(also known as Rubber Roofing)
roofs are a durable, eco-friendly
sustainable roofing material.
The Environmentally Responsible and
As part of a cool roof solution, our
white TPO and PVC roofing membranes
deliver high reflectivity and emissivity
without an additional coating. This will
keep your building cooler, reduce energy
consumption and power bills, and
minimize the "urban heat island effect".
Many systems meet the EPA's Energy StarŽ
and California's Title 24 guidelines and
could qualify for LEEDŽ credits in
|Contractors may refer to EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) and polymer-modified bitumen membranes interchangeably as rubber roofing; however, EPDM is usually what contractors are referring to in regards to rubber roofing. This synthetic rubber is primarily composed of ethylene and propylene, which come from oil and natural gas, and a small amount of diene monomer. Though one of several low-sloped roofing materials available, EPDM is perhaps the most commonly used.
EPDM has been used extensively in the United States since the 1960s. Many contractors and consumers use this type of roofing material because it's fairly inexpensive, easy to install and clean to work with versus installing a traditional built up roof (BUR) membrane. The odors and fumes associated with BUR membranes are also nonexistent with EPDM, which is another reason why many consumers like this particular rubber roofing material.
Singly-ply roofing is categorized into three classes: modified bitumens, thermoplastics and thermosets. EPDM falls into the last category of thermosets. This particular type of roofing offers strength and durability, as well as flexibility. Since thermoset membranes are manufactured as compounded synthetic sheets of rubber polymers, they offer a high-quality consistency of a prefabricated product. The benefit to using this type of single-ply material is that it is extremely UV resistant and can well withstand roofing chemicals.
Various factors affect the lifespan of any roofing material. If installed correctly, EPDM lasts on average from 12 to 25 years. However, environmental conditions need to be taken into account. The building type and the expected foot traffic are a factor. After a rain pour, the amount of water retained and its evaporation rate also affect the longevity of EPDM. Geographical locations play an important role in this as well. Installations in milder climates outlast those in harsh weather climates. Workmanship is also a critical component. Improper installation yields a shorter lifespan than those done correctly.
Emphasis for more ecologically sustainable and durable building materials has increased over the years with environmentalists and code regulators alike. EPDM has proven to be extremely resilient and energy efficient. Often times, EPDM is produced with recycled materials and is reused in the production of other building materials, making it an eco-friendly option for low-slope roofs.
MAINTAINENCE AND OTHER USES
Once installed, EPDM does not require any further coatings to properly maintain the roof. Annual clean up of debris, leaves and things along those lines are recommended. EPDM is not reserved solely for roofing. It can be used as a pond liner, for tunnels, for gardens and for RV roofs.
products have a wide variety of uses.
From home roofing to waterproofing and
sealing of RVs, understanding the
difference between EPDM rubber and
natural rubber helps consumers to make
an informed choice.
What is EPDM
EPDM Coatings, provider of EPDM
products, describes EPDM rubber as a
synthetic rubber polymer developed in
the 1960s. EPDM is an abbreviation for
ethylene propylene diene monomer.
EPDM roofs are single-ply, as opposed to
other products that require multiple
plies laminated together.
UV and Ozone
EPDM doesn't require maintenance with
products to protect it from ultraviolet
light, like natural rubber does. Natural
rubber can degrade when attacked by
ozone. EPDM has very high durability
EPDM rubber isn't as resilient as
natural rubber. Unlike natural rubber,
EPDM should not be used with petroleum
EPDM rubber offers the same color
stability and durability in heat as
natural rubber but at a lower price.
EPDM is good for use in high temperature
settings. Natural rubber is better in
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer
Propylene Diene Monomer is a synthetic
rubber most commonly used in single-ply
roofing because it is readily available
and relatively simple to apply. EPDM as
a roofing membrane has advanced
significantly over recent years.
Problems previously associated with it
included moisture gain under the
membrane by vapour drive (occurring on
roofs with air conditioned space
beneath), and that EPDM did not like to
adhere to itself and seam problems
occurred. Simply adding a vapour barrier
will help to resolve vapour drive.
Seaming has become simple with the
addition of Factory Applied Tape,
resulting in a faster installation. The
addition of these tapes has reduced
labour by as much as 75%. Rolls of EPDM
are available with Factory Applied Tape
pre-applied to one edge. This is an
uncured EPDM tape. The other edge is
marked to indicate the appropriate
ovelap. The Factory Applied Tape is laid
into the primed overlap and rolled with
a little pressure. The resulting seam is
stronger, and neater. Any details are
taken care of with the appropriate tape.
The process involves applying primer
with a brush, allowing it to flash off
to touch dry (this takes moments), then
applying the tape and rolling to ensure
it is properly bonded.
It is a low cost membrane, but when
properly applied in appropriate places,
its current warranted life-span has
reached 30 years and its expected
life-span has reached 50 years and this
continues to rise with every year that
Typically, there are three installation
methods. Ballasted at 1,000 lbs/sq or 10
lbs/sq.ft. with large round stones.
Mechanically attached is another method
and is suitable in some applications
where wind velocities are not usually
high. Fully adhered is the most
expensive installation method but proves
to give the longest performance of the
The new generation of EPDM, FleeceBack,
has been combined with a polyester
fleece backing and fabricated with a
patented hot melt adhesive technology
which provides consistent bond strength
between the fleece backing and the
membrane. This has resulted in largely
eliminating shrinkage of the product,
whilst still allowing it to stretch up
to 300% and move with the building
through the seasons. The fleece improves
puncture and tear resistance
considerably and .045 mil EPDM with a
fleece backing is 180% stronger than
.060 mil bare EPDM.