropylene. It is gaining popularity as a single-ply roofing option, similar to EPDM. Both TPO and EPDM are environmentally friendly, utilizing rubber and synthetics that adhere to insulation or are ballasted to create a durable protective roofing layer.

TPO membranes come in various thicknesses, impacting their longevity similarly to EPDM. This raises a common question: How long does TPO single-ply roofing last, and how does it compare to EPDM?

Reportedly, TPO single-ply membrane roofing systems have a lifespan of 20+ years, whereas EPDM can last 50 years or more. The newer TPO systems haven’t been around long enough to precisely determine their long-term durability and waterproofing capabilities.

Despite this, EPDM roofs have demonstrated proven long-term results. Key differences between these single-ply membrane roofing systems include:

1. Seam Construction:

  • TPO roofing seams are heat-fused using hot air.
  • EPDM roofing utilizes seam tape for construction.

2. Reflectivity:

  • TPO often reflects sunlight, while standard black EPDM retains heat.

3. Color Options:

  • EPDM is traditionally available in black or white.
  • TPO options include gray, tan, and other colors.

4. Attachment Method:

  • EPDM roofs are mechanically fastened.
  • TPO systems are chemically adhered.

5. Warranty Period:

  • TPO warranties typically range between 10-20 years.
  • EPDM is warrantied for 25-30 years on average by manufacturers.

EPDM Roofing Manufacturers

S&S Roofing installs only top-quality EPDM roofing systems from leading manufacturers across the nation. If you have specific preferences for an EPDM roofing product, feel free to inquire. Our manufacturers include Versico, Carlisle Syntec, Firestone, Mule-Hide, GenFlex, Johns Mansville, and others.

EPDM Roof Warranties

Guaranteed by the Manutacturer

As a Certified Roofing Contractor for various manufacturers, S&S Roofing provides warranties of up to 30 years on EPDM roofing systems.

How to Select an EPDM Roofing Contractor

While numerous companies provide roofing services, EPDM roof installation demands the expertise of an experienced roofing contractor. If you seek a durable roof, it’s crucial to enlist a highly skilled roofing company well-versed in local roofing regulations.

You need a team of professionals capable of swift mobilization with the necessary resources for the job, helping you plan for a future permanent roof replacement solution.

It’s vital to conduct a professional roof inspection before completing emergency roof repairs. Additionally, choose a roofing company with extensive experience installing your specific type of roof.

Look for an EPDM roofing contractor with the following qualifications:

  • Licensed, bonded, and insured
  • Experience in emergency roofing and repair services
  • Expertise in installing the permanent roof solution your property requires
  • Experience managing staged roofing projects, including parallel tear-off and installation
  • Familiarity with working on roof damage claims with insurance companies

An experienced emergency roofer can help you avoid leaks and major issues while providing a long-lasting roofing solution.

In addition to EPDM roofing, S&S Roofing offers various roofing systems, shrink wrap roofing, roof tarping, loose-lay membrane roofing, emergency roofing and repair, water removal, water damage restoration, mold remediation, catastrophic damage inspections, property damage documentation, testing and damage reports, fencing and perimeter security, disaster recovery services, permanent roof replacement, interior restoration services, and general contractor services.

S&S Roofing has locations across the country to better serve you.

EPDM Roofing Pictures

The showcased photos and videos below capture different stages of EPDM Roofing, all skillfully executed by S&S Roofing.

What are our customers saying about us

Our reroofing experience with S&S Roofing could not have been any better. Office staff was great with the scheduling, adjusted as I needed. They called the week before to confirm and everything was on time. They did a super job. A crew of 10 roofers arrived at 06:45, and were gone at 2:30pm. Looks like a new house. They cleaned up nicely. I would HIGHLY recommend the S&S Roofing Team.
Joe Worsley
S&S Roofing and Construction is awesome! Not only did the entire crew do an amazing job putting our roof on, but I got to meet Wesley The project manager, and Michael the owner. They not only did a fantastic job, they are two wonderful guys that obviously care about people. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, and I will be referring everyone I know to them. Thank you S&S for an incredible experience
Garrett ross