Rubber EPDM Flat Roofing

What is an EPDM Rubber Roof?

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is well-known for being incredibly durable. It consists of two main ingredients: ethylene and propylene, which are formulated from oil and natural gas.

This synthetic rubber is available in black and white and is typically available in a wide variety of lengths and widths. EPDM rubber makes for a pretty simple and effective roofing solution.

If you are looking for the ultimate in roof protection and durability, keep reading to learn more about the installation methods as well as the pros and cons of this roofing material.

How do You Install a Flat Rubber Roof?

The first step is to make sure that your roof surface is completely clean and free of dust, rust, oil, and debris. The surface should also be completely dry. Contaminants can inhibit the effectiveness of the glue that you use as an adhesive.

Start by installing the gutter trim back plate to the fascia. Next, lay the membrane out so that it overhangs from the edges of the building. Give the membrane 30 minutes to relax and lay flat against the surface. When all the fold and creases are flat, roll the membrane to one side and apply the water-based adhesive to the deck.

If you are installing the roofing on a non-timber surface, use the bonding adhesive that is applied to both the deck and the downward-facing side of the membrane.

Spread out the membrane over the wet adhesive and use a broom to move out air and to flatten the membrane completely against the surface and the adhesive. Attach the trims to the upper side of the building to keep the membrane in place and to direct the water flow away. Next, cut off the excess membrane that is sticking out below the trimmings.

The Pros and Cons of Using EPDM


Long-lasting Roofing Option

EPDM rubber flat roof construction is one of the most durable roofing materials available. Even under constant and extreme weather conditions, you can expect this synthetic rubber roofing material to perform adequately for up to 50 years.

Low Maintenance Requirements

Maintaining your roof is easy with EPDM rubber as it inhibits the growth and development of fungi, mildew, and moss. This means that you don’t have to clean your roof regularly or use chemicals to get rid of unwanted vegetation. EPDM rubber flat roofs are very easy to repair.

Eco-Friendly Roofing Alternative

EPDM rubber roofing is made from recycled materials. It is also BBA-certified, which means that it is manufactured in accordance with the relative authoritarian regulations.

Easy Membrane Sizing and Repair

The membrane can be cut and sized to your unique specifications and needs. You can also add multiple pieces of the membrane if your roofing area is bigger than standard membrane sizes. This makes installation easier and ensures that your entire roof is covered.

You can also repair damages to the membrane surface yourself with a piece of EPDM rubber with little effort and without spending a lot of time.


Difficult Installation

Installation can pose a challenge, especially if you have fixed objects on your roofs like antennas or chimneys. If you can, try to make use of professional roofing services to ensure maximum value. Zinc is another tricky roof type to install.

Tears Easily

Although EPDM rubber roofing can withstand years of harsh elements, it is possible that stepping on the rubber roofing or falling objects like branches may cause damage to the surface.

Using thicker membranes can reduce the risk of this happening, but, fortunately, it will not happen easily. Try to inspect your roof once a month or so and remember that if damage does occur, you will be able to easily fix it yourself.

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