All About EPDM Roofing Systems


Commonly known as rubber membrane roofing, rubber roofing or rolled rubber roofing, the EPDM roofing is made from recycled tires, slate dust and sawdust.

The EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) synthetic rubber roofing membrane is extremely durable and has been an appealing choice for low-slope buildings since 40 years. Ethylene and propylene are two of its primary ingredients that come from oil and natural gas. This material comes in a wide variety of widths and is present in both black and white color.

There are various ways you can install an EPDM. However, its best to have your local professional roofing company handle the task.  it can be either fully adhered, attached mechanically or even ballasted, with adhesives or a special tape used to seal the seams of the EPDM roofing system.

 

Why EPDM?

 

The biggest test for any material used in construction is observing its performance under field conditions. EPDM has been proven to have the longest average service life in the roofing industry, according to 40 years of practical experience. Continuing to be the most favored choice of roof consultants, architects and contractors, the features of EPDM that back the exceptional performance of its roofing systems include:

  • It is proven to be resistant to hail
  • highly resistant and can withstand abrasion and weathering
  • an exceptional resistance to fire and extreme heat
  • Cyclical membrane fatigue resistance
  • Resilient to thermal shock
  • It is not easily damaged by UV rays
  • Low-temperature flexibility
  • Superior resistance to damage caused by the wind
  • It is durable and does not scratch easily

 

Advantages of EPDM Roofing Systems:

 

Architects have become contingent on EPDM’s tested long-term performance and longevity as the roofing systems offer several advantages:

 

  • Cost-effectiveness: It is one of the most low-cost materials for roofing
  • Easy installation: The ease of installation of EPDM Roofing systems, further reduce the labor costs
  • Longevity: An EPDM roofing system of good quality has longevity of up to 20 years
  • Various installation options: The material can be installed on the roof in various ways, it can be either sealed with an adhesive, anchored using fasteners as well as ballasted with a stone
  • Easily Repaired: In case leaks developing overtime, latex tape, adhesives, liquid roofing membranes and various other rubber shingles can be used over the EPDM to repair it

Disadvantages to Using EPDM:

 

While there are a lot of advantages of an EPDM roofing system, there are also some drawbacks that one should consider:

  • Appearance: Since EPDM is made from rubber, its appearance can be a huge disadvantage as it curbs Therefore, this material is more suitable for the roofing of a shed or a garage.
  • Black EPDM: The most cost-effective EPDM comes in a black roll, which might absorb a lot of heat resulting in superheating of the structure underneath. While it is available in lighter colors, the cost of these is about 30% more per square foot.
  • Punctures: While it is easily repaired, this material can also puncture easily.

TPO Roofing Systems


What is TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)?

 

One of the fastest growing membranes for commercial roofing systems in the current market, TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is a single-ply roofing membrane that is made from the polymerization of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber and is 100% recyclable.

This material, which has become a favorable choice of architects, contractors and roof consultants is due to the advantages it offers when it comes to installation and performance. It is generally installed mechanically or by using adhesives with the white membrane remaining bare throughout the roof’s life.

The first TPO roofing installation took place in 1989, and since then, TPO of millions of square meters have been installed worldwide and the use of this roofing membrane in the U.S has increased from 23 percent to 41% in 7 years.

As more people start favoring roofing systems that reflect heat and reduce energy costs, Thermoplastic Polyolefin roofing membranes have become an appealing choice as they provide a superior resistance to ozone, ultraviolet radiation, and chemical exposure.

TPO roofing systems are a high preference in areas with extreme heat conditions and hot weather, as TPO membranes can reflect Ultraviolet rays and ensure that the roof’s surface and thus, the structure below does not heat up. This roofing system is highly beneficial during cooling degree-days, as it keeps the building cool during the hot months, which in turn, reduces the energy costs spent on cooling and also helps the environment by decreasing carbon emission.

The environmental benefits and the reflectivity of TPO make the material a top choice for commercial buildings as it can help achieve a high degree of sustainability and energy efficiency.

 

Advantages of TPO Roofing Systems:

  • It is strong, flexible and versatile: TPO has a high resistance to impacts, punctures, and tears, while also being flexible enough to tolerate building movement. It can be installed on both – high and low slope surfaces. When it comes to roofing details, this material also has the ability to get reshaped several times after getting heated.
  • Ease of Installation: The flexibility of this material ensures it can installed easily and does not require a lot of maintenance throughout the life of the roof. It can either be attached mechanically or fully adhered to the cover board or any underlying insulation.
  • It is cost-effective: The ease of installation and low maintenance largely reduces labor costs
  • It reduces energy costs: The light colored roofing system does not absorb heat and reflect the sun’s rays, which ensure that the building remains cool. This reduces the need for cooling and thus, the energy costs. It also reduces the UHI (urban heat island) effect, which is beneficial to the surroundings.
  • The seams are welded, which can result in a long-lasting performance: A hot-air gun is used to weld the TPO membranes at 926ºC. The bonded seams are more durable than the field of the membrane
  • They don’t harm the environment: Not only are TPO membranes 100 percent recyclable, they also do not comprise any ingredients that can be harmful to the environment.