EPDM, a specific roofing material, created a $6.48 billion market in the U.S. last year. And it’s expected to grow to nearly $10 billion by 2026.
This material, introduced in the 1960s, is also one of our commercial property specialties: It’s EPDM roofing.
You’ve probably heard about this roofing product before. But what is it? Where should it be used?
Most importantly—is it for you?
Let’s walk through the basics to get to know one of the most successful roofing materials on the market.
EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Now for those of us without chemistry degrees, that means this is a synthetic rubber that’s made in a lab.
Because of its chemical makeup, EDPM is much more resistant to light, heat, and ozone than natural rubber. It can withstand heat as high as 300°F and remain flexible at temps as low as -40°F.
It’s only metaphorically hot as an oven on your roof. But using materials that literally could survive in an oven makes covering a roof effectively in the Texas summer sun a snap.
How EPDM Roofing Works
It’s usually manufactured and applied in giant single-ply rolls of varying widths. It’s either heat sealed to the roof and other pieces of material, glued on, or fastened on, like other sheet materials.
It often looks like the inside of a black inner tube, making most rolls liable to absorb a fair amount of heat. That’s fine for the material. But could be rough for the roof below. It’s possible to find formulations in white to reflect heat.
Where It Works Best
This is a material that is best suited for flat and low slope roofs.
Think warehouses, garages, sheds and other commercial-use buildings. It is typically not graded for residential use.
Because it’s one of the lighter roofing options, it can be applied to almost any roof deck. It’s also one of the more economical options on the market. It cost between $4.25 and $12 per square foot, including material and labor.
It’s best used on buildings where good looks aren’t a concern. This is a plain-looking material that is completely focused on function, not form.
Some Benefits, Some Problems
We’ve covered heat and light resistance. Here are a few more benefits over other materials.
It’s very pliable, meaning that it is resistant to scuffing or tearing. This is useful for roofs that expect a measure of foot traffic. However, it does puncture relatively easily. Wind-blown timber could cause problems.
Also, if it punctures, there is the possibility of water seeping along with areas containing no or little adhesive.
At the same time, roofing punctures like this are very easy and inexpensive to repair.
It also has a strong resistance to acid and alkali, which is good for urban areas where acid rain from air pollution is relevant.
EPDM roofing also has known hail damage resistance, a major plus over other common roofing materials.
Now You Know. It’s Time to Go!
To sum up, EPDM roofing is an affordable, durable roofing system for your large commercial building.
Have questions specific to your needs? Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation inspection of your roof. Or, click here to get a free quote on your next project.