EPDM Roofing

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Benefits of EPDM Roofing


EPDM is an durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) widely used on low-slope buildings throughout the United States and worldwide. Its two primary ingredients, ethylene and propylene, are derived from natural gas and oil. EPDM is available in both black and white, and is sold a broad variety of widths, ranging from 7.5 feet to fifty feet, and in both 45 and 60 mil thicknesses. EPDM can be installed either fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted, with the seams of the roofing system sealed with specially formulated tape or liquid adhesives.

High Emissivity

For designs needing a colored surface, an ENERGY STAR approved coating can be applied. The EPDM surface allows for a strong bond with the coating that contributes to long-term performance. EPDM has high emissivity (the percentage of absorbed energy a material can radiate away from itself). This high emissivity causes the heat energy to be reflected back into the atmosphere instead of being absorbed by the building. As a result, a building can “cool off” faster at night instead of holding in the heat.

Longest Average Service Life

The major test of any construction material is how well it performs under in the field. Forty years of empirical experience in field applications has shown EPDM to have one of the roofing industry’s longest average service life.

Characteristics that contribute to this superior overall system performance include:

Ballasted systems

The workhorse of the three EPDM roofing systems, account for approximately 35 percent of EPDM installations today. Using large panels measuring up to 50 feet by 200 feet, the ballasted system provides fast coverage at a relatively low cost. The EPDM panels are loose-laid over the insulation and held in place by smooth, river-washed stoned or concrete pavers. Ballasted systems are primarily used for large new construction projects, but can also be used on roof replacement or recovery projects where the existing structure can support the additional weight. Ballasted systems are traditionally the easiest of all systems to install and have earned the Underwriters Laboratories Class A rating.

  1. Ballast
  2. Non-reinforced membrane
  3. Acceptable Insulation
  4. Approved Roof Deck

Mechanically attached systems

Mechanically attached systems can be installed using large panels and fastened through the membrane, or with narrow panels fastened in the side laps. Non-reinforced or scrim reinforced membranes can be implemented, depending on the needs of the building owner.

The membrane is attached using round plates of batten strips to the underlying deck.

Mechanically attached systems are lightweight and are ideal for all building sizes and configurations.

  1. Reinforced EPDM Membrane
  2. Fasteners and plates
  3. Acceptable Insulation
  4. Approved Roof Deck

Fully adhered systems

Fully adhered systems using panels measuring up to 30 feet by 100 feet. The membrane is bonded securely to the insulation, which has been mechanically attached, utilizing mechanical fasteners, stress plates and/or adhesives.

Either non-reinforced or scrim reinforced membrane may be used, with the non-reinforced membrane making up the majority of adhered installations.

Fully adhered systems are lightweight and perfect for a wide range of building sizes and geometric configurations, including high-slope applications.

  1. EPDM membrane
  2. Contact Adhesive
  3. Fasteners and plates
  4. Acceptable Insulation
  5. Approved Roof Deck

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