EPDM – or ethylene propylene diene monomer – has been used in commercial roofing applications for half a century. This lab-fabricated material provides benefits over asphalt roofing in both installation and performance. More than one billion square feet of EMPD rubber roof sheets have been installed on buildings worldwide since the material came into use.
How Does It Work?
An EPDM rubber roof is made up of sheets as large as 50 feet wide by 200 feet long. Narrower sheets can be used as well, in order to meet the application’s specific needs. These sheets vary between .045” and .090” thick, and also come reinforced if necessary.
This type of commercial roofing material is commonly used for both steep and low slope roofs, and is useful for geometrically shaped building such as domes as well. It comes in black (which is closer to a slate gray) or white, with either carbon black or titanium dioxide added according to whether UV rays need to be converted to heat or deflected from the surface.
EPDM rubber roof sections can be mechanically spliced, or adhered using a splicing adhesive. Using narrower sections which are manufactured without seams is a good way to avoid having weaker t-joints where the seams would meet the spliced area.
Benefits of an EPDM Rubber Roof
EPDM is resistant to ponding, hail, moisture, and temperature extremes. Due to its resistance to moisture absorption this material can be used in lower slope applications for which built-up roofing would not be appropriate.
One of the main benefits of a commercial EPDM rubber roof is that it can withstand extreme temperatures without suffering from expansion and contraction. Lab testing has put EPDM under the stress of 240 degree conditions for a month, and shown that it offers superior resistance to heat aging.In addition, there is no organic material in the formula, which can decay due to exposure to moisture. It does not become brittle, and has high resistance to cyclic fatigue.
Another benefit of this commercial roofing material is that it requires little maintenance. No sealants are necessary – all that is required is occasional removal of any leaves or other debris which have gathered on the surface.
As environmental concerns have moved to the forefront of the building industry, eco-friendly materials have become highly desirable. An EPDM rubber roof is a good choice in commercial applications because it offers sustainability, a long life cycle, and lower environmental impact. The white version also reduces interior energy costs by deflecting UV rays. In terms of installation, the components used to apply this kind of roof were specifically developed to reduce VOC emissions.
An EPDM rubber roof has a long life expectancy in comparison to other commercial roofing materials. It can last up to 50 years without undergoing severe degradation. This further increases the both the eco-friendliness and the economic viability of this material.
An EPDM rubber roof offers a versatile, durable, economically and environmentally sound choice in commercial roofing applications.