There are several durable and affordable flat roofing materials available today. When in the market for roof replacement options, it is essential to choose a moisture-resistant material to prevent leaks and keep the flat roof dry.
EPDM, popularly known as a rubber roof, is a widely used material for commercial roofing and is now slowly gaining popularity for residential low-slope roofs. Various roofers recommend EPDM due to its durability and affordability.
However, like every roofing system, EPDM has benefits and drawbacks, and property owners need to weigh both to determine if it is the perfect material for their roofing needs.
What is EPDM?
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane primarily composed of recycled tires, sawdust, and slate. It is a versatile material available in standard black and white colors.
EPDM roofing: Pros
EPDM is one of the least expensive roofing materials per square foot for low-sloped roofs. Its low purchase and installation cost is a major factor contributing to its rising popularity among homeowners and commercial building owners alike. Roof replacement is expensive, and EPDM is ideal for people on a budget.
EPDM roofing is easy to install and does not require specialized tools. Experienced DIY enthusiasts can install it themselves using adhesives, anchors, and rollers and save on the labor cost. EPDM is significantly lighter than other single-ply roofing materials and is resistant to issues caused down the line by heavy roofing materials. Even if you hire a professional roofer for EPDM roof installation, the installation cost is low due to the straightforwardness and shorter time required to complete the project.
EPDM roofs are sturdy and last a long time without needing replacement when properly installed. Newer EPDM roofs are resistant to damage from heat and UV rays. They offer significant protection from leaks when new.
Higher resistance to elements
EPDM is a durable material resistant to hail, wind, fire, snow, ozone, and other harsh elements. It does not crack, blister, or rot. When a fire breaks out, it slows down the spread, making it a safer roofing material. Several insurance companies offer discounts if a building has a rubber roof.
EPDM offers savings on energy bills in both hot and cold climates paired with polyiso. Install light or dark-colored membrane, depending on the local weather, to reflect or trap heat. Coat EPDM to extend the lifespan and get additional reflectivity. Lower the heating and air conditioning cost and enjoy savings of hundreds of dollars on energy bills.
The EPDM roofing system uses recycled materials and works best for people looking for eco-friendly roofing options to minimize environmental impact. EPDM is also compatible with solar cell arrays and rooftop gardens.
Low maintenance and repair cost
It is easy to keep EPDM roofs clean, and they require less maintenance than other roofing systems. The long and wide rolls have fewer seams and reduce the possibility of leaks. Even if the roof experiences any issues, the repairs are easy to carry out.
EPDM roofing: Cons
A rubber roof can easily get punctured if you walk on it wearing the wrong footwear or flying debris and tree root fall on it during a storm. Using reinforced EPDM can make the roof significantly puncture-proof. It may also require seams and flashing repairs due to adhesive degradation caused by UV rays. Exposure to elements also causes rubber roofs to shrink over time, leading to leaks.
Aesthetically not very pleasing
EPDM does not look as attractive as other roofing systems, especially for lower roofs. It is not the right choice for people looking for an aesthetically appealing roofing system. However, paint the surface using acrylic coatings to boost the curb appeal.
Requires expert installation
A poorly installed rubber roof has lower service life and increased repair needs. Installation by inexperienced and untrained contractors increases the possibility of leaks.
There are several reasons to consider EPDM roofing materials. Conducting periodic inspections, keeping it clean by removing dust and debris, trimming the surrounding trees, and ensuring regular maintenance by a reliable roofer will keep the rubber roof in top shape. Work with an experienced roofing contractor for lasting and leak-free EPDM roof installation.
iRoof & Restoration are experts in roof installation. We also offer roof inspections, roof replacements, commercial roofing and emergency roofing services throughout Colorado and Texas.