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Understanding the Basics of EPDM Roofing

Updated: Jan 29

EPDM roofing is made of a strong rubber covering that is known for keeping water out. It's often used on flat or low-slope buildings because it lasts a long time and doesn't cost much.

A flat roof with a grey EPDM roofing system.

Roofing systems made of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) are strong enough to protect business buildings from extreme weather and temperature changes. Not only is EPDM very cheap, but it is also very easy to install, manage, and fix, which is why roofing contractors and property owners like it so much.

This lightweight material is also good for the environment because it saves energy and can be recycled. It can fit different types of roofs because it is flexible, which makes it a useful choice in the roofing business. This introduction to EPDM roofing shows why it's a great choice for people who want a stable and cost-effective roof.

What Does EPDM Roofing Mean?

Versatile EPDM roofing system assemblies for various roof structures and applications

Think about a roof that keeps places safe, lasts for decades, and doesn't get damaged by weather. That is an EPDM roof. EPDM is a rubber roofing material that stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. It is known for being long-lasting and flexible. This part goes into great detail about what EPDM roofing is, how it's made, and the many ways it can help buildings all over the world.

EPDM flooring is made of synthetic rubber. Its main parts work together to give you the best results. Ethylene is one of these ingredients. It is a "building block" chemical that comes from oil and natural gas.

  1. The gas propylene is turned into a liquid that is used to make plastic.

  2. Diene—this is what makes rubber stretchy.

  3. EPDM is strong and bendable, even when temperatures change, because of the way it is mixed.

EPDM is strong and bendable, even when temperatures change, because of the way it is mixed.

Benefits Of EPDM Roofing

Advantages-wise, EPDM roofing really shines. Think about these top benefits:




It can last up to 50 years

Weather Resistant

Stands tall against sun, rain, and snow

Energy Efficient

Reflects heat, slashing energy costs

Easy to Repair

Fixes are straightforward and cost-efficient


Recyclable at the end of its life cycle

The process of installing EPDM roofing

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roof systems are often used on flat or low-slope roofs. Let us look at the easy steps for putting on EPDM roofing. If you pay close attention to every step, you can be sure that the surface will last and protect both homes and businesses from the weather.

Preparing The Roof Surface

It is very important to get the base right before installing an EPDM roof. First, get rid of all the trash, dust, and dirt. Check to see if there are any sharp items or surface flaws. To clean, use a broom or a blower. Fix any damage on the roof deck to make sure it is solid and level. The EPDM material works best on a surface that is clean, dry, and smooth.

Placing on the EPM membrane

It is very important to carefully unroll the EPDM sheet. Place the sheet so that it covers the whole space without having to be stretched. For about 30 minutes, let the skin loosen up. Put the glue on and fold the membrane back in half. To keep air bubbles from forming, press down from the middle to the sides. Slowly roll out the EPDM to make sure it sticks well to the roof surface.

Sealing And Finishing

If you want a watertight seal, you need EPDM seam tape. Put the tape around the sides of two sheets that are overlapping. Put pressure on the joint to make it strong. Put flashing around the outside and any items that stick out from the roof. For a neat look, cut off any extra membrane. Make sure that all the seams are properly sealed to stop leaks.

Inspection And Maintenance

An initial check helps find mistakes during startup. A final check makes sure that the roof is safe all the way through. The roof stays in great shape with regular repair checks. Check for wear, such as seams that are coming apart or showing trouble. If you fix any problems with your EPDM roof right away, it will last a lot longer.

Versatile EPDM roofing system assemblies for various roof structures and applications

Cost Considerations For EPDM Roofing

Making a budget is an important part of planning a roofing job. EPDM flooring is strong and lasts a long time. Knowing how much it will cost will help you make a smart choice. Let's look at how much EPDM costs in terms of materials, labour, and saves over time.

Material Costs

The price of EPDM rubber roofing sheets varies. Factors include thickness, quality, and brand. On average, you can expect to pay:

  • £1.00 to £2.00 per square foot for standard 45-mil EPDM.

  • £2.00 to £4.00 per square foot for thicker 90-mil EPDM.

The total cost will go up if you need extra things like glue and seals.

Labour Costs

The cost of labour can be very high. Roof difficulty and contractor rates are two of its factors. For installation, you should expect to pay:

Roof Size

Cost Range

1,000 sq ft

£2,000 to £4,000

2,000 sq ft

£4,000 to £8,000

Be aware that these are approximations. To ensure accuracy, get quotations from multiple contractors.

Long-term Cost Savings

EPDM roofing is a wise long-term investment. It's known for:

  1. Long lifespan of up to 30 years.

  2. Lower maintenance costs compared to other materials.

  3. Energy efficiency, leading to lower utility bills.

Over time, these savings balance the installation expenditures at first.

Pros And Cons Of EPDM Roofing

Selecting the appropriate roofing material is essential. One popular option is EPDM roofing. But is it what you should do? Analyze the benefits and drawbacks now.

Advantages Of EPDM Roofing

  • Long-lasting: EPDM roofs can last up to 50 years.

  • Easy to Install: Light and flexible, EPDM rolls out quickly on flat roofs.

  • Low Maintenance: It requires little upkeep.

  • Energy Efficient: EPDM reflects heat, cutting energy costs.

  • Weather Resistant: It stands up to wind, hail, and UV rays.

  • Eco-Friendly: Made from recycled materials, it's a green choice.

  • Cost-Effective: EPDM is more affordable than many alternatives.

Disadvantages Of EPDM Roofing

  • Appearance: The Standard black color might not suit all buildings.

  • Sensitivity: Sharp objects can puncture the membrane.

  • Installation Quality: Poor installation can lead to leaks.

  • Seam Issues: Over time, seams might need repair.

  • Shrinkage: EPDM can shrink, causing gaps in coverage.

Common Issues With EPDM Roofing

Roofs made of EPDM are renowned for their durability and toughness. But EPDM could have problems, just like any other roof. Let's examine the typical issues that these roofs face.

Leaks And Ponding Water

Any roof can suffer greatly from leaks, and EPDM is no exception. They frequently result from shoddy installation, broken seams, or punctures. As a result, water may seep into the structure and perhaps cause damage.

When water accumulates on a roof 48 hours after a downpour, it is known as ponding water. This may result in the roofing system bearing more weight and strain. This ponding has the potential to deteriorate the EPDM membrane over time, resulting in leaks and other structural problems.

UV Damage And Aging

Because EPDM roofs are exposed to intense sunlight, they may age and sustain UV damage. The membrane may become brittle and lose its elasticity as a result of this exposure. The integrity of the roof may be compromised by subsequent weathering and cracking. The lifespan of an EPDM roof can be increased with routine maintenance and protective coatings.

Membrane Shrinking And Expansion

The EPDM membrane may expand or contract in response to temperature variations. The membrane may tug on flashings or seams if the roofing system is not designed to tolerate these movements. Gaps may result from this, which may ultimately result in leaks or other damage.

EPDM roofs require regular maintenance to prevent expansion and contraction. It aids in controlling these motions and averting undesirable problems. An expert can recognize the first indications of contraction or enlargement and take the necessary steps.

EPDM Roofing Maintenance Tips

With these EPDM roofing maintenance tips, you can make sure your flat roof stays effective and waterproof. Roofs made of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) can endure for decades. But they require attention. To increase the lifespan of your EPDM roof, heed these guidelines.

Regular Inspections

Twice a year, check your EPDM roofing. The best seasons are spring and fall. Check for water ponding, rips, and punctures. Pay attention to the corners and edges. Attention is required in these areas.

Cleaning And Debris Removal

Gentle cleaning keeps your roof in top shape. Use soap and a soft-bristle broom. Rinse with water. Remove leaves, branches, and dirt. They can cause damage. Clean gutters and drains, too. This prevents water build-up.

Re-application Of Protective Coatings

There are protective coatings on EPDM roofs. With time, these coatings degrade. Reapply as necessary. This stops cracking and blocks UV radiation. Prevent issues by reapplying before they arise.

An EPDM roof can provide long-lasting protection for your structure with proper upkeep. Deal with minor problems right away. This method protects your EPDM roof from the weather.

EPDM Vs. Other Roofing Materials

Choosing the appropriate roofing material is essential for both aesthetics and safety. EPDM roofing is distinguished by its affordability and longevity. Let's contrast EPDM with several other well-liked roofing components.

EPDM Vs. Tpo Roofing

EPDM and TPO are both modern, flat roofing solutions. EPDM's rubber material is known for longevity and easy repair. TPO, mainly built for energy efficiency, reflects UV rays.

  • EPDM: Tough against weather, simple to fix, and higher longevity.

  • TPO: Great for lowering energy bills, UV resistant, slightly less durable.

EPDM Vs. Pvc Roofing

PVC roofing is another competitor, prized for its resistance to chemicals. Unlike EPDM's black color, PVC is often white, aiding in cooling. Both materials are eco-friendly, but EPDM is kinder to your wallet.



More affordable

Chemically resistant



EPDM Vs. Built-up Roofing

Built-up roofing (BUR), a traditional choice, consists of multiple layers. EPDM, a single-ply material, offers a quick installation process. BUR is known for withstanding foot traffic, while EPDM scores with less maintenance.

  1. BUR: Multiple layers, good for heavy use, needs more upkeep.

  2. EPDM: Single layer, fast to install, low maintenance.

EPDM Roofing Installation Tips

Starting an EPDM roofing installation project necessitates process comprehension and close attention to detail. Here are some vital pointers to ensure the longevity and functionality of your EPDM roof. Remember these tips to ensure a smooth and long-lasting installation.

Choosing The Right EPDM Type

Choosing the right EPDM membrane is essential to the longevity and performance of your roof. Standard black EPDM membranes and those coated in white, which reflect sunlight to increase energy efficiency, are two typical varieties of EPDM membranes. To make sure you buy the appropriate quantity of material, take precise measurements of your roof.

Proper Surface Preparation

  • Thoroughly clean the substrate before installation.

  • Remove dust, dirt, and debris for a smooth surface.

  • Patch any holes or irregularities, as a flat surface is vital for proper adhesion.

Following Manufacturer Guidelines

Adhere closely to the manufacturer's directions for EPDM. This adherence contains information about seam treatments, curing durations, and overlap widths. By following these instructions, installation failures and other problems are less likely to occur.

Longevity Of EPDM Roofing

EPDM roofing is the best option when it comes to durable flat roof options. This kind of roofing provides endurance and strong performance. Let's now examine the variables that affect its lifespan, the anticipated longevity, and ways to increase its service life.

Factors Affecting Lifespan

EPDM roofing lasts longer due to a number of variables. Maximizing the life of the roof can be achieved by being aware of these.

  • Installation Quality: A precise and professional install extends life.

  • Environment: Weather conditions like UV rays and temperature swings impact durability.

  • Maintenance: Regular check-ups and fixes increase lifespan.

  • Roof Usage: Light traffic is best to keep the roof intact for years.

Extending The Lifespan Of EPDM Roofing

Think about these suggestions to get the most out of an EPDM roof: Conduct Regular Inspections. Spotting early issues prevents major damage.

  1. Clean Regularly: Remove debris to avert punctures and blockages.

  2. Professional Repairs: Engage experts to fix any wear or tear quickly.

  3. Apply Protective Coatings: Shield against UV rays and physical damage.

A roof that endures through time is ensured by careful maintenance.

Common Questions About Epdm Roofing

What is rubber roofing membrane?

Rubber roofing membrane, sometimes referred to as EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), is a kind of roofing material that is frequently utilized on structures with low slopes or that are flat. It is known for its exceptional flexibility, durability, and resistance to all types of weather because it is built of a synthetic rubber combination.

What is EPDM roofing?

EPDM roofing, or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer roofing, is a type of synthetic rubber roofing material commonly used on flat roof surfaces. It's extremely durable and offers excellent resistance to extreme weather conditions, ultraviolet rays and more. EPDM is known for its longevity and is considered an environmentally friendly choice due to its recyclability.

Is EPDM better than PVC?

The particular application will determine whether EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) or PVC (Polyvinic Chloride) is preferable. Both are widely used materials with different applications, such as roofing systems, and each has pros and cons of its own.

What is EPDM rolls?

The term "EPDM rolls" describes rolls of the incredibly resilient and adaptable synthetic rubber known as Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). Because of its special qualities, this material is utilized extensively in many industries and is resistant to heat, oxidation, ozone, and weather.

How thick is classic bond EPDM?

The usual thickness of ClassicBond EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is 1.2mm. Because of its thickness, which protects it against UV rays, ozone, alkaline rains, and extreme heat and cold, it is a great and long-lasting option for flat roofing projects.

What is a rubber membrane roof?

Rubber membrane roofing, sometimes referred to as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roofing, is a kind of roofing material that is primarily utilised on low-slope or flat roofs. It is essentially a long-lasting synthetic rubber roofing membrane that can be put fully attached, with mechanical fasteners, or ballasted. It is available in black or white.

In Summary

For many property owners, EPDM roofing is a reliable choice since it is long-lasting, energy-efficient, and low maintenance. Adopting this synthetic rubber material may result in substantial long-term financial savings as well as peace of mind. It is definitely worthwhile to investigate EPDM if you're looking for a durable roofing solution. Contact us at 07921 517860 or Our friendly, skilled staff is always ready to help.

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