EPDM roofing is a popular building option globally due to its budget-friendly prices and respectable durability.
EPDM is a synthetic rubber material comes in various widths and thicknesses, so it works for residential and commercial structures alike.
What Is An EPDM Roof?
EPDM is a reliable roofing material for flat roofs and can provide a property with great protection.
It won’t be the best choice for those who want to make a visual statement with their roof.
However, EPDM is lightweight, and flexible. It is also highly resistant to wind, hail, extreme temperatures, thermal shock, and UV radiation.
An EPDM roof should last 25-30 years – so you don’t have to worry about replacing it soon.
Average EPDM Roofing Cost
EPDM roofing can cost anywhere from around $6,000 to as much as $24,000, depending on a range of variables.
The installation difficulty, the roof pitch, accessibility, and geographic location all play into the total cost.
Old roof removal will add to the cost as well.
On average, you’ll pay between $6,000 and $18,000 for this type of roofing.
EPDM Rubber Roofing Cost Breakdown
If you’re taking on an EPDM roofing project, you’ll want to understand how the cost breaks down.
Let’s take a look at some of the most critical factors that make up the total cost:
$3.25-$14.75 per square foot|
$75-$90 per hour|
EPDM Roofing Materials
You might find EPDM rubber roofing sold for anywhere from $3.25 to $14.75 per square foot, depending on the provider, quality, and local price variations.
Generally, you can expect to spend between $4.50 and $5.50 per square foot.
EPDM Roof Installation
Rubber roofers usually charge an average of $75 to $90 an hour for their expertise.
If you also need to replace an existing roof, anticipate adding between $1 and $2 per square foot more for removal.
EPDM Rubber Roofing Supplies
If you want to take on the task of roof repairs or replacement yourself, you’ll have to make sure you have all the right supplies.
This can add up – between $350 and $450 for accessories and tools, depending on the job and what you might already have.
Did you know? EPDM is still the only roofing material that fully qualifies as rubber to construct whole roof systems.
The EPDM roofing systems come in different widths and thicknesses. They range anywhere from 7.50-50 feet wide, with thicknesses of 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm, or 2.3mm.
Depending on the thickness of the material used, your roof can be attached to the structure via adhesive, ballasting, or mechanical attachment.
The thicker the material, the longer your roof will last.
There are a variety of accessories that can help you maximize the lifespan and effectiveness of an EPDM roof.
Factory-Applied Tape is one such product. It allows for quick and easy installation and increased durability for seams.
This product’s price can vary, but a general estimate puts it at around $15.50.
Also, pressure-sensitive accessories with pre-applied adhesive allow for a cleaner completion of details.
Various types of EPDM membranes are on the market, such as RubberGard EPDM Platinum Membrane.
This membrane type can last long-term and withstand wind uplift.
It’s possible to install it in several ways. Users can pick whichever option suits them best.
In addition to the usual tools and equipment for roofing installation, there are specialized items for EPDM roofing.
They include scissors, and knives to cut the membrane and rollers that apply adhesive.
You’ll also likely need seam probes to check the seal of seams and hot air guns to weld them together.
EPDM Roof Repairs And Coating
Mending and maintaining rubber roofs is normally simple and cost-effective.
Fixing a leak may just require some special tape or liquid sealant application.
Furthermore, these roofing types’ upkeep is much less than many other roof materials.
For one, EPDM roofs can sometimes last up to 10 years with the only required maintenance being regular acrylic paint jobs to keep the color vibrant.
EPDM roof acrylic paint costs about $90 a gallon.
In a similar vein, one great thing about EPDM roofing is that, generally, it’s straightforward to repair.
Keeping your EPDM roof in excellent shape will require the right materials and a bit of preparation beforehand.
But remember, this type of roofing uses synthetic rubber, so you don’t want to use any asphalt-based products such as roof cement flashing or aluminum roof coating.
EPDM roof repair tape costs range from $55 to $78.40.
EPDM Rubber Roof Maintenance
Taking proper care of your EPDM roof will keep it in good condition.
It’s recommended that you inspect and clean the roof at least once a year, and according to some manufacturers, even up to four times a year.
Even if this recommendation may seem like too much, regular maintenance can help extend its lifespan.
When cleaning an EPDM roof:
Use a medium bristle brush with a cleaner formulated for this type of roofing.
Dilute the cleaner with water before you begin scrubbing the entire roof.
Once finished, rinse it off with clean water to remove any residue built up.
On an important note – the cleaner must not contain petroleum distillates, as these can cause the rubber material to swell and loosen over time.
Along with cleaning, stay on top of the maintenance for your EPDM roofing system.
Once or twice a year, inspect your roof to identify possible issues or damage that need addressing.
Remember, when completing repairs, ensure you use suitable materials compatible with the synthetic EPDM rubber.
Asphalt-based products such as roof cement flashings or aluminum roof coatings should never be used as they can cause further damage to the membrane.
Pro Tip: Try to pick guaranteed dry days for installing EPDM. Weather can be unpredictable, but plan as best as you can. Then thoroughly inspect and sweep the surface beforehand, ensuring no nails, screws, dust, or debris could interfere with the adhesives’ bonding process.
What are the Benefits Of An EPDM Roof?
EPDM roofing offers quite a few benefits that make it popular for various applications:
EPDM is one of the least expensive materials to install and repair. This makes EPDM a solid value-for-money choice, both initially and long term.
The material is available in large sheets or rolls, making it easy to install and repair, even for some DIY-ers.
EPDM roofing is highly durable for a flat roof. It can withstand environmental weather-related elements such as high wind and hail storms.
The EPDM roofs can last up to 50 years with proper installation and enough maintenance.
It is lightweight, reducing the load on the building’s structure.
EPDM roofing can be a surprisingly significant factor in how much energy the building consumes to stay cool or warm.
The EPDM material is impervious to extremes of heat or cold, so it can stay in good shape at a wide temperature range.
An EPDM roof will be fairly fire-resistant with the addition of a fire retardant (AFR) layer.
What Is The Disadvantage Of EPDM?
Despite its many advantages, EPDM roofing does have a few drawbacks that keep it from being ideal for potential buyers:
It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing for many people’s tastes. It’s sometimes compared to a stretched-out inner tube when unrolled on the roof.
The material is sensitive to the quality of installation. EPDM can be easily damaged in case of an improper installation, with the potential for large chunks to come off.
If not appropriately flashed, water can get trapped underneath, causing it to expand and lead to extensive damage.
Did you know? EPDM is already lightweight and easy to install. Still, for those looking to speed up the installation time, wider rolls can be especially beneficial in cutting down on labor costs.
How Does An EPDM Roof Compare To Other Flat Roofing Materials?
Comparing and contrasting is the most suitable way to decide what flat roofing material is the best for you.
This way, you can weigh features and drawbacks and don’t have to settle for an option that doesn’t suit you.
Let’s examine how EPDM compares to other materials on the market:
EPDM Roofing vs TPO
TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) is another popular flat roof material.
Although TPO is more expensive than EPDM, it has the advantage of providing better energy efficiency. This is thanks to the TPO white reflective surface.
Additionally, TPO is known for heat-welded seams, which give a secure bond that resists leaks well.
However, EPDM typically lasts longer and is easier to repair when necessary.
Furthermore, EPDM can handle fluctuating temperatures better since it’s flexible and won’t lose its shape or integrity.
Check out our complete guide comparing EPDM Roofing vs TPO
EPDM Roofing vs Torch Down
Torch-down roofing is a specific type of modified bitumen material best suited for flat or low-angled roofs. This is due to it’s high durability and resistance to leaks.
The name gives away its unique application process – pressed down with a hot torch.
However, this option is usually more expensive than EPDM and involves working with gases and combustible torches, which can be dangerous.
On the other hand, EPDM doesn’t require heat application and is much lighter than torch down, meaning it likely won’t need extra structural support.
EPDM Roofing vs Modified Bitumen
Unlike torch-down, modified bitumen is an asphalt product that can be applied to the roof using several different techniques, irrespective of the temperature.
Unlike EPDM, modified bitumen is more expensive and less flexible but has better resistance against punctures.
Although it has a valuable durability advantage over EPDM, modified bitumen needs frequent maintenance, such as coating, to retain its reflective properties.
EPDM Rubber Roofing vs Felt
Felt roofing is a traditional roofing material with a long history of use. You can typically see it on pitched roofs.
However, it can be less durable and have a shorter lifespan than EPDM.
Felt roofs are also more susceptible to damage from the natural world, including UV radiation and water.
On the other hand, EPDM is highly resistant to these elements and can last up to three times longer than felt roofing.
EPDM Roof vs Fiberglass
Fiberglass roofing is more rigid than EPDM.
Although it’s a reasonably-priced flat roof option, this rigidity makes it less ideal for flat roofs.
Fiberglass is also somewhat more expensive and less resistant to the elements.
Fiberglass roofs can be more prone to cracking due to rigidity, especially in colder climates.
EPDM, on the other hand, remains flexible in cold temperatures and is more resistant to cracking.
EPDM Roofing vs PVC
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofing is also very popular for flat roofs.
It is more expensive than EPDM but offers better resistance to punctures and tears, so it lasts longer.
On the flip side, PVC roofing is less flexible and can become brittle over time, especially in colder climates.
EPDM remains flexible in various temperatures and is less likely to become brittle or crack.
Pro Tip: EPDM may be relatively easy to install, but flat roofs as a whole can be difficult to install correctly. And as a result, many don’t last for anything close to the life span they’re capable of achieving. However, done with care, a flat roof can provide 20 years of leak-free service. If you’re an excellent DIY-er, you could do it yourself, but for everyone else, a pro help may be better.
Where To Use EPDM?
EPDM is a versatile material that can prove suitable in many different situations.
It’s most commonly seen on flat or low-sloped roofs in commercial buildings. However, although the thought of a flat roof usually brings up images of commercial or big residential buildings, it can work for single-family properties.
It’s suitable for building extensions or garages and garden buildings.
EPDM stands out because of its durability and the fact that it can withstand a variety of weather conditions.
So this material doesn’t need to be limited to large buildings where low prices are a priority.
Is EPDM Roofing Fire Resistant?
EPDM roofing is fire-resistant.
It has the potential to self-extinguish in the event of a fire, so it is safer than other types of roofing material.
Though EPDM roofing can’t completely prevent a fire from spreading, it can be constructed to meet Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Factory Mutual (FM) fire classifications.
However, note that the level of fire protection you get depends on the type of roofing assembly and its slope.
How Long Does an EPDM Rubber Roof Last?
In truth, it depends.
The lifespan of an EPDM rubber roof can be quite variable, depending on the weather, care, or how well it’s put together.
Most manufacturers estimate an EPDM roof’s life expectancy to be 25-30 years.
With proper maintenance and care, however, it is possible for these roofs to last much longer—some even as long as 40-50 years.
The quality of installation, climate, and amount of foot traffic all influence how long your roof will remain in good condition.
What Does EPDM Roofing Stand For?
EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer.
This chemical is a type of synthetic rubber that’s quite sturdy and good for rugged constructs.
EPDM is an M-Class rubber, which means it comprises elastomers with a saturated polyethylene chain.
On a molecular level, EPDM has a single bond, chemically saturated backbone.
This synthetic rubber consists of ethylene, propylene, and a diene monomer that enables crosslinking via sulfur vulcanization.
What that means for home renovators is that this composition contributes to its resistance to outdoor conditions.
EPDM’s properties, such as its density, hardness, tensile strength, and elongation at break, also contribute to its durability and resistance to various environmental conditions.
Along with these features, it can also handle high temperatures and abrasive chemicals.
Did you know? Despite their name, flat roofs aren’t completely flat. They’re close but actually have a slight slope, known as a “pitch,” typically between 1/4 inch and 2 inches per foot. This subtle slope drains water off the roof and gives some extra insulation against heat and cold by trapping air between the roofing material and the underlying decking.
Is EPDM Roofing Worth the Price?
If the price is your main concern, just keep in mind that EPDM is relatively inexpensive compared to other roofing material types.
Depending on several factors, such as size and complexity, the price of EPDM roofing may vary from $3.25 to $14.75 per square foot.
This includes both the material and installation costs.
Rugged Rubber Roofing
EPDM roofing is a durable, cost-effective, and versatile flat or low-slope roof material.
It grants prospective buyers numerous benefits, like durability, cost-effectiveness, and elemental resistance.
However, it is not the most aesthetically pleasing and can be easily damaged if improperly installed.
Despite these drawbacks, its benefits outweigh them, making it increasingly attractive for commercial and residential buildings.
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