EPDM is known as an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane.
In the UK, EPDM is the material widely used to replace shed, garage and flat roofs.
Its two primary components, ethylene and propylene, are derived from oil and natural gas and form a long-lasting material that is more durable and weather-resistant than other traditional roofing products.
Below, you will find out more about the EPDM rubber roofing membrane:
EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, and that is the chemical name of the synthetic rubber useful in a wide range of applications, including flat roofs, but also for door and window seals in vehicles, non-slip coatings for playgrounds and decks, and much more.
The ethylene, propylene, and diene comonomer can be crosslinked via Sulfur vulcanisation thanks to the last ingredient. EPDM is an M-Class rubber, meaning that it is an elastomer with a saturated chain of the polyethene type (the M here originates from the more proper term polyethene). EPR was the predecessor of EPDM, but it could only be crosslinked with peroxides and other radical techniques. Thanks to adding the diene units, the process of creating rubber became much easier.
EPDM and other kinds of rubber with saturated polymer backbones are much more resistant to ozone, light, and heat than the unsaturated variants, such as SBR, natural rubber, or polychloroprene (Neoprene). EPDM can be prepared in such a way it can stand as high temperatures as 150 °C. With correct installation, it can be used as a roofing material or another outdoor solution and serve for many years or even decades without much damage.
EPDM roofing is a catch-all term that covers a wide range of rubber roofing systems. Such solutions include one layer of an EPDM rubber membrane combined with other materials, like thermal insulation and vapour barriers, and some additional products, such as pipes, gravel guards, drainage, and more. Also, if green flat roof membranes are installed, there are also the plants included.
There is a wide range of EPDM rubber uses, but the most common one is the one associated with the low-pitched and flat roofing system. It is because an EPDM rubber membrane is famous for its high performance, life expectancy and resistance to weathering. What is more, such a flat roofing material is amazingly easy to install, and it allows for a consistent application and thickness at the whole roof area.
Similarly to many other elastomers, EPDM rubber shows high tear resistance and tensile strength. However, there is a quality that makes it special when it comes to the roofing systems suitability - it can bear all the environmental conditions you can think of. For instance, an EPDM rubber roofing membrane can endure UV rays, ozone, and extreme cold or heat. Such weather-resistance makes it excellent for any flat roofing project, even the one that needs to be conducted in very demanding circumstances.
An EPDM rubber roof is relatively easy to recognise. It is typically installed in one of two simple methods. First, it can be adhered or glued down. Second, an EPDM membrane can also be weighted down with a large river stone or ballast.
You can always notice adhered rubber flat roofing membranes because of their black colour and their position being stretched tight over such products as fiberboard or an insulation board.
If the EPDM rubber roof installation project involves ballasting, the materials are held down and in place with the help of proper ballast or large stones placed on the top of the membranes. A flat roof covered in rocks looks like a built-up one, but in this case, the stones are typically bigger, and they are not stuck to the surface with tar. Therefore, after moving the rock away gently, you will be able to see the roofing EPDM membrane.
The characteristic carbon black colour is used to protect the rubber roofs from UV degradation. However, you can also find white EPDM membranes, with a titanium dioxide finish layer, applied to reflect the sun's UV rays and avoid the heat island effect. Nevertheless, this material placed on the EPDM flat roofing wears away after some time. Usually, rubber membranes are available in two variants of thickness - 45 mm or 60 mm, both non-reinforced and reinforced.
EPDM roofing membranes combine many significant advantages. Some of the primary ones are as follows::
An EPDM rubber membrane roofing is one of the most recommended systems, especially for a flat roof. It can be used for as long as 50 years. It can provide you with many properties that are beneficial for your home or commercial building. It is resistant to fire, strong wind, extremely low or extremely high temperatures, and algae or moss growth. A flat roof membrane like this is very durable, but even if some water leakages appear, they can be easily fixed. Apart from that, your building will be better insulated, both when it comes to sound and temperature.
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