EPDM Roof – Roofing for Protection

Membrane roofing has been a well-preferred option for commercial structures. However, many people are now using it for their homes too. What is EPDM roofing? What do you want to know about installing one? We will explore this roofing membrane, including costs, benefits, and other commonly asked questions.

EPDM Roofing Membrane: What Is It?

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is a roofing membrane used for flat roofs. Although homeowners might not select it for its visual appeal, it is robust and shields your house from the weather. It is best for buildings with low slopes, both commercial and residential.

Flat roofs of this kind usually last for two-to-three decades. They are incredibly resistant to cold, heat, hail, thermal shock, wind, UV rays, and other things while being light and flexible. 

In contrast to white membrane roof systems, the black membrane EPDM absorbs heat. This characteristic is why it is not advisable to use it to cover your bedroom or living room in a hot climate. 

When making your final choice, only consider the heat absorption that comes with a black EPDM membrane roof system.

EPDM Roofing
EPDM Roofing

Best Places to Use EPDM

EPDM roofing systems provide the best protection from harsh weather conditions. They offer defense from the elements, including the sun, hail, wind, rain, and high heat. This material is advisable if you have a low or flat slope roof that needs a lot of protection. 

Although unattractive, purpose comes before aesthetics.

Overlay the membrane with an outdoor carpet, wood deck, or AstroTurf on rooftop decks. It combines well with Hypalon paint, although you might have to repaint every three to four years.

Pros of EPDM

What benefits come with installing EPDM rubber roofing?

It Is the Cheapest to Install

EPDM is arguably the cheapest roofing material you can install. The price will often be lower than that of PVC and TPO. Below are the typical installation expenses, excluding material:

It costs $5.50 per square foot, while TPO and PVC cost more than $7.00 and $8.50, respectively.

Inexpensive Repairs

Restoring and repairing EPDM roofs is affordable. Compared to asphalt shingles and metal sheets, its rolls’ seams are less likely to fail since they are large and wide. 

This typically suggests that possible leaks of this kind may be less common than those of other types.

Fast Installation

Roofing contractors can install an EPDM roofing membrane quickly and easily. This is because it comes in substantial rolls or sheets. They roll it out over the space, which is faster than installing shingles one at a time.

Long Lasting

The EPDM, PVC, and TPO commercial roofing systems should last long. Homeowners may anticipate using it for more than 30 years if their roofs are well-designed. This is a result of its toughness and resistance to high winds, hail, fire, and harsh temperatures.


EPDM avoids cracking in extreme climates because it can expand or compress as needed. When compared to other types of roofing membranes, it is exceptionally durable. Additionally, it holds up well in harsh weather such as hail, wind, snow, and ice.

It Is Not Heavy

Even shingles made of asphalt cannot compare to the weight of EPDM. While the typical asphalt shingle weighs about 2.3 pounds per square foot, fully adhered EPDM alone weighs just about 0.5 pounds per square foot. This is perfect for low-slope and flat roofs.

Energy Efficient

EPDM is a fantastic option for energy conservation whether you live in a hot or cold region. Black rubber may be the best option for cold climates since it retains heat. White EPDM roofing is best for hot climates to reflect the sun’s heat and cut cooling costs.

Resistance to Hail

Because this stuff is practically rubber, hailstones will ricochet off it. However, if you reside in a region with frequent hailstorms all year, you should choose a thicker membrane. Inquire about the different EPDM rubber roof thicknesses from your neighborhood roofing contractor.

Has Fire Resistance Rating

The system will be fire-resistant if an AFR layer is added to an EPDM roofing product.

Cons of EPDM

Before you make any judgments, you’ll want to consider a few EPDM roofing downsides.

Difficult to Install Yourself

Even though it looks simple, consumers shouldn’t install EPDM roofs themselves. The roof could collapse if not done well, especially on top of asphalt shingles or other materials. Let experts handle the installation whenever possible.


As purposeful as EPDM is, it isn’t attractive. It’s just a big sheet of white or black rubber without ballast. This gives it a bland appearance which is not particularly noteworthy.

It Punctures Easily

Depending on the item and the thickness of the membrane, EPDM roofing has the potential to puncture. The good thing is that an EPDM roof that has been ballasted and fully attached comes close to being fully resistant to such flaws. A thicker membrane, such as the 75 mil, is ideal for your roof if you reside in a location with the risk of falling debris.

Resistance to Petroleum Substances Is Poor

Additionally, this material does not hold up well to petroleum-based materials, including grease, oil, solvents, etc. It might potentially start to degrade after any form of contact with such substances. Fortunately, for residential roofs, these rarely come into play.

EPDM Roof Installation Steps

Although installing a roof with an EPDM roof membrane appears simple, there are a few distinct approaches. The three installation techniques are mechanical fastening, adhering, and ballasting. You should employ a group of experts to handle the task if you don’t have the necessary specialist tools or installation knowledge. This will guarantee that the installation is excellent, extending the roof’s lifespan to its fullest. 

Contact us to get help from expert roofers in Columbia, SC. You choose which installation style would be most suitable for you, and we will execute it.

  • Adhered

This takes the most time to install but has the longest lifespan. Glue the sheets to the roof’s surface below to finish this installation procedure. 

Although it will typically cost the most, this approach leaves the fewest holes.

  • Fastened

The most typical installation technique for EPDM is a mechanically fastened roofing system. Here the roofing professional screws the hardware into the deck while passing it through the insulation. It is most efficient when you do the installation in cold conditions. 

  • Ballasted

A ballasted roofing system stretches loosely over the insulation. River-washed stones, or concrete pavers, support such installations. The ballast protects the membrane from being harmed by branches, hail, and ultraviolet light. It is the least expensive of the known roof installations, although the maintenance costs may increase over time.

The Cost of EPDM Roofing

Cost is the last and most crucial factor about EPDM roofing that you should know. Please be aware that due to the numerous cost variables, precise pricing cannot be given.

You should simply use the data below to understand the necessary budget for EPDM roofing. In light of this, the price of EPDM roofing for smaller projects will range from $14 to $17 per square foot and $12 to $13 for slightly bigger projects.

However, the pricing range you fall into is determined by a few significant cost variables. The first is the kind of insulation used beneath the EPDM roofing membrane itself.

It is more expensive to utilize insulation that is thick enough to completely encase the building than it is to use fabric insulation and glue the membrane to it. The size of the roof that will have EPDM roofing installed is the second factor.

Keep in mind that the cost per square foot will be more expensive if your project is smaller. The cost per square foot dramatically reduces for larger projects, the opposite of what happens for smaller ones.

EPDM Roofing Contractor
EPDM roofing

EPDM Alternatives

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and PVC are two of the most popular EPDM substitutes, while there are other options.

Several factors have contributed to the rise in the popularity of TPO in recent years. 

First, it saves energy by reflecting sunlight from a structure, which makes air conditioners more effective during hot temperatures. Additionally, it provides better puncture resistance than EPDM.

Another well-liked substitute for rubber roofing is PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Due to its 50% greater breaking point than usual standards, it is one of the strongest sorts. It resists sweltering heat, the sun, and strong winds.

Contact Us Today!

Whether you choose EPDM or another sort of roofing material, there are several things to think about.

Focus on EPDM for the time being. Should you set it up?

EPDM definitely wouldn’t be the best option if your roof wasn’t flat or had a modest slope. 

It is one of the most popular rubber roofing membrane options for low-slope or flat roofs. If you feel that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, it might be time to make an appointment. You can get a free roofing replacement quote from our staff.

Call us now if you have any general questions about commercial roof systems or roofing installation in Columbia, SC.

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