WHAT IS EPDM?
EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer.
It is a rubber membrane with a single ply that has been a major solution in the low-sloping commercial roof industry for over four decades. It is the most popular choice of architects, consultants and contractors in both new construction and replacement projects because of its value, quality, and other various benefits.
One of the major benefits of this roof type is its outstanding weathering ability. It is both waterproof and hail resistant. Because of this, it is ideal for a variety of climates, including here in the Northeast.
DURABILITY OF CONSTRUCTION
EPDM, because it is made from rubber, is also very flexible and durable. It is able to expand and contract in relation to weather changes, and this ensures that it will hold up better than other roofing solutions over time.
The unique way in which it is formulated ensures that EPDM is virtually resistant to exposure to harmful ozone and UV radiation. It also stands up well to the test of cold cracking. Because it does not rely on plasticizers to achieve flexibility, there is no potential danger of brittle membranes due to future plasticizer loss.
The lifetime costs of EPDM membranes have exceeded other popular low-slope systems, such as built-up roofing, modified bitumen, and thermoplastic that have been mechanically attached.
The durability of the EPDM membrane has also led to very long life expectancy ratings, including over 23 years in covered applications, more than 26 years in exposed applications and an estimated ultimate service life of over 50 years.
EPDM offers a variety of options that enhance energy efficiency to commercial roofing professionals. White EPDM membrane systems have been built with increased UV resistance in mind. These types of systems offer similar performance characteristics to the black EPDM membranes, but with even more energy and environmental benefits. It has become increasingly popular to add white coatings to black EPDM membrane surfaces to extend the life of the roof, increase energy efficiency, and decrease pollution.
EPDM roofs that are ballasted often act the same, in construction, as roof surfaces that are reflective. Although stone ballasts and pavers are not as reflective as white coatings, ongoing industry tests indicate that there is a positive impact on energy usage with this EPDM system type. During the day, the ballast absorbs at the same time as it shades the roof membrane. Then, in the evening hours, the heat is released. Some other EPDM roofing accessories include garden roof systems and photovoltaic panels, which both help to increase a structure’s energy savings.
As is the case with any roofing system, insulation is crucial to ensuring that any building is energy efficient. Adding extra insulation to an EPDM roof can not only increase the effectiveness of a building’s thermal resistance, but it can also eliminate thermal short circuits and potential moisture issues.
With so many roofing options available today, it might seem daunting to choose which one would be best for any individual project. EPDM membranes, however, stand out as the most versatile material, and they have a proven track record that reinforces why this is the best option for nearly any construction project with a sloping roof.
Contact the professionals at United Home Experts today for an expert opinion on your next roofing project.
For more information on rubber roofing, read our Rubber Roofing page!