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EPDM Membranes


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:


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Detailed Information on EPDM Rubber

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.

What is EPDM Rubber Roofing?

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.

How to Recognize EPDM a Rubber Roofing Membrane?

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.

What Are the Main Advantages of an EPDM Flat Roof?

EPDM roofing membranes combine many significant advantages. Some of the primary ones are as follows::

  • DurabilityAs EPDM roofing is manufactured with sturdy materials, it provides great performance for a long time. It is excellent for both a flat roof and a low-sloped one, as it prevents leakages and stops water from penetrating the building. For this reason, it is one of the best systems for property owners who need to have a waterproof roof.
  • Temperature ResistanceAs it was mentioned before, EPDM rubber can resist various weather conditions, so it will work well both with a warm and cold roof deck design. Even in the coldest days, it will not crack or shatter.
  • Fire ResistanceAn EPDM rubber membrane has a fire-resistant layer, and it can even be used to cover roofs in an area where wildfires are more frequent or at commercial facilities where there is a fire exposure risk. Keep in mind that other flat roofing systems, such as modified bitumen, often lose their fire-resistant properties as soon as only five years.
  • EcologyIf you care about the environment and always try to buy eco-friendly products, an EPDM rubber membrane is a fantastic solution for your roof. It was developed as a way to avoid traditional petroleum-based roofing and uses mostly recycled materials for its production. EPDM flat roofing is made in black or white so it can easily reflect sunlight and heat, making it possible to reduce the electricity use, helping both our planet and your wallet! Also, it is 100% recyclable and can be used to produce new materials for roofs.
  • Longevity. With a 20-year-life expectancy, you can be sure that an EPDM membrane is an excellent investment for your flat roof. What is more, it can have even higher longevity - nowadays, high-quality EPDM rubber roofing can last for 30-50 years, being a beneficial solution for both private properties and business facilities.
  • Easy InstallationAs EPDM membranes are available in large rolls or sheets, it is a roofing system that is very straightforward to install. Usually, the roll size is 10' wide and 100' long, while in the case of asphalt shingles, you would get just 3' wide and 1' tall pieces. As a result, instead of putting each asphalt shingle separately, you can easily roll-out a rubber membrane and cover the whole area with much fewer time and effort. It can even be a DIY job!
  • Cost-EffectivenessAn EPDM flat roofing membrane is a great suggestion for any business owner or private customer who wants to take thorough care of their roof without paying too much. It is a cost-effective solution, allowing you to avoid overplaying without resigning from a high-quality flat roofing system. Usually, it has a lower price than other solid roof materials (such as TPO), but it is still amazingly efficient and long-lasting.
  • Wind ResistanceAs one piece of an EPDM membrane can cover a big roof area, after proper installation, it is highly wind-resistant. On the other hand, metal sheets, tiles, and asphalt shingles come in much smaller pieces, and they can possibly be blown off when the wind is really strong.
  • Leaks Repairment Suitability. An EPDM rubber roofing membrane is useful to repair leaks in the existing system. Even if in future, some damages happen to your flat roof and you see water where it should not be, it can be repaired without too much hassle and too high expenses. It is worth keeping in mind that water leaks are the most likely to appear in an EPDM rubber roofing membrane due to foot traffic or ponding.
  • Enhanced InsulationThanks to sealing all the leaks and having an additional layer on your flat roof, your property's insulation will be improved. As an EPDM membrane makes it thicker, the rate of temperature molecules passing through the matter of the roof is lower. Moreover, soundwaves can also be slowed down, and you will have quieter and more tranquil interiors.
  • No Moss or Algae GrowthAn EPDM membrane does not create an environment that would be suitable for algae or moss to grow, so you will not see any of them on your flat roof. For this reason, it does need little or no maintenance for most of the time.


EPDM Roofing Membrane - Summary

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.

We specialise in roofing supplies trade, and we offer comprehensive roof kits and cut to size products in one piece that will match all your requirements and expectations. We pay attention to superb quality, and we try to set the most affordable prices possible so that our flat roof solutions can be available for most customers. If you have any questions on our offer, or you do not know which roof kit to buy, feel free to call us or send us an email. We have everything you need when it comes to high-standard roofing supplies!

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