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Everything You Need To Know About EPDM Commercial Roofing Materials

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If your commercial building has a flat or low-slope roof that's in need of a replacement soon, then a new roof made of EPDM membrane is a good option. The acronym EPDM stands for the synthetic rubber roofing material's chemical name of ethylene propylene diene terpolymer.

EPDM comes in a white and a black variety and two different membrane thicknesses and widths. In addition, EPDM membranes can be installed in three ways, including:

  1. attachment with a liquid roofing adhesive
  2. attachment with a specialty tape
  3. nailed down with special anchors and plates

If you are unfamiliar with the benefits and drawbacks of EPDM roofing membranes, this information will help you familiarize yourself.

EPDM Is Inexpensive When Compared to TPO and Torch-Down Modified Bitumen

EPDM roofing membranes are lower in cost than torch-down modified bitumen and TPO options. EPDM has a lifespan of about two decades which is similar to TPO, and it is less expensive than either other option by the square foot. 

EPDM Has the Lowest Installation Cost of Available Flat-Roofing Material Options

EPDM also comes with a lower installation cost than TPO or torch-down modified bitumen roofing materials. This is because it is easier to install and doesn't require any special tools or equipment. EPDM is lightweight and is manufactured in very wide rolls to cut down on the number of seams required, and that also helps keep down the installation cost.

EPDM Roofing Membrane Is Lightweight, Yet Durable 

EPDM membranes are made out of the same rubber material used to make tire innertubes. This makes them very lightweight, durable, and puncture-resistant.

The Potential Downsides of EPDM Roofing Materials

Though EPDM is a popular commercial roofing material, it does have a few downsides, including:

  • a shorter lifespan than torch-down modified bitumen
  • shrinking from damage caused by ultraviolet light absorption
  • seam splitting from excessive sun exposure when nearing the end of its life
  • damage from contractors walking on the surface without laying down protective mats

Additionally, when EPDM membranes shrink or their seams split, then water can intrude underneath and damage the structural integrity of the roof. For this reason, this type of roof needs periodic maintenance before it reaches the point of failure. 

EPDM Roofing Materials Should Always be Professionally Installed

In conclusion, while it is possible to install EPDM roofing materials yourself as a DIY project, you really should have it professionally installed by a licensed roofing contractor. A professionally installed roof will always last longer and protect your commercial building better due to the specialized skills and experience of the installers.

Contact your local commercial roofing services today to learn more about your options for roofing materials. 


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