Avoid installing the wrong roofing system on your commercial building. Knowing the benefits of an EPDM roofing system and how one protects your structure will help you determine which commercial roofing system is best for your needs.
newimageroofingatlanta.com gathered essential information on EPDM roofing systems, their compelling benefits, and how they are manufactured.
What is EPDM?
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a synthetic rubber material commonly used in multiple applications, including roofing systems. This material is renowned for its excellent durability, weather resistance, and versatility. EPDM roofing membranes are widely used in the construction industry to install flat or low-slope roofs on industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. Consider the following benefits of EPDM roofing:
Exceptional Durability – One of the primary reasons for selecting an EPDM roofing system is its exceptional durability. EPDM is a synthetic rubber membrane that can withstand a range of environmental stressors, including:
- Exposure to UV rays
- Extreme temperatures
- Inclement weather conditions
EPDM roofs have a proven track record of longevity. They can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years or more with proper maintenance, making them a durable, reliable, and cost-effective roofing solution.
Superior Weather Resistance – EPDM roofing systems are renowned for their ability to withstand a range of severe weather conditions. They are highly resistant to damage from rain, snow, hail, and ice. EPDM membranes are designed to expand and contract with temperature fluctuations, ensuring they remain intact and effective over time. This weather resistance provides unparalleled peace of mind to property owners, knowing that their roofs can stand up to the elements.
Energy Efficiency – EPDM roofs are excellent at reflecting sunlight and heat away from the structure, contributing to significant energy savings. EPDM roofing’s reflective nature helps reduce the cooling load on the building during hot summer months, leading to lower energy bills. EPDM roofing materials are often completely recyclable, further promoting environmental sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint (associated with cooling systems).
Low Maintenance Requirements – Maintaining an EPDM roofing system is straightforward, and its low maintenance requirements are another significant advantage. Routine inspections and occasional cleaning are typically all that’s required to keep your EPDM roof in excellent condition. EPDM’s resistance to mold and algae growth helps maintain its pristine appearance and structural integrity, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
Cost-Effective Installation – EPDM roofing systems are known for their cost-effective installation. They are lightweight and can be installed quickly, which leads to reduced labor costs. Additionally, EPDM membranes come in large rolls, allowing for seamless installation with minimal seams or joints, reducing the risk of leaks over time. This efficiency in installation can save property owners substantial time and money.
Eco-Friendly Alternative – EPDM roofing systems are an eco-friendly roofing option. EPDM membranes are typically composed of recyclable materials and can be fully repurposed at the end of their useful life. This sustainable aspect aligns with the growing demand for environmentally responsible construction practices.
Note: EPDM roofs also contribute to energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint of the building and helping property owners reduce their environmental impact.
Versatility and Adaptability – EPDM roofing systems are incredibly versatile and adaptable to multiple architectural styles and roof designs. They can be installed on flat roofs, low-slope roofs, or even steep-slope roofs. EPDM roofing materials are available in different thicknesses and can be fully adhered, mechanically fastened, or ballasted, depending on your project’s specific needs. This versatility makes EPDM a suitable choice for both new construction and roof replacement projects.
See if an EPDM roofing system is appropriate for your structure by requesting a free roof inspection.
How is EPDM Manufactured?
To fully understand how EPDM offers so many incredible benefits, here’s an overview of how EPDM roofing membranes are manufactured:
Raw Materials – EPDM is made from a combination of several raw materials, including:
- Diene monomers
These materials are derived from petrochemical sources. The specific formulations and additives may vary depending on the manufacturer and the intended application.
Polymerization – The manufacturing process begins with the polymerization of the raw materials. This process chemically bonds the ethylene, propylene, and diene monomers to create the EPDM polymer. The polymerization is typically done using catalysts and heat.
Vulcanization – After the EPDM polymer is formed, it needs to be vulcanized to achieve its desired physical properties. Vulcanization is a polymer cross-linking process that increases strength, durability, and heat resistance. This is typically achieved by adding sulfur and using heat or chemical accelerators.
Processing – The vulcanized EPDM rubber is processed into the desired form, which is often in large sheets or rolls. During this stage, multiple additives may be mixed in to enhance specific properties, like UV resistance, flexibility, and/or flame resistance.
Sheet Formation – The EPDM rubber is then processed into sheets or rolls at a desired thickness. These sheets are typically available in various widths and lengths to suit different roofing applications.
Curing – The EPDM sheets may go through a curing process to ensure that they are fully set and ready for use. This process typically involves applying heat to further improve their physical properties.
Reinforcement – Some EPDM roofing membranes may have reinforcement layers incorporated into them. These reinforcement layers, often made of polyester or fiberglass, are embedded within the EPDM sheets (creating a composite) to provide additional strength and stability.
Final Quality Control – Before the EPDM roofing material is packaged and shipped to customers, it undergoes multiple rigorous quality control checks to ensure that it meets industry standards and specifications. This includes checking for defects, thickness consistency, and quality.
Once the EPDM roofing material is manufactured and quality-controlled, it is ready for distribution and installation on roofs. EPDM roofing systems are known for their ease of installation, as the sheets can be adhered to the roof substrate using various methods, like adhesive, ballast, or mechanical fasteners.
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EPDM Roofing Systems
In this article, you discovered what EPDM is, its multiple benefits, and how it is manufactured for roofing systems.
Understanding what EPDM is, its valuable benefits, and its extreme versatility will contribute to making informed decisions when installing or replacing your roofing system.
Failure to educate yourself about different roofing systems can lead to an inadequate or problematic roof being installed on your structure with costly consequences.
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