EPDM: Wellies (Rain Boots) For Your Roof

epdm roof

The most important characteristic of any roof is that it is weatherproof. Regardless of the materials used in a roof replacement, the most important function your roof has is keeping the contents of your building dry. That is why Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is the rubber roof of choice for all Crown Remodeling rubber roofing installation. But…

What is EPDM?

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or EPDM is an extremely durable synthetic, rubber roofing membrane that is installed on low-slope or flat roofs. Available in both black and white sheets, EPDM comes in a variety of widths and thicknesses to meet every flat roofing need. Made from petroleum products, EPDM can be installed any number of ways, depending on the slope of the roof, where it is located and the budget of the building owner.

What Makes EPDM an Ideal Flat Roof Material?

Whether the flat roof is on a home or commercial building, the biggest challenge is keeping water from entering the building. Traditionally, rain, snow, and debris fall from a sloped roof to the ground below. Gravity prevents water from building up around the edges of the roof and entering the building. When the roof is flat or an especially low slope, gravity cannot help water and snow fall from the roof. That is why flat roofs need special materials to help them stay water-tight.

Since EPDM is made from sheets of rubber that look like the inside of a bicycle inner tube, it acts like a pair of rain boots (or Wellies) when it is properly installed. The material is also designed to allow for a small amount of expansion in warmer weather and contraction in colder weather, recapturing its shape and size for more than two decades at a time.

How is EPDM Installed?

Flat roof installation, particularly with EPDM can be installed one of three ways.

1. Fully Adhered

A fully adhered EPDM system uses a membrane that has been adhered to the insulation. These roofs are lightweight and can be easily trimmed to match any roof shape or size. They are also quickly becoming the method of choice for many residential roof repair projects for their ease of installation.

fully adhered epdm

Photo Credit: EPDM Roofing Association

2. Mechanically Attached

Mechanically attached EPDM is installed with large panels that are attached through the membrane using smaller panels. These panels are then attached to the roof deck with plates and batten strips. As lightweight as fully adhered rubber roofs, mechanically attached EPDM roofs can be installed quickly, trimmed to fit any building configuration and are water-tight when done properly.

mechanically fastened epdm

Photo Credit: EPDP Roofing Association

3. Ballasted System

When it comes to EPDM roofs, the ballasted system is the heaviest of the three options, but also the easiest to install. Making up around 35 percent of EPDM roofs, ballasted installations involve using EPDM panels that are laid over insulation and held in place by stone or concrete pavers. Roofs must be able to support the additional weight, but the protection from the elements rock or concrete offers means the EPDM panels will last longer than other installation methods

ballasted epdm

Photo Credit: EPDM Roofing Association

In the end, your rubber roof repair or installation will depend on your building and budget. Let the experts at Crown Remodeling help you choose the EPDM installation method that is right for you.

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