EPDM Commercial Roofing

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EPDM roofing is commonly used on low-slope and no-slope roofs on commercial buildings all over Texas, and for good reason: It’s cost-effective, provides superior protection against the elements, and is easy to maintain. But what is EPDM roofing, how much does it cost, and how long will it last? This guide to EPDM roofing explains.

What is EPDM Roofing?

EPDM roofing is actually ethylene propylene diene terpolymer. This durable, strong and reliable synthetic roofing membrane is often used on commercial facilities because of its easy maintenance and affordability.It’s most commonly black, but it is available in white, as well – and some recent studies have suggested that white EPDM roofs can reflect heat better while helping to reduce energy costs in commercial buildings. There are several benefits of EPDM roofing for commercial enterprises, including:

  • Ability to “settle” with a building
  • Ecological friendliness and energy efficiency
  • Fire resistance
  • High water resistance
  • Long lifespan
  • Low need for seams
  • Weather, UV ray, wind and hail resistance

Here’s a closer look at each benefit.

Benefit #1: Ability to “Settle” With a Building

The materials used to make EPDM roofing are very flexible. Unlike other materials, EPDM “settles” with a building; it moves as the building does, so you don’t have to worry about cracks or other issues. Additionally, it’s not attached with nails; that means you don’t have to worry about nail pops or other issues that could cause the roof to leak.

Benefit #2: Ecological Friendliness and Energy Efficiency

EPDM roofing materials are recyclable, and they tend to last a long time. In fact, the materials don’t take a lot of energy to construct; the rubber membrane they’re made from won’t pollute rainwater or cause other environmental harm. Even better, EPDM roofs can be very energy efficient because of their high emissivity. High emissivity is a substance’s strong ability to reflect heat energy from the sun back into the atmosphere. In fact, there are even ENERGY STAR®-approved coatings that people use to improve EPDM roofing materials’ performance.

Benefit #3: Fire Resistance

The materials used in EPDM roofing are difficult to ignite, which means they’re fire-resistant. Many business owners choose EPDM roofing materials because of this; they can slow down a fire considerably, protecting a building and everything in it as well as other nearby buildings.

Benefit #4: High Water Resistance

Because EPDM is made from synthetic rubber, it’s exceptionally water-resistant. And even better, it requires fewer seams than most other types of commercial roofing materials do – and that means it has less potential for leaking. Rain and snowmelt are funneled toward a drain on a well-designed EPDM roof, so the roof sheds water easily.

Benefit #5: Long Lifespan

An EPDM roof can last longer than 50 years with proper care. In fact, many EPDM roofing materials come with at least 30-year warranties, and many roofing companies provide warranties on workmanship as well. With the right type of maintenance, these types of roofs become more cost-effective over time – and maintenance is generally easy. You can clean an EPDM roof yourself with dishwashing detergent, water and a medium-bristle brush.

Benefit #6: Low Need for Seams

In many cases, EPDM roofing materials are laid in one sheet. That means there aren’t any seams where water could accidentally get into the roofing materials. Because these sheets are so large, installation time is often lower than it is with other types of roofing materials, as well.

Benefit #7: Weather, UV Ray, Wind and Hail Resistance

Made from synthetic rubber, EPDM roofing is very durable – even when it comes to hail and strong winds. Most EPDM roofing is highly impact-resistant, so it’s an excellent choice for commercial buildings in Texas.

EPDM roofing is also very resistant to the sun’s UV rays. Because it typically reflects the sun’s light, it can even lower energy costs inside the building. And even better, EPDM roofs can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking, fading or otherwise deteriorating.

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Is EPDM Roofing a Good Choice? 

EPDM roofing may be the right choice for your building. Its popularity has been steadily increasing over the past several years, partly because it’s long-lasting and low-maintenance (and therefore cost-effective). It’s miles ahead in quality protection when it comes to traditional flat roofing materials. Because it’s so environmentally friendly, many commercial building owners prefer it to other materials.

How Long Does EPDM Last? 

An EPDM roof can last between 30 and 50 years with proper maintenance and care. If the roof has seams, the seams may need maintenance before other spots on the roof do; that’s because the adhesive may age faster than the rest of the roof does. However, just because EPDM can tear doesn’t mean it will; the best way to ensure your EPDM roofing stays intact is to choose a good thickness and maintain it regularly.

Can You Walk on EPDM? 

Generally speaking, you can walk on EPDM roofing systems. However, they’re only designed to handle relatively light foot traffic, such as what you’d do for occasional cleaning or maintenance. You can’t use your roof to store materials or hold large numbers of people, because although the rubber membrane is tough, it’s not indestructible.

Is it Easy to Repair EPDM Roofing? 

It’s generally very easy to repair damage to an EPDM roof caused by impact or puncture, which can happen after a storm, high winds or hail. Generally, your roofing contractor will come identify the damage and diagnose the issue, clean the surface, prime it, and patch the damage. It doesn’t take long to repair minor issues on an EPDM roof.

How Much Does EPDM Roofing Cost? 

EPDM roofing is generally more cost-effective than other commercial roofing solutions, particularly when you have it for a long time. The longer your EPDM roof lasts, the more cost-effective it becomes. With that said, the average EPDM roof can last between 30 and 50 years, which means that you’ll save money on roof replacements that other commercial building owners have to make sooner. Additionally, it contributes to energy efficiency, so you’ll save money on energy costs as well.

There’s no one-size-fits-all price for EPDM roofing. Your cost will depend on:

  • The area that needs to be covered with EPDM roofing
  • Special circumstances, such as skylights and other things that protrude from your roof
  • The thickness of the EPDM roofing you choose
  • How long it takes to complete your roofing project

The best way to determine how much EPDM roofing will cost for your commercial building’s roof is to call an experienced roofing contractor who can inspect your building and give you an on-the-spot estimate based on the size and materials you want to use.


Do You Need to Talk to a Contractor About EPDM Roofing?

If you’re considering EPDM roofing, we may be able to help you. Call our office or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with an EPDM roofing expert; we’ll let you know what materials are available to you, how long the project will take, and how much it’ll cost.

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