September 25, 2023
EPDM roofing, which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, as “a versatile rubber roofing membrane” commonly used on lower roofs, or roofs that have a slight slope. It stands out from other roofing materials with its flexibility, weather resistance, low cost, and more. Let’s look at how good EPDM roofing is as well as some of the disadvantages, so those looking to install roofing can have as much information as possible before making an informed decision.
Advantages of EPDM Roofing
There are several advantages to choosing EPDM roofing materials. Here are some that we will discuss today:
● Durability and weather resistance
● Energy efficient
● Faster installation
● No fire risk
● Minimal maintenance required
● Environmentally friendly
Durability and Weather Resistance
The consistency of EPDM rubber roofing materials makes them extremely weather resistant. EPDM roofing is made of EPDM polymers and compounded with pure carbon black. It is less likely to crack or split and can repel damage from fluctuating temperatures, particularly cold temperatures, making it a wise choice of material for people living in areas with cold winters.
Since EPDM rubber does not scratch or scuff easily , it may be wise to choose this type of roofing if you live in a large city with a racoon problem. Racoons have been known to rip off or severely damage roof shingles. With EPDM roofing being flat, it is unlikely that a racoon will be able to cause damage.
EPDM roofing systems can reflect heat, naturally keeping buildings cool, which in turn allows for commercial building owners and residential users to require less air conditioning. This makes EPDM roofing a suitable option for warmer climates, in addition in colder climates. Switching to black EPDM roofing can also lower heating costs by up to 30%.
EPDM roofing is much easier to install than other alternatives. The lightweight rubber makes it easy to work with, and all you have to do is simply roll the rubber out so that it covers the whole roof, similar to rolling out a rug or a mat. Before rolling out the roofing, you just have to add an adhesive underneath and ensure you cover all corners.
No Fire Risk
EPDM rubber roofing is a fire-resistant product, especially when compared to other roofing materials. It doesn’t require the addition of a fire retardant product . It also doesn’t require heat or flame during the roof installation process.
Minimal Maintenance Required
Compared to other materials, which need attention, touch-ups and repairs every few years, EPDM roofing can maintain its durability and appearance for 30 years without maintenance. Likewise, if you decide to switch from asphalt shingles to EPDM, it would take less time to install than the asphalt shingles.
Furthermore, cleaning and ridding your EPDM roof of debris is an easy process. Its flat surface keeps debris from getting stuck and makes cleaning the roof as easy as cleaning a floor. While you won’t spend a lot of time repairing this type of roof, it is easy to clean regularly and inspect for any damage, and you can rest easy knowing it’s still holding strong.
For both commercial and residential properties, EPDM is extremely cost-effective compared to other roofing materials. On average, including required labor and materials, EPDM only costs around $7.50 per square foot. While asphalt shingles may be cheap as well, EPDM roofing comes with additional benefits.
In comparison, metal and TPO roofing are more expensive than EPDM, and Cedar shingles can cost as much as $11 per square foot.
What’s more, due to its easy installation process, you can save money by installing the EPDM roofing yourself. If you do choose to hire a professional to do it for you, their services should be cheaper compared to if they were installing another type of roof.
EPDM roofing materials are more environmentally conscious than their alternatives. This is because it is recycled and can be reused again as a roofing material. Let’s say that after 30 years you need to replace your roofing, you can rest assured knowing that your old roof won’t end up in a landfill.
Equally important, EPDM roofing does not pollute rainwater. Puddle formation on top of EPDM roofing is inevitable due to its flatness, but it doesn’t affect the water at all. Non-polluted rainwater is a major plus for the environment and won’t harm wildlife.
On top of that, EPDM roofing is not considered a substantial contributor to global warming. Other types of roofing, like asphalt shingles, cause the level of air pollutants to rise. High demand for asphalt shingles also reinforces harmful practices, like burning fossil fuels.
Disadvantages of EPDM Roofing
There are some downsides to EPDM roofing, including:
● Not aesthetically pleasing
● Can puncture easily
● Rubber shrinkage
● Unprofessional contractors
Not Aesthetically Pleasing
Compared to asphalt, clay, or wood shingles, EPDM roofing looks rather dull. It’s simply a flat, black roof that provides practicality and durability, but if you want your roof to look charming and add a special touch to the overall look of your home or business, you may want to consider another roofing material. In particular, if you want some colour in a red or brown roof, EPDM won’t provide that.
Can Puncture Easily
We know that EPDM roofing is resilient, however, it can still be punctured by objects like tree branches during harsh weather. On the plus side, patching holes in an EPDM roof is a relatively simple process. You can also use puncture-resistant single-ply membranes.
Over time, rubber can shrink. While EPDM does last longer than many alternatives, in about 20-30 years the rubber can shrink by receding from corners, parapet walls and drains. This can affect larger roofs in particular, which leads to leakage in areas where shrinkage is present.
Despite its easy installation process, you may want to hire someone to install your EPDM roof instead of doing it yourself. You may end up with an inexperienced contractor because EPDM roofing is easy to install, a roofing company may not think their contractors need to practice installing it. Just because something is easy, doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you have to follow thoroughly.
There is a chance that you end up with contractors who have never installed EPDM roofing. This is unprofessional on behalf of the roofing company, as even an easy job of installing EPDM roofing should be done by someone who has experience. By the time you notice any issues with their work, the contractors would be gone and you’d have to go through the hassle of dealing with repairs.