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Pros And Cons Of EPDM Flat Roof

January 29, 2022

Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer, popularly known as EPDM, is a type of flat roof that is used both in residential and commercial roofing. Over the years, it has proven instrumental in building a good roof for any kind of building.

But even at that, it also has deficiencies. In this article, we will explain explicitly the pros and cons of flat roofs.

Pros

Low maintenance

The recommended maintenance is twice a year. But with EPDM, you might not have to clean your roof twice a year, and even if you would, the maintenance won't be much.

Environmentally friendly

EPDM is produced from recycled materials through sulfur vulcanization so they are environment friendly and have a lot of benefits to the environment.

It's easy to repair damages

There is no doubt that damages will occur on your EPDM roof but you don't have to worry because it is easy to repair the damages.

In fact, as simple as it is, you can repair the damages by yourself. Although it advised you call on a professional roofer to fix the damages, there are some damages you can fix yourself.

Cost

EPDM is less costly when buying.  It works well if you have a low budget. But, the cost effect only works when you apply the ballasted method.

Lightweight and flexibility

EPDM is a lightweight material. It can also be cut into whatever shape or size you want.

Class A Fire Rating

Unlike TPO which has only a fire rating, EPDM has a class A fire rating and also reduces the fire when it catches the building.

Have you ever wondered why some roofs burn less for a long time before the fire extinguishers arrive? Some of these buildings installed EPDM as the primary roof. So, it's only normal for it to do its job.

Long-lasting

The durability of EPDM does not have a fixed number of years. It all depends on the material purchased, how it was installed, and how well it is maintained.

That said, different roofing companies and experts have speculations that don't tally with each other. But with all the research, the durability falls within 20 - 50 years.

If it's not up to that, then something is wrong with the installation, material, and maintenance. In addition, the weather condition, the kind of building, and the load on it can also be contributing factors to the longevity of your EPDM roof.

Lower energy costs

It has been argued that TPO is more reflective than EPDM probably because it comes in numerous colors and then white roofs are more reflective than black. EPDM is usually black colors so it's assumed that TPO's white roof is more reflective. But they are forgetting something: not all EPDM is black. EPDM also comes in white colors, which means it can also reflect sunlight and resist UV as much as TPO roofing.

When a roof reflects sunlight, it is always to an end. The end in this case is it reduces your energy costs. How you may ask?

When your roof reflects sunlight, it reduces the work of your HVAC system (Air conditioner, heater, etc). So, instead of your AC doing extra work of removing heat and supplying cool air, it has less work to do. This way, you don't pay a ridiculous amount for your energy cost.

Cons

Installation may not be easy

Unlike some flat roofs that you can install yourself, EPDM is different. It requires rigorous attention and expertise to install the roof properly. While you might have self-help guides and think you can do it yourself, you might be caught in the middle where you can no longer do it. Or even if you finish it, it might not last for long.

Remember, installation is a great factor that decides the longevity of your roof. So, you should employ an expert to do this for you.

Damage can happen

EPDM can be fragile. To understand this better, you should know this: EPDM is installed in non-reinforced form and reinforced form. The reinforced form is great and does not puncture easily. While non-reinforced form gets punctured and is fragile.

However, the most common EPDM installed nowadays is the non-reinforced form. Therefore, your EPDM tends to get punctured easily and seriously get damaged. And as it grows older, it gets worse and might not even last for 20 years.

Finding the right installer

 As explained earlier, the installation can be hard. It's not just about getting an installer, rather, it is about getting a professional installer.

With the many roofing companies available in the country now, it might be hard to choose which is which, or which is an expert.

Installation cost

Yes, in the pros, we talked about EPDM having a less installation cost, but that was for just the ballasted method.

The mechanical fastener and the fully adhered method are costlier when compared to its main flat roof competitor, TPO. So, installation can be a disadvantage as well.

The truth is, you can't use a ballasted method in all areas. This is why you need to be in constant touch and work side by side with your roofing contractor. They have to assess the situation to know the best roofing method for you.

If you are using any other method aside from the ballasted method, you are running at a disadvantage and spending lots of money.

Aesthetics

There have been and there are still controversies about this issue. Whether EPDM is good to look at since it mostly comes in black.

EPDM is not really bad to look at, but when compared to its competitors, it is nothing compared to them.

The others have good designs, different colors, and are appealing to the eyes. EPDM mostly comes in black colors. Although it comes in white colors, it doesn't have a great and elegant design. It is just a normal roof color.


The above are the pros and cons of EPDM flat roofs. These are not all but these are what you need to know. Despite the deficiencies, EPDM is one of the fast-selling Installed flat roofs in the country.

For free quotes and consultation, contact us at 118-35 Queens Blvd Forest Hills, NY 11375, (718) 414-6067, [email protected]

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