Rubber roofing, also known as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) single ply membranes, is one of the most common materials chosen for flat roof systems. In fact, flat roofs are often referred to as “rubber roofs” in the roofing industry. They are cost-effective, easy to install, and require very little maintenance. However, they are also known to have some characteristic problems due to improper or poor installation by fly-by-the-night, inexperienced roofers. For this reason, it is critical that you hire a true roofing professional who has experience with EPDM systems. Continue reading to learn more about rubber roofing systems.
How Much Does it Cost?
The total cost to have rubber roofing installed depends on several factors, including the size of the property, the quantity and location of roof accessories (i.e. flashings, valleys, skylights, etc.), the amount of labor required, and more. In comparison to all other roofing material options, it is the cheapest and most cost-effective.
How Long Will It Last?
EPDM roofing is designed to last up to 50 years with proper maintenance and care. However, if it was improperly or poorly installed, you can expect to experience problems within the first few years. This is why it is important to hire a professional company for the job. If the price is too good to be true, there is often a catch; and that catch is an inexperienced contractor working on one of the most important components of your home. Don’t let that happen!
What Benefits Does it Offer?
EPDM systems are mostly admired for its price tag. However, it also offers a wide variety of other benefits, including a strong resistance to high winds and inclement weather, easy installation, low maintenance, and ease of repairs.
Does it Only Come in Black?
Although most rubber roofing is installed in the color black, it can also be installed in white. You see, EPDM roofing is made with Carbon, which gives it the black color. But when titanium dioxide is added instead, it creates a white rubber material. The white EPDM will cost more than the traditional black, however it offers great interior energy efficiency benefits, as well as, heat and sun-resistant qualities. Regardless of color, all rubber roofing requires protective coating. What’s interesting is that white EPDM systems can be coated in acrylic or latex coatings to add personalized color.
How is it Installed?
There are 3 primary ways EPDM systems are installed: 1) Mechanically Fastened, 2) Ballasted, and 3) Fully-Adhered. Mechanically-fastened rubber roofs require very little glue, and instead, use aluminum bars that are fastened to the edges of the rubber sheets to hold them in place. Fully-adhered rubber roofs are completely secured to a roof surface with specially-formulated adhesives. And last, ballasted roofs are glued at the edges and covered with a layer of stone to stabilize them.