Is EPDM Roofing Worth the Money?

epdm roof black

Is EPDM roofing any good?

Commercial structures are generally large buildings with large roofing areas. That roofing needs a strong protection from the elements and in Texas, that is often EPDM roofing.  What is EPDM roofing? EPDM ( Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is an exceedingly durable and synthetic rubber membrane that is used on roofing that is flat or low-sloped. It is found on structures in Texas, around the country, and around the world. Made from two main ingredients that are derived from natural gas, ethylene, and propylene.

EPDM roofing has become increasingly popular as a straightforward roofing solution that is durable. The following Pros and cons of EPDM roofing can help you determine why is EPDM roofing good and if EPDM roofing is right for your structure. 

  • Pro: It is Long lasting with low maintenance requirement and looks good too when compared to older traditional roofing materials like felt. EPDM roofing is sturdy and reliable, making it an appropriate roofing material for extreme weather conditions. The typical lifespan of EPDM roofing is between 30 and 50 years when proper maintenance has been practiced. As a synthetic rubber roofing material, EPDM roofing is algae resistant, moss resistant and won’t show dirt easily. 
  • Con: EPDM roofing is not a simple installed if the roof isn’t completely flat. Any obstacles or protrusions can make it difficult to install, such as chimneys, skylights, vents, etc. The EPDM roofing material has to be cut to fit around these things and flashing taped applied to keep the roofing water-tight. Any small error left unprotected by the EPDM roofing material or the flashing tape will be exposed to water and leaks will happen.
  • Pro: An environmentally friendly product, EPDM rubber roofing is made from recycled materials.  
  • Con: While EPDM Roofing is durable and reliable, it isn’t indestructible. Falling objects and heavy foot traffic can damage the membrane, resulting in tearing. This requires regular inspections by building maintenance to catch this type of damage and tear and repair them promptly. 
  • Pro: Repairing is easy to EPDM roofing. Simply clean the damaged area thoroughly and apply the primer and flashing tape as instructed on the packaging. 
  • Con: Finding an installer with experience and knows How to install EPDM roofing can be challenge some areas. Even though it has been around for forty years, it is still new in the roofing industry and not that many roofing contractors have experience in installing EPDM roofing. 
  • Pro: EPDM roofing is customized to fit your roof upon installation. With this customized fitting, you are getting one full membrane on your roof which minimizes leaks.  
  • Pro: No blisters, cracks or rotting with EPDM roofing because of the natural properties. After it has been installed, it become blister resistant, crack resistant, and rot resistant.        

How long will EPDM roofing last?

A professional installed EPDM roofing that is maintained and taken care of will give you up to fifty years of life. This is an incredible durable and  long-lasting roofing material that is from  recycled materials and is UV resistant. 

Is EPDM better than felt?

A common roofing material that is still used on commercial structure is felt, layers of a fiber mat that has a bituminous layer coating applied. A simple roof that is budget priced, which is great, but it does have its drawbacks: 

  • Felt roofing doesn’t have a long lifespan – maximum 15 years versus 50 years for EPDM roofing 
  • Felt roofing is resistant to extreme weather, becomes soft and warped in the sun, then brittle and weak in cold weather. 
  • Repairing felt roofing doesn’t leave a good curb appeal, has a scruffy look, where as EPDM repairs are rare and when they are repaired, it blends in with the roofing.

What is the difference between EPDM and TPO roofing?

There are few differences, and both can suit a building and budget, depends on what you’re looking for in your roofing material: 

  • EPDM is a dark surface, so during the summertime, it may not be the best for buildings in areas where temperatures get hot.  TPO has a light colored surface that reflects the UV rays and heat, keeping the building cooler. 
  • TPO has a higher puncture resistance than EPDM roofing 
  • TPO roofing is welded which makes it an extremely durable system but also a complicated system to install and repair
  • EPDM has been around longer – 60 years versus 10 years – and has a reputation established
flat black roof

Is TPO more expensive than EPDM?

Upon install yes and when it comes to repairs, yes, because it has to be welded where EPDM is simply applied. And EPDM repairs take only flashing tape by the maintenance crew versus having to call a roofing contractor to weld any repairs needed. 

EPDM roofing, felt roofing, TPO roofing all have their advantages and disadvantages.  The building owner and maintenance manager should weigh the differences and choose the one that is right for their structure, the environment, and the budget for installation and budget for future repairs. Call 214-321-3293 today.