EPDM Roofing The Rubber Roofing Solution

by Ainsley Axelsson

An excellent rubber roofing solution for flat roofs where inflexibility, weathering and failing joints often cause roofs to leak is EPDM roofing . If you’ve been struggling with a flat roof leak, or you have a flat or gently sloping roof project, you’ll be happy to discover EPDM rubber roofing. EPDM has been proven to give many years leak free service over billions of square feet installed. Best of all, it’s easy to install.

EPDM is ethylene propylene diene M-class rubber with a benefit not polluting run off water. This means the water coming from the roof can be re-used for sanitation purposes. Since harvesting rainwater is an element of the green movement, EPDM roofs are popular in green projects. Like TPO roofing, EPDM roofing is a membrane product. It is commonly used in big box stores with large open areas. Chances are if there’s a Walmart nearby it has an EPDM roof.

First used as a roofing material in the 1960’s, efforts to recycle it began in the early 1990’s. Currently there are more than 1 billion square feet EPDM new roof coverings installed every year, with over 20 billion square feet already in use. In 2007 the EPA raised the recycle bar calling for 50% of roofing materials used in any new project to be recyclable. The EPA conducted a study in 2007 to determine if EPDM could be recycled to that level. Although the results were positive, some questions remained as to whether the material could be produced in enough quantity to be useful.

The EPDM Roofing Association, or ERA, is a trade association for EPDM. According to this group, “Since the early 1960’s, EPDM single-ply rubber membrane roofing products have gained wide industry acceptance and respect by providing long-term, economically efficient, dependable roofing solutions for the construction community. Their attributes include long-term warranties, low life-cycle costs, reduced labor costs, minimal maintenance and user-friendly code approvals. The sustained growth EPDM roofing systems is attributed to the development of complementary technologies that have made it possible for EPDM roofing systems to be beneficial in a wide number of applications. Architects and contractors have come to depend on this proven track record of performance. As environmentalists and code regulators place more emphasis on the long-term performance of building materials, EPDM has become an increasingly obvious choice. The need to provide the construction and roofing communities with current and accurate data documenting the many benefits of EPDM roofing systems led to the formation of ERA.”

Wind resistance is one EPDM benefit heavily pushed by the EPA. EPDM roofs can be designed to resist winds 120 MPH or more. For buildings in hurricane areas, that’s of huge benefit.

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