The Difference Between EPDM Roofing and Elastomeric Roof Coatings

Elastomeric roofing and EPDM are two popular options for residential and commercial roofing applications where a flat roof is present, and they each have their own best applications to consider, along with some pros and cons that you will have to weigh. Ultimately, choosing the right roofing materials comes down to finding what is best for your needs. If you aren’t familiar with the materials available, how are you supposed to figure that out?

Take a minute to read this brief guide on the differences between elastomeric roof coatings and the more commonly known EPDM roof that is used on commercial and residential properties.

EPDM Roof Coatings

EPDM, or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is technically classified as an elastomer, but it doesn’t have the specific elastic properties and formula that elastomeric coatings offer. EPDM is a synthetic rubber product that is used in various roofing applications, including residential and commercial flat roofing, and more. This material is also available in rubber sheets or liquid rubber form, offering a solution for just about every need.

These roof coatings are more rigid and may have slightly less flexibility and elasticity than specific elastomeric coatings, but they are still effective in many applications. Ultimately, elastomeric coatings are classified under the EPDM umbrella, so it just depends on which coating best suits your needs.

Elastomeric Roof Coatings

This cousin to traditional EPDM roofing offers a few extra features and benefits that make it desirable to many. For starters, it’s got a very high elasticity, allowing it to conform to any roof and bend and move with a variety of different elements and impacts. This means that it will last longer and provide more durable protection for your roof along the way. The best thing about the elasticity is that it allows the rubber to flex with temperature changes, which is one problem that causes a lot of damage in other roof coating systems that can’t flex as much.

Elastomeric coatings are great to protect a roof from sunlight and harmful UV rays, as well as all kinds of weather conditions. It can resist cracking and damage better than a variety of products that are on the market today. There are four different types of elastomeric coatings that are available today:

  • Butyl elastomeric
  • Silicone elastomeric
  • Polyurethane elastomeric
  • Acrylic elastomeric coating

Each has its own pros and cons, as well as the best applications for use. You’ll have to weigh them carefully to choose the right product for your needs.

How to Choose the Best Roof Coatings

The benefits that come with elastomeric roof coatings are quite impressive, so it might seem like a natural choice for many people. If that’s the case, that’s great because it does offer a long-lasting solution for various residential and commercial applications. Some people might still stick with traditional EPDM, and that’s fine, as well, because it is still fairly durable, albeit slightly less elastic on its own.

When you are trying to choose the right coating for your roof, think about things like:

      Features and benefits
      Application process
      Compatibility with your roof material and type

Compatibility is obviously a primary concern, but most liquid roofing materials are designed for use with a variety of materials and will clearly state their intended uses. We also didn’t put cost on this list because everyone is aware of what they have to spend and that getting the right roof coatings for the job is far more important in the long run, after all.

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