EPDM Rubber Roofing vs. Felt

When it comes to taking the best possible care of your property, the roof it came with usually isn’t going to be good enough. This is especially true if you own a commercial building and have tenants who are depending on your building to hold up so they can conduct business. Something as small as a leak could turn into a major problem that causes you to lose a tenant.

If you’re in the market for a better roof, there’s a good chance your quest has brought you to two options. Before you decide between EPDM rubber roofing and felt, though, consider the following comparison.

A Brief Description of Both

Most of you are probably already familiar with felt. However, you may be surprised to know that it’s one of the most popular roofing materials with a history that goes back centuries. Felt has been used to make shingles, but in this discussion, we’re referring to the type that is put down as a base material before other options are laid over.

EPDM rubber roofing is a bit newer, but quickly gaining in popularity. As a synthetic rubber, EPDM is used to cover preexisting roofs. When the liquid rubber dries, a hard membrane is the result, forming a protective barrier over the entire roof.


Generally speaking, a felt roof is going to be the more affordable of the two. It’s true, though, that there are countless options out there, so sometimes EPDM rubber roofing may be the cheaper option.

Now, to be clear, paying less doesn’t automatically make it better. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”


On the other hand, EPDM rubber roofing is vastly superior at fending off Mother Nature. This is true for a few reasons.

The most important is that this synthetic rubber can actually stretch and retract with the moving of your roof. Changing temperatures can force your roof to expand or shrink. While it’s not nearly enough to notice with the naked eye, it’s enough of a switch that it could result in cracks or other forms of damage.

Of course, it can also withstand temperatures ranging between 40 degrees below Fahrenheit and 300 above. As a barrier, it won’t allow the sun to heat the inside of your building, nor will it allow the warm air you pay for to sneak out.


Another key area where EPDM rubber roofing dominates is with longevity. Simply put, EPDM roofs will last you—at the very least—twice as long as one made from felt. However, it’s easy to predict that most EPDM roofs will be around four times longer or more.

For this reason, even though a felt roof may cost less, EPDM may be the better overall value.

Obviously, everyone’s building—and thus their roof—is going to be different. However, in most cases, a roof that is coated with EPDM is going to be much more durable than going with the traditional felt option.