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(also known as Rubber Roofing)
Rubber roofs are a durable, eco-friendly
and sustainable roofing material.
The Environmentally Responsible and Energy-Saving Choice.

Energy Star roofingAs 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 StarĀ® and California's Title 24 guidelines and could qualify for LEEDĀ® credits in several categories.

EPDM Rubber Roofing

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 Rubber Roofing
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.

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.

Rubber 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 with ozone.
EPDM rubber isn't as resilient as natural rubber. Unlike natural rubber, EPDM should not be used with petroleum products.
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 lower temperatures.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer
Ethylene 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 passes.

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 three methods.

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.


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