EPDM is the acronym for the chemical composition of rubber. “EPDM”, “Rubber”, “Black Rubber”, and “EPDM Rubber” all refer to the same roofing product. This EPDM membrane is classified as a thermoset material, as it is either fully-cured prior to installation or it cures during natural weathering after installation. EPDM roofs are single ply membranes, meaning that there is only one ply of roofing material rather than multiple plies laminated together. EPDM is available in a variety of thicknesses. As a general rule, the thicker the material, the longer the warranty available.
EPDM has been in use on roofs in the USA since the 1960s and is one of the most common types of low slope roofing materials. While single-ply roofing systems as a whole have gained market share, EPDM as a percentage of that category of roofing has fallen. The seams on EPDM roof systems are sealed using either an adhesive or splice tape. This system can be applied one of three ways: fully-adhered, mechanically-fastened or ballasted.
EPDM Rubber Strengths:
- Predictable and affordable.
EPDM Rubber Weaknesses:
- Expensive to maintain toward the end of their service life due to shrinkage, bonding failure, detail failure and seam failure.
- Poor fire rating.