Is EPDM Roofing Worth the Investment?

Flat black roof

Is EPDM roofing any good?

Today, we’re going to discuss EPDM and single-ply roofing, a typical roof material for flat commercial roofs.  What makes EPDM roofing a better choice for commercial building roofs? EPDM roofing is a single-ply roofing material that comes in sheet rolls like other materials used in a commercial building, making EPDM roofing installation quick to install, but so are some of the other roofing materials.

EPDM roofing is sturdy when Mother Nature throws the harsh weather on it.  EPDM roofing provides a durable waterproof barrier because of how it is installed, using adhesive and high-strength tapes, making it stand above other Types of single ply roofing materials.

EPDM is industry short for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, an extremely durable roofing membrane made from synthetic rubber. EPDM roofing It is widely used on commercial structures with a low-sloped roof around the world, especially popular in the United States. 

Even though EPDM has a seam, the way it is installed makes EPDM is a virtually waterproof, material. When it does develop a leak, repairs are inexpensive and quick using the same high-strength tape. EPDM roofing is challenging to ignite directly, impedes an existing fire, making it one of the best fire-resistant roofing materials. 

How long does an EPDM roof last?

A black rubber-like membrane, EPDM roofing is generally non-reinforced. Still, because the application method is to glue it in place fully, it has a longer lifespan than other flat roofing materials. The material itself has a lifespan warranty of forty years, and the EPDM roofing system has a lifespan of up to thirty-five years. The longevity of EPDM roofing is affected by several factors: 

  • Climate
  • Environment
  • Installation

Does EPDM shrink?

Flat commercial roofing that relies on synthetic rubber membranes like EPDM roofing, a sturdy rubber membrane, is made from a natural material and has been known to shrink. It is a durable product and used to seal car windows. 

Just as there are factors that can affect the longevity of an EPDM roofing, there are factors that can make EPDM roofing shrink faster, such as rain, snow, and sun exposure. With regular inspections of an EPDM roofing by building maintenance, it is possible to stay up on the condition of the roof and address any cracking, leaking, or possible shrinkage before it becomes a problem. 

How do you care for EPDM roof?

A visual inspection is suggested monthly, no less than four times a year. To perform a thorough inspection of EPDM roofing, sweeping it before using a rubber roof cleaner, remove any stains is recommended. 

Once it has time to dry, slowly walk the surface looking or blistering, cracking, tearing, or separating seams. Inspect the chimney and vent joints, making sure the hardware is secured and in place. Any areas that cause concern should be marked with chalk, take pictures, and make notes of these things and then call a professional commercial roofing contractor. 

Flat back roof material

 Is TPO better than EPDM?

There are two different types of commercial roofing options for buildings with flat roofing:  EPDM and TPO. One reason that commercial buildings have flat roofs is because of the size of the building, shingle the roof would be too expensive and not durable.  What makes EPDM roofing the better choice? Here are listing the pros of EPDM roofing vs TPO Roofing cons: 

  • EPDM roofing is less expensive compared to TPO 
  • EPDM roofing is less expensive is less expensive to repair
  • EPDM roofing has a longer lifespan
  • EPDM roofing material is light-weight, making installation easier and faster
  • EPDM roofing material is weather-resistant against hail and the ozone 
  • EPDM roofing helps reduce energy cost
  • EPDM roofing material is recyclable

TPO cons: 

  • TPO roofing is a newer technology with no track record
  • TPO roofing requires a unique installation for the seams
  • TPO roofing seam requires re-welding and additional maintenance by a professional contractor
  • TPO roofing material formulations has a lifespan warranty of ten years

As good as EPDM roofing is, there are some precautions to be considered before you install this roofing material: 

  • Choose a contractor that is experienced with EPDM roofing. Many roofing contractors claim they can install any roofing material, but you need to request references of recent installations and then follow up and contact those references. 
  • Confirm how the contractor will install the roof and what attention they give the seams. If when EPDM roofing is installed correctly if the seams are not secured well, you will have leaks. 
  • EPDM roofing rubber is going to shrink over time, which is why quarterly inspections are recommended, even better monthly to check for possible cracks and shrinkage. The larger the roof, the more frequent you should do a walk over the roofing, monitoring for potential problems. 
  • EPDM need regular inspection and may require maintenance due to the shrinkage. Other flat roofing materials require annual inspections. 

EPDM is not environmentally-friendly when it is replaced, and tear-off is required. This fact doesn’t affect your building, but more businesses are becoming more aware of their environmental footprint and making choices that will ease that. Dial (303) 647-3883 today for your roofing needs in Erie and Denver, CO.