EPDM (the acronym for ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a synthetic rubber material increasingly used for building flat roofs on commercial, industrial as well as on residential buildings. The material has been around for only a couple of decades, but it already enjoys great popularity all over the world, so here are some things to know about this strong, feature-rich and versatile material and about the benefits it offers if you choose it for your next roof.
A Short Presentation
EPDM comes in the form of sheets of varying sickness and size, in widths from 7.5 to 50 feet and in three thickness options: 45 Mil, 60 Mil, and 90 Mil (1 Mil is equal to one thousandth of an inch). The material is delivered in rolls that are spread out and fastened with the method of choice. Available in black, grey, tan and white, EPDM sheets come with different thermal insulation levels, depending on the hue – the lighter the color, the more of the sun’s heat will be reflected by the sheets.
What makes EPDM Such a Great Solution?
EPDM is a feature-rich material that comes with numerous benefits – According to one of the most respected commercial roofer Atlanta has, here are some:
- Long lifespan – longevity is probably the feature that most building owners consider to be their number one priority. How long you can expect your EPDM roof to last largely depends on the chosen thickness: 45 Mil sheets can last for over 10 years, while 90 Mil roofs can last for more than 25 years;
- Resistance to the weather – synthetic rubber is an extremely hardy material, so you can expect your EPDM roof to stand up to even the harshest weather events. EPDM is extremely flexible, which means that it can contract and expand naturally, without developing cracks or tears in extremely low and extremely high temperatures. EPDM roofs also stand up well to wind, snow and rain, the only thing that it is somewhat sensitive to ponding water, therefore increased attention should be paid to ensuring the proper drainage of the roof;
- Quick and easy installation – EPDM roofs take much shorter to install than other roofing material – all it takes to install your new EPDM roof is to roll out the sheets and fasten them with the method of choice. However, despite the ease, EPDM roofs need to be installed by professionals to choose the most adequate installation method (full adhesion, mechanical fastening or ballasting) and to ensure proper adhesion;
- Repairs – EPDM roofs usually require minor repairs now and then. The material being vulcanized rubber, it is not possible to heat it until the material around the hole or the crack melts, but easy to use repair kits are affordable and widely available;
- Maintenance needs – EPDM can stand out to a lot without any special maintenance, but even such a strong material needs a little attention every now and then. The maintenance tasks required to keep EPDM roofs in good condition include semi-annual inspections and cleaning performed in spring and in fall to prepare the structures for the summer and the fall, the two harshest seasons for any roof.