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What does EPDM stand for in roofing?

What EPDM stands for is the much less commonly used ‘Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer’. A synthetic rubber roofing membrane used across a range of applications, EPDM is a tool favoured by the automotive industry and, perhaps its main customer, the construction sphere. EPDM seals are the preferred choice by many companies in the industry thanks to their exceptional resistance to a range of environmental factors, including extreme weather conditions, UV rays and Ozone.

Consistently popular with architects, contractors and roof consultants, EPDM adhesive has been the go-to sealing choice for low-slope commercial roofing for nearly half a century, both in new builds and roofing replacement projects.

What’s EPDM rubber?

EPDM rubber is a type of hard-wearing synthetic rubber roofing membrane made from two main ingredients – ethylene and propylene, both of which are derived from natural gas and oil. Available in black and wide, as well as a choice of thicknesses and widths, EPDM rubber is regarded worldwide as the preferred roofing membrane for low-slope buildings.

The application methods for EPDM rubber sheets vary depending on the particular project. EPDM rubber can be attached mechanically, fully adherer or ballasted, the latter involving the use of specialist EPDM tape or liquid EPDM adhesive to seal the seams of the roofing system.

Backed by over forty years of real-life applications and proven results, EPDM rubber has proven itself to have an average service life unsurpassed by any other similar tool in the roofing industry. There are a number of factors which come together to make EPDM roofing a superior adhesive, including its high resistance to heat and fire, hail, abrasion, and cyclical membrane fatigue, as well as it’s unrivalled flexibility in low temperatures and its thermal shock durability.

What’s more, EPDM rubber offers exceptional resistance to wind damage, which makes it perfect for contractors diligent about ensuring their roof systems meet wind uplift criteria.

How is EPDM rubber is made?

Depending on how EPDM rubber is manufactured, it can offer a range of additional properties alongside its main features. White EPDM, for instance, brings together the exceptional performance associated with classic EPDM rubber and the environmental benefits of a highly reflective surface to create a cost and energy efficient solution.

What sets apart the manufacturing process behind this type of EPDM from how EPDM rubber is made traditionally is the addition of an extra element to the base polymers and oils making up the EPDM membrane. White EPDM membrane, for instance, contains titanium dioxide which protects the polymer by reflecting harmful UV rays. The UV resistance of a black EPDM membrane, meanwhile, is enhanced by adding carbon black and using it to convert UV rays into heat.

What is EPDM rubber used for? When to use EPDM?

EPDM rubber sheets are commonly used across a range of construction applications, including electrical gaskets, door and window glazing, as well as various waterproofing solutions. As we mentioned above, thanks to its unrivalled versatility and durability, EPDM rubber has cemented itself as the most popular choice when it comes to commercial roofing. Having withstood the test of time, EPDM rubber delivers unparalleled long-term performance, winning over contractors and roof consultants around the globe.

What is EPDM rubber roofing?

Having proven itself to be an exceptionally durable waterproofing solution, EPDM rubber roofing has gradually become the preferred roofing system for flat roof surfaces. In most projects, EPDM rubber roofing is applied either in the form of a liquid EPDM adhesive or a special roofing EPDM tape.

How is EPDM roofing applied? How does EPDM roofing work?

Contractors have several application methods to choose from when it comes to how EPDM roofing is installed. The most popular ways to apply an EPDM membrane include mechanically attaching it, adhering it fully or ballasting it. All of these methods allow you to install the EPDM roofing system on slopes with positive drainage. The added benefit of having a fully adhered EPDM membrane is that it also allows for vertical applications.

When using EPDM roofing, we recommend making provisions for proper drainage to make sure you meet the requirements outlined by local building codes. Most roofing contractors nowadays are well versed in EPDM roofing installation, so you will have no trouble finding an expert to get the job done. Or, if you prefer to do it yourself, you have a choice of EPDM adhesive application equipment designed to make the installation of EPDM rubber easier.

Can EPDM be installed in cold weather?

Yes. Thanks to its resistance to extreme temperatures, EPDM rubber remains stable in any weather, allowing for installation all year round, regardless of the climate conditions.

How long will EPDM roof last?

Based on existing EPDM roof systems, the service life of EPDM rubber is estimated at approximately forty years. The longevity of EPDM membrane stems from its unique susceptibility to repairs and restoration – a phenomenon never before encountered in the commercial roofing industry.

Ageing EPDM roofing, for instance, can be easily be repaired using a new roof curb, even years after its installation and prolonged exposure to all weathers. Thanks to its exceptional flexibility and durability, EPDM rubber is more resistant to degradation caused by exposure to the elements or UV rays. This, in turn, allows contractors to easily modify the EPDM membrane by just washing it and preparing the surface before applying coatings and other repair materials.

In the case that your EPDM roofing system does take some damage as it ages, you can also restore the EPDM rubber with minimal level of effort. The EPDM membrane of your roof can be back to its former installation glory without making a huge dent in your budget or disrupting everyday activities. In fact, some EPDM adhesive enhancements can improve your EPDM roofing beyond the condition of its original installation.

How long will EPDM roof last depends largely on your continuous care. With regular maintenance, EPDM roofing systems have the potential to remain in prime condition for over thirsty years. Of course, having an expert company install your EPDM rubber roofing will also play an important part in ensuring that the system reaches its optimal service life.

Why use EPDM roofing?

The longevity of EPDM rubber, combined with its unrivalled flexibly, has turned EPDM roofing into the most widely accepted and respected commercial roofing solution in the industry.

Continuously proving to people wondering ‘Are EPDM roofs any good’ that the answer is, indeed, a resounding yes, EPDM adhesive withstands the full range of climates as well as the test of time, offering contractors the sustainable building material unlike any other.

In fact, the EPDM membrane is both packed full with benefits and incredibly cost effective in the long run, which makes it the perfect choice for all sizes of flat roofing systems.

What can EPDM be installed on?

Another added benefit of EPDM roofing is the range of accessories and components available which allow contractors to modify it according to individual construction needs. For instance, EPDM membrane can be installed on wood or concrete decks directly, or adhered to steel decks using mechanical anchoring. EPDM can also be installed on substrates with low pull-out resistance such as light gauge steel, fibrous cement and gypsum using special fastening components.

The type of structure and the condition it’s in will determine whether your EPDM roofing system needs to be mechanically fastened, adhered or ballasted. Ballasted assembly, for example, is incredibly versatile and can be used to install EPDM rubber on any deck, provided that the structure can support the weight of the EPDM roofing system. There are also special freezer applications which pair the EPDM membrane with thicker insulation to protect the structure from extreme conditions.

Where to buy EPDM rubber roofing?

Whether you are on the lookout for where to buy EPDM sheet rubber, EPDM bonding adhesive, or other forms of EPDM material, you’ve come to the right place!

At Solseal, we stock a range of EPDM roofing supplies from leading brands on the market. Browse our EPDM rubber products above to find the perfect EPDM roofing solution for your EPDM membrane needs.

Save even more when you buy in bulk!