What is EPDM? (It’s a Durable Synthetic Rubber Roofing Material)

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  • What is EPDM? (It’s a Durable Synthetic Rubber Roofing Material)

    Thu Feb 23

    EPDM is an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane widely used in low-slope buildings in the United States and worldwide.

    Its two primary ingredients, ethylene, and propylene, are derived from oil and natural gas. EPDM is available in both black and white and is sold a broad variety of widths, ranging from 7.5 feet to fifty feet, and in two thicknesses, 45 and 60 mils. EPDM can be installed either fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted, with the seams of the roofing system sealed with liquid adhesives or specially formulated tape.

    Long-lasting repairs on an EPDM roofing system requires the right repair materials and careful prep of the repair area. EPDM roofing membrane is made with synthetic rubber and is not compatible with asphalt-based products. This includes any type of roof cement flashing as well as any asphalt-based roof coating, including aluminum roof coating. These materials will contaminate the EPDM rubber membrane, requiring replacement.

    Patching materials for EPDM roofing are sold as either standard membrane materials that require separate adhesive or as pressure-sensitive materials that have the adhesive pre-applied to the underside of the membrane. Patching materials also are sold in kits that include cleaner, primer, and roller for adhering the patch.

    What is the meaning of EPDM?

    EPDM = ethylene propylene diene terpolymer

    Is EPDM rubber toxic?

    This non-marking, non-toxic rubber is made from premium grade EPDM sheet rubber and exhibits the white color commonly associated with food-grade rubber. White FDA approved EPDM rubber is non-allergenic and offers excellent ozone and weather characteristics and is compatible with plastic.

    How much does EPDM roofing cost?

    Expect to pay between $5.00 and $8.00 per square foot to install EPDM membrane on a typical flat roof, or about $7,500 to $12,000 for a 15 square (1,500 square feet) flat roof.

    Is EPDM roofing any good?

    EPDM rubber roofing is also very lightweight, so the roof deck doesn’t need any kind of reinforcement. Because there are few seams, leaks are fairly rare and a good quality EPDM roof can last up to 20 years. Installers also have options for how they will install the material.

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