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EPDM ROOFING

RUBBER ROOFING OFFERS THE LARGEST RANGE OF EPDM ROOFING SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET

Rubber Roofing Direct is the UK’s leading EPDM roofing supplies

Our EPDM roofing systems are perfect for flat roof extensions, garages, dormer windows, sheds, and other flat roof projects. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is fast replacing older traditional felt roofing materials as the go-to choice for roofers searching for rubber for roof solutions.

Sold in convenient kits, EPDM rubber roofing has become a popular roofing material for replacing all types of flat roofs.

We offer a range of dependable EPDM rubber roofing systems that are composed of rubber membranes and other EPDM roofing supplies, making them great for all your flat roofing needs.

There are alternative materials to compare, such as GRP and Felt, however, EPDM is proving the longest-lasting roofing material due to its long term water-resistant qualities and resistance to different weather conditions.

We have the largest supply of rubber roofing systems so we can help you to find the materials you need.

EPDM roofing is becoming increasingly popular because of the number of benefits that these materials offer to UK homeowners. These include:

  • Fast, Easy, and Simple Installation – No Specialist Tools Needed
  • Resistant to Moss, Algae, and UV rays
  • Extremely Weather Resistant and Environmentally Friendly
  • Proven Life Expectancy of 50 Years
  • Environmentally friendly, made from recycled material

EPDM rubber roofing systems are extremely cost-effective and require little to no maintenance. As well as expert advice on how to install the solution, we also offer a buying guide for quantities and prices.

Rubber Roofing Direct provides a range of EPDM roof kits and shed kits that contain rubber membranes in different sizes, instructions and the required adhesives needed for installation.

 

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WHAT IS EPDM ROOFING?

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer and it is a type of synthetic rubber, which is used across many types of installations. The product is an M-Class one, conforming to ASTM standard D-1418. The M class EPDM is made from ethylene, propylene, and a diene which enables crosslinking via sulphur vulcanisation.

Why is it a popular and effective solution? It simply works better than natural rubber. Thanks to the ethylene "backbone", this material proves more durable to stressors like heat, rain, UV radiation and other atmospheric factors that tend to damage and oxidize natural rubber.

EPDM is an effective roof insulator, but the material can also be used in cars, refrigerators and machinery - anywhere where durable, malleable insulation is needed.

THE TECHNICAL STUFF

From a semi-crystalline material, EPDM has ethylene-type crystal structures, similar to ethylene and appearing at higher ethylene contents, meaning that they become essentially amorphous once these contents approach 50 wt%. 45-85% of EPDM propylene has been co-polymerised to reduce the formation of the typical crystallinity of polyethene.

EPDM rubber roofing membrane was first introduced as early as 1962. It was around for quite some time before it's popularity took off, namely in the 1970s, because of the Middle East oil embargo. The embargo made asphalt-based roofing expensive and hard to get. Asphalt roofing has been the go-to product for decades, and only a jolt in the supply chain made people look for other solutions. It soon became apparent that EPDM membranes were everything you need - without the smell, pollution and dirt created by the asphalt roofing material.  This revolution in rubber roofing system popularity happened 50 years ago, but the EPDM material is proving to be one of the longest-lasting roofing systems out there.

WHY DO WE USE IT?

Rubber for roofing with saturated polymer backbones, such as EPDM, generally has much better resistance to heat, light and ozone than unsaturated rubbers such as Neoprene or natural rubber.

Therefore, EPDM rubber can be formulated to be resistant to temperatures as high as 150°C, and once properly formulated, can be used outside for years, or even decades, without degradation. EPDM is also flexible and it has good low-temperature properties - as low as -40°C - depending on the formulation and the grade.

A more advanced form of EPDM roofing membrane has fleece on the back which makes the product much tougher and is used for waterproofing roofs. It's perfect for flat roofs, as the material can cover a flat roof and create a waterproof barrier, which is more important in flat roofing because water can't run off the surface.

As with most rubbers, EPDM roof rubber is almost always used compounded with fillers such as calcium carbonate and carbon black, as well as plasticisers like paraffinic oils, but it only has useful properties when crosslinked. Vulcanisation with sulphur is generally used for crosslinking, but it can also be done with peroxides, leading to better heat resistance, or with phenolic resins. High energy radiation, such as that from electron beams, is sometimes used for producing foams, wires and cables.

An important thing to note is that when used in roofing, EPDM does not shed any chemical pollution into the run-off rainwater. It's a great option for those who want to collect rainwater for gardening purposes and be sure that the water they collect remains uncontaminated with tar or other roofing solutions that do disintegrate over time. The environmental safety and versatility of this material is the reason that it can be used as a spray-on non-slip surface in playgrounds, near swimming pools and other public areas.

EPDM PROPERTIES

EPDM is compatible with polar substances, such as fireproof hydraulic fluids, hot and cold water, ketones and alkalis. It is incompatible with most hydrocarbons, such as oils, kerosene,  gasoline, as well as halogenated solvents and natural gas, fuel oil, diesel fuel, coal, kerosene, and propane. EPDM has outstanding resistance to heat, ozone, steam, and weather and it is often used as an electrical insulator.

Depending on the EPDM polymers available, it can be compounded to meet specific properties to a limit, before the curing and processing methods are employed. EPDM solutions are available in a range of molecular weights and at varying levels of monomer, ethylene and oil content.

Recycling EPDM Roofing Materials

Synthetic rubber EPDM roofing can be successfully recycled after it needs to be replaced. In fact, 100% of it can be reused as terrain for children's playgrounds or public spaces like swimming pools. As we mentioned above, these EPDM particles can be coloured and made into useful components of outdoor design in sports areas.

EPDM recycled rubber is durable, and perfect for playgrounds because of its non-toxic nature.

COMMON EPDM USES

EPDM is a malleable material and it can be used for multiple purposes, including:

  • Vehicles. Frequently, car seals are the source of noise because of the movement of the door against the car body and then the resulting friction between the mating surface (glass or painted sheet metal) and EPDM rubber.

    By using specialty coatings that are applied at the time of manufacture of the weather seal, the noise can be alleviated. The coatings can also improve the chemical resistance of EPDM. It is also used for door and window seals and sometimes bonnet and boot seals.

    Other uses in vehicles include the cooling system circuit hoses, thermostats, radiators, EGR coolers, heaters and oil coolers, which are all connected with EPDM.

  • EPDM is also used in cold-room doors like an insulator, or on the face seals of industrial respirators in automotive paint spray environments.

    It can be used on glass-run channels, radiators, garden products, and appliances such as hoses, pond liners, washers, and O-rings, plus geomembranes and electrical cable jointing.

  • Other multiple miscellaneous uses include; belts, electrical insulation, vibrators, solar panel heat collectors, and speaker cone surrounds. It can also be used on mechanical goods, plastic impact modification and thermoplastics.

Most importantly, this synthetic rubber membrane is a popular choice for flat roofs because of its durability and low maintenance costs.

EXTRA USES

Coloured EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) granules are often mixed with polyurethane binders to be sprayed or trowelled onto surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, concrete, interlocking brick, screenings and wood to create a soft, non-slip, porous safety surface for wet-deck areas and safety surfacing under playground equipment.

EPDM ROOFING INSTALLATION

An important thing to note about installing EPDM roofing is that it's not compatible with all materials, and can't be installed directly on surfaces that contain tar or asphalt. EPDM itself is made of petroleum and gasses - putting it in contact with anything else that's also petroleum-based will cause it to degrade, swell and break down.

Here are the things you should stay away from when installing your EPDM roofing:

  • Tar
  • Asphalt
  • Felt
  • Shingles
  • Solvents
  • Paints
  • Grease

Sometimes, when you're working on an existing structure, there are going to be old materials that you have to deal with, and they might not be compatible with your EPDM roofing kits. Is there a way of going around this? There are a few ways that you can deal with this problem.

What tools will I need?

You will need the following tools when you decide to install an EPDM roofing system:

  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Rollers for putting pressure on adhesive EPDM tape, or glued surfaces
  • Brush for applying EPDM primer on your roof surface
  • Gloves
  • Tape measure
  • Penny roller
  • Carpenter's pencil

Before You Get Started With EPDM Flat Roofing

Before you get started, it's a good idea to make sure that the surface you're working with to install your rubber membrane is clean of any dust particles (they will not only show through the flat roofing material, but they will get in the way of any adhesive your are using) and completely prepared for fast installation.

EPDM flat roofing membranes are surprisingly easy to install, but in order to get the best effect you have to put half of your effort into making sure that your work area is prepared accordingly, everything is measured and cut to size, ready to be glued on.

An important thing to remember when unpacking your EPDM rubber roofing material is that it should be given a period of "rest" after unpacking. The roofing system comes tightly packed and will expand after you cut it free of its packaging. If you start mounting and gluing it in place immediately after unpacking it, it will begin to morph and ripple. Allow your rubber roofing membrane about 30 to 40 minutes of expansion time after you unpack it. It's important you do not skip this step if you want your material cut to size.

Solving Material Incompatibility Problems as They Arise

If you can't install your EPDM membrane directly on top or near another roof system or roofing products already in place, there are a few ways to get your rubber roof on without putting it in danger of reacting with an incompatible material. In order to ensure that your EPDM flat roofing system doesn't react with other roofing materials, you have to separate it from the existing roofing materials by using:

  • Plywood or OSB board
  • Rigid insulation

We have devoted a whole training section just to help you with handling the right types of adhesives for your rubber roofing membrane - we'll take you through the process step by step right here, in our help & training section. Learn about using adhesives on a rubber roofing membrane, and make sure to see how to follow through with flashing and wall trims.

This might be an easy fix, or a more complicated surgical job, depending on where the damage is located. Some of the most tricky areas, but also most prone to damage are those seams and corners. If you have a chimney, a danger zone for leaks is often the area where the roof meets the chimney structure. So are any types of seams or drainage systems. Leaks like this are common but relatively easy to fix on your own with the right tools and materials.

Drainage Problems with EPDM Roofing

Ideally, your roof will have a slope in order to prevent any water pooling. If it doesn't, it's possible to produce a sloping effect with insulation, saddles and crickets in order to divert water into a drain. This is one design feature that is necessary to think about before installing your new roof in order to prevent any rainwater from pooling. An EPDM roofing system is able to withstand any pooling, but in the event of a puncture or damage, water may cause harm.

EPDM Clean-Up and Inspection

EPDM rubber roofing should be cleaned from time to time in order to avoid dirt build-up and any damage that goes with it - from silt damage to grass using accumulated dirt as a perfect place to grow. Autumn leaves create a big problem - so does tree sap. EPDM flat roofing should be cleaned at least once during the Autumn, and it should be inspected in the spring for any winter damage.

Remember that EPDM rubber roofing cannot be cleaned with any petroleum-based products. The best way to go about cleaning your EPDM surface is to first sweep it gently with a handheld broom or a leaf blower, and proceed to wash it with a medium bristle brush. The perfect cleaning solvent is gentle soapy water. Abrasive solvents and hard brushes can damage the EPDM roofing surface and may cause more harm than good.

In fact, most people don't use detergents on their EPM roof at all - a spray down with a garden hose will do very well.

After you brush the leaves and dirt off your EPDM surface, make sure there are no visible tears and that all seams are glued in place. When checking the seams, check any joints especially carefully. Make sure there is no standing water anywhere on your roof, and that all the drains are properly functioning.

EPDM ROOFING FAQS

Can I walk on an EPDM roof?

Yes - while EPDM roofing wasn't designed with heavy foot traffic in mind, it is perfect for occasional walking for the purpose of cleaning and maintaining your rubber roofing system.

What is the life expectancy of an EPDM rubber roofing system?

When maintained properly, it can last for about 40 years or more.

Is the EPDM roofing system good for flat roofs only?

No, the EPDM system works well on any type of roof, even pitched roofs.

Do I have to remove the old roof before installing an EPDM roofing kit?

Not necessarily - as long as you follow the manufacturer's guidelines, and make sure the existing roof is sturdy and the materials that the EPDM comes into contact with are compatible (or covered up with materials like plywood)