Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM) Roofing Systems
Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, or EPDM, is a type of single-ply rubber roofing material that has been around since the 1960s; and it continues to be a popular choice in commercial and residential flat roof applications today.
EPDM is composed primarily of ethylene and propylene, which are derived from natural gas and oil. EPDM materials come manufactured in various thicknesses, available as non-reinforced or reinforced sheets, and vulcanized or non-vulcanized membranes. Each has different physical properties and applications fitted for specific commercial environments.
With more than 1 billion sq ft of EPDM membrane installed worldwide, it’s one of the most widely-used roofing materials, particularly in the commercial roofing sector.
Some of the top choices for EPDM on the market include:
- GAF Top Coat
- Firestone AcryliTop
- CertainTeed FlintCoat
With its superior flexibility and extreme durability, EPDM membranes can contour to unusual roof shapes.
Advantages of EPDM Single-ply Roofing
- Resists extreme temperatures and holds up well to standing water
- Available in white – reflects up to 80% of UV rays and saves on AC cooling costs in the summer (black EPDM is paintable using water-based acrylic paint)
- Durable – life expectancy of up to 50 years when installed/maintained correctly (warranties typically do not exceed 20 years)
- Easy to install
- Lightweight (with the exception of ballasted EPDM roofing)
- Class A fire resistance
- Easy to repair
EPDM Roofing Durability
According to ASTM standards, EPDM roofing membrane can withstand temperatures as low as -49 degrees F before the membrane begins to become brittle and is lab-tested to withstand temperatures up to 240 degrees F during a 4-week testing period.
Additionally, field testing in hot and humid parts of the country, like Southern Florida, have shown positive results. Today’s EPDM roofing materials can withstand the shock of bitter-cold temperatures and remain flexible and strong in extremely hot environments. It also performs well in areas of the country where both extremes are experienced, such as desert environments.