Why Commercial Properties Choose EPDM for Flat Roofing

Your commercial roofing prospect might already be set on getting a membrane roof. Why would they lean towards EPDM over the other options like TPO and PVC? There is much more to EPDM than you may be aware of.

First, some science.  EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber.  Rubbers with saturated polymer backbones, such as EPDM, have much better resistance to heat, light and ozone than unsaturated rubbers. This makes it suitable for external harsh environments.  As such, EPDM can be formulated to be resistant to temperatures as high as 150° C, or 302° F for the metric challenged.  Properly formulated, EPDM can be used outdoors for many years without degradation.

Benefits of EPDM

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    You probably aren’t going to share all the scientific information with your client, though it could impress them if you did! In this blog, we’ll focus on the benefits EPDM offers.

    Initial Investment.  EPDM is the least expensive of the most common membrane systems (PVC, TPO and EPDM) to install.  That up-front savings may be the most important thing for your client to consider.

    Part of the reason for the lower investment is based on the wider roll sizes, which means fewer rolls to purchase to cover an existing roof.  Part of it is also based on reduced labor costs, due to the presence of fewer seams; again based on the wider rolls.

    Durability.  EPDM is tough.  Properly installed and maintained, an EPDM roofing system can last for decades, depending on location.  It is important to note that maintenance is key to a good, long-lasting EPDM roof. 

    One of the drawbacks of EPDM is seam separation.  Regular inspection and ongoing maintenance of those seams is crucial to maximizing roof longevity.

    Weather Resistant.  EPDM is basically rubber.  This makes it extremely resistant to impact-damaging weather such as hail or high wind related debris.   Available up to 90 mil thick, EPDM is about as good as it gets in heavy hail areas. 

    It is also ozone resistant, with an ozone-resistant rating of ‘A’ up to 100º F.

    Maintenance & Repair.  Though we did mention the importance of maintenance previously, EPDM has a reputation for being easy to maintain.  Additionally, repairs are usually straightforward and easy to manage.

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    This helps reduce your client’s costs in the long run, making EPDM a good long-term return on investment.

    Energy Efficient.  Depending on location, traditional EPDM is well known for helping keep a building warm, by absorbing and retaining solar heat.  In warmer climates, EPDM is available in white to reflect solar heat and keep the interior cooler.

    Once that EPDM roof is finished, the materials are fully recyclable.  Not only does that prevent wasting limited resources, it also keeps our landfills clear of unnecessary debris.  Another environmental bonus!

    There are other benefits to EPDM not discussed.  However, these are the top 5 most likely to be important to your clients.

    If you’re interested in learning about TPO and PVC, visit the following blog:
    TPO or PVC – What’s the Difference?

    Remember, the ability to answer questions in detail on the various systems available not only reinforces you as an expert in their eyes, it also underscores the value you place on your client’s needs.  Contractors that consistently meet the needs of their customers are contractors that get repeat business, excellent referrals and grow their business.

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    Written by: Diana Warwick
    Diana Warwick
    Diana Warwick grew up in a construction family. Over the decades, she has watched the industry change and evolve. Now, a recently retired RN, Diana is living her dream as a professional researcher and online author. Her strong research background, coupled with years of construction knowledge and innate curiosity, has led to her development as an integral part of a full-service marketing company that specializes in commercial roofing.