EPDM Rubber Roofing?
Also known as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, EPDM is a composite roof structure that is primarily made up of a highly durable synthetic rubber membrane. It is applicable to buildings with low slope roofing which are available in sheets of 7.5 to 50 ft. in width.
Thickness is at the 45 to 60-millimeter range. Using EPDM as your on-top protection for your building results in a rubber roof that not only looks good but is superior in quality and durability.
The EPDM system is up to par with “Standard Specifications for EPDM sheets Used as a Single-Ply Roof Membrane. To pass this standard, manufacturers subject their products to varied weather conditions, as well as test their ability to resist fire. Also, it can be installed in three ways: ballasted, mechanically attached, or fully adhered to. More often than not, installation is done with the seams of the roofing sealed with adhesives, or special tapes.
Why Choose EPDM?
Readily available and relatively cheap, EPDMs are also easy to maintain. This type of roofing can be repaired when it sustains minor damage. Sizes may also be adjusted by cutting the sheets to fit non-standard measurements on some buildings.
• Weatherproof and Fire Resistant
EPDM material can withstand extreme temperatures, wind, and to a good extent, hail. It doesn’t crack in freezing temperatures since the rubber material generally contracts or expands to avoid damage.
• Long Lasting
Depending on the severity of weather conditions or the steady climate, EPDM roofing can last up to 40 years or more. No matter how long ago it has been installed, the material will show very little damage, with no signs of degradation. This roofing system has a winning track record in high-level performance that results in low costing.
• Easy to Install
When installed and maintained properly, it generally lengthens the lifespan of the material. However, it does need a certified EPDM installer who has undergone special training and uses special equipment. As long as proper roofing, drainage is established, EPDM remains stable in all weather conditions, thus permitting a year-round installation schedule. Its ease of maintenance significantly reduces labor requirements when compared to other traditional roofing systems.
• Provides Excellent Protection
Aside from being durable, this roofing system provides reliable protection from UV rays. White EPDM effectively reflects the sun’s rays, thereby reducing energy consumption that translates to savings. When it is really hot, an EPDM roof can lower the temperature of your roof by almost 80 degrees. Simultaneously, this roofing protects against cold and even snow.
When properly installed, ponding won’t be a concern either. Lastly, to help regulate and optimize temperature, we recommend painting a black EPDM roof with white acrylic paint.
• An Environmentally Viable Product
The materials used in EPDM roofing systems are manufactured sustainably. Having an exceptionally long lifespan, it takes a very long time for this roofing before it is discarded, making it less necessary to take up space in landfills. Also, EPDM is available in Low VOC and no VOC options for quick and inexpensive applications.
Pros and Cons
- • It is cost-effective and easy to maintain
- • The material is light and is resistant to tears and scuffs.
- Leaks are also relatively easy to patch.
- Guaranteed Long Service life
Standing water can still be a problem for EPDM roofs in spite of it being rubber. If standing water is left for more than 48 hours possible damage may occur, so make sure to check the graded slope of your roof for proper draining of water.
• Not DIY Friendly
The majority of EPDM roofing failures are caused by improper installation. It looks like an easy install, but there are some details that only certified professionals can take care of. An investment of having to pay for a pro will pay off long term. Contact your nearest reputable installer for installation specifics and some maintenance tips.
How is EPDM Roofing Applied?
First, verify with your installer if your package is covered by guarantee warranties.
- 1. Preparation
- Clean the existing roof. Remove dirt and debris by sweeping and putting them in a side bucket. The surface should also be free of grease, and oil, and any leftover bitumen from an old roof. See to it that the surface is dry. This preparation maximizes the performance of the EPDM rubber membrane.
- 2. Installing Insulation Sheets
- Start laying down these 1/2 inch insulation cover sheets, and then place and securely fasten them across the whole deck of the roof.
- 3. Rolling Out the Rubber Membrane
- After laying out the cover sheets, roll out the EPDM membrane in a uniform manner. Let the rolled membrane rest for 30 minutes, then fold it back over itself for about half of the roof deck.
- 4. Applying the Deck Adhesive
- Apply the adhesive (water-based) on the deck by using a paint roller. Evenly spread the adhesive to ensure a proper seal. Allow for a 150 mm space unbounded areas all around the perimeter allocated for bonding with contact adhesive.
- 5. Rolling Back of Membrane.
- Rollback EPDM while the adhesive is still wet. Avoid installing if the outside temperature drops to 4 degrees or below.
- 6. Smoothing Out EPDM Membrane
- Using a push broom, smooth out over the top of the EPDM rubber to remove wrinkles and trapped air. This is for better bonding of the substrate.
- 7. Closing Out Roof Perimeter
- Apply a thin coat of contact adhesive to the roof deck perimeter of about 150mm width. Apply the same adhesive for the same perimeter areas to the back of the membrane.
- 8. Join Rubber Perimeter of Rubber Membrane with the Roof Perimeter.
- Before joining, contact points make sure that the contact adhesive is dry to the touch. This is to make sure that bubbles do not appear.
- 9. Trim Excess Materials
Cut excess materials from the walls using a guide.
- 10. Repeat the steps until the whole roof area is completely covered.
- There are still some other details that are not covered in this article about the installation, but this demonstration shows how simple and non-disruptive the application of EPDM roofing is. Manufacturer warranties cover both labor and material costs.
The whole process consumes very minimal energy with 100% recyclable materials which makes it a popular preference not only for business buildings but for homes too.
The Big Question: What is the Costing?
The overall pricing for the install of an EPDM rubber roof is dependent on several factors. This includes the total surface measurement of the roof, the type of rubber, and the type of roof. EPDM roofing systems start at $4.00 per square foot and can vary depending on any adjacent tasks that may need to be done as well. An example of those tasks would be, removing the old roofing all its components such as insulation layers and penetrations.
What Buildings are Best for EPDM Roofing Application?
EPDM roofs are best installed on low-sloped roof buildings. You might want to use it also in areas where hailstorms are frequent. Although some damage may be incurred, most hailstones would bounce off the rubber layer deck.
You also might like to apply EPDM on buildings that are clear of trees since rubber can be susceptible to puncture by tree limbs and branches. You will not want to use EPDM on flat roof buildings standing water can one way or the other, accelerate deterioration of the rubber material. If your business uses solar panels that are located on the roof, it would be wise to install EPDM roofing so that no sunlight will bounce back from the deck which can cause solar panel failure.
Depending on the intensity of a hail storm, damage can be minimal or it can be a disaster. EPDM in most cases is flexible and can usually withstand hailstones of about 2.5 inches in diameter. What mostly happens is cracking when damage occurs. It begins as a fracture in the roof perimeter or places where equipment was installed. Added to that, if the roof substrate is not solid the membrane may be punctured as well.
How to Know if Your Roof Needs Repair
With a predictably long service life, your EPDM roof should be able to provide optimal protection for 20 years or more. If you are experiencing repeated roof problems, chances are it may have been poorly installed.
Here are a few indicators of roofing Issues that need to be attended to by certified contractors:
- • Pounding
- • Leaking from the Inside
- • Flapping non-adhered areas.
- • Separations of Seams
- • Poor Sealing
- • Visible damage to the surface
- • Inferior Flashing
- • Tearing in the membrane
- • Cracks
We specialize in EPDM roofing repair, particularly hail damage. We also have access to Public Adjusters to help with storm damage, and our technicians are always ready to make expert assessments and get you fixed in no time.