EPDM Roofing Systems – Advantages & Disadvantages

 EPDM Roofing – Advantages:

  • least expensive system to install per square foot
  • simple to install with the use of anchors, adhesives, and rollers
  • weighs less than the other single ply membranes
  • sold in wide rolls of 8-20 resulting in fewer seams
  • on the market for over 40 years

EPDM Roofing – Disadvantages:

  • harmful UV rays degrades adhesives used on seams and flashing causing them to separate
  • walk paths of protective mats are needed because the thin membrane is susceptible to punctures due to foot traffic on sharp objects left behind by maintenance crews.
  • repairs to seams and flashing is required long beforethe warranty of 15-20 years expires.
  • surface preparation; removing a system or installing over an existing one, can become an added labor cost.
  • all-black membrane absorbs ultraviolet light causing shrinkage and brittleness which decreases the life expectancy and   absorbs heat which leads to superheating of the structure below raising a/c costs

EPDM Roofing – Rubber Membrane

EPDM rubber roofing materials are produced in different thicknesses. They are .045, .060, and .090 thousandths of an inch.  Most contractors use the industry standard thickness of .060 thousandths of an inch, which is very near the thickness of a single quarter.

EPDM Roofing - Disadvantage-constant repair due ultraviolet degradation of an EPDM roof
EPDM Roofing - Rubber is the thickness of a single quarter

EPDM Roofing –  Rubber Membrane:

EPDM is a thin synthetic rubber prone to punctures due to foot traffic from workman servicing units on a roof.

Although rubber mats are placed where foot traffic is likely to occur, they are seldom used consistently enough to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. The EPDM is compromised and small needed repairs can become structural leaks.

EPDM Roofing - Rubber membrane very thin and pierced by a nail
EPDM Roofing - The image shows ultraviolet light degrading an EPDM roof


Although EPDM has been a popular single ply roofing system for over 40 years, the adhesives used in their installation, fail prematurely.

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Residential and Commercial Flat Roof

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