EPDM has been the market leader for both low-slope and flat roof applications for more than 50 years. It is manufactured from oils, carbon black, zinc oxide, curing agents and polymers to enhance the membrane strength, durability and elasticity. The main polymers are ethylene, propylene and a small amount of diene. The common EPDM roofing materials provide a black finish, though some include dyes or pigments to provide a smooth white finish. The white finish helps the roofs to reflect back the sun rays and keeps the interior of the building cooler.
Continued QC (Quality Control) testing results prove that EPDM has the capacity to withstand the various climatic effects well beyond 30-years. Freeze/Thaw-Cycling (large and rapid fluctuations in temperature) is one of the most damaging environmental conditions roofing materials will face. EPDM is one of the very few materials proven to hold-up under such damaging conditions. In Northern America, EPDM accounts for over 52% roofing installations.
EPDM Roof Installation
EPDM roof installers may use one of the three installation methods – Ballasted, Mechanically fastened and Fully adhered. Because of its excellent flexibility, EPDM can be installed in any surface regardless of its shape, size and design. It can also be patched quite easily when damaged by tears or punctures. Also, it does not rely on plasticizers for its flexibility, so there is no danger of becoming brittle because of plasticizer loss in the long run. During installation, rubber is bonded at the seams to create continuous barrier. This allows EPDM-roofing to keep water from seeping into the roof structure and walls. Moreover, EPDM allows for ‘year-round’ installation because of its stability over a wide range of temperatures.
Benefits of EPDM
Even with the arrival of more technologically advanced roofing materials such as TPO and PVC membrane, EPDM has managed to maintain its advantages over other materials. Here is a list of the few key benefits of installing EPDM roof material.
• Easy to install
• Greater resistance to wind, water, and cyclic membrane fatigue
• High resistance to abrasion, weathering and ozone.
• Flexibility in even very low temperatures
• Resistance to extreme heat
• Thermal shock durability
• Restoration friendly
• Long life expectancies
• Ultraviolet radiation resistance
• Easier to install penetrations when needed
• Low maintenance required
There’s no question that EPDM holds its own advantage in service life, environmental sustainability and overall performance. EPDM has gained the popularity in the roofing industry since early1970s and will continue to be an affordable, dependable as well as efficient roofing solution for several years to come.