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EPDM Roofing for Flat Roofs

Updated: Nov 12, 2018

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There are a variety of flat or slow slope roofing options. In Virginia, Maryland and DC, flat roofs are everywhere and more commonly found in the cities. One choice is a rubber roof, better known in the trade as an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roof. As with most construction options, there advantages and disadvantages. Always ask your construction pro or roofer the trade offs before making any large financial decision. You can always contact the Wanamaker Group for a free consultation and financing options.

EDPM is a popular choice for commercial buildings and roof areas that expand large areas, where steep sloped roofs are not feasible. One of the advantages of a EPDM roof is cost, although these costs vary from region to region and from builders to design firms.

If cost is a factor, homeowners here on the east coast are encouraged to speak with the roofing experts at Wanamaker Group. Our company has years of experience installing EDPM roofing as well as asphalt roofs.

The vast majority of EPDM roofs are black, EPDM can also come with a white coating that can aid in heat reflection and thereby reduce energy costs. It is important the installer and client check the Energy Codes for their area. EPDM roofs are also fully compatible with solar and green roofs.

Rubber roofs have been used for at least the past 40 years, and most EPDM roofs laid in the 1970s are still present.A sheet of EPDM is installed whole, covering the entire roofing area which eliminates the need for any seams, which enhances the waterproofing characteristics, durability and easiness when installing.

EPDM roofs are also fire retardant and new formulations for EPDM make these roofs resistant to radiation, damage from UV rays, wind resistant and stand up well to hail as large as three inches. If you have an asphalt roof and have suffered hail damage, you might be entitled for an insurance claim to replace your roof. EPDM is also impervious to extremes of heat or cold and takes lower amounts of energy to manufacture this material and can be recyclable.

These roofs are glued down and can be painted with an acrylic coating. These coatings can be used to increase life expectancy. Warranties can be from 30 to 50 years. Make sure your installer is certified to install the roofing material chosen.

EPDM comes in a variety of thicknesses: 45, 60, 75 and 90 mil; the thicker membranes require more initial investment, but provide the most protection. Again, the roofing experts at Wanamaker Group can help the homeowner determine the proper thickness for any individual situation.

As with any roofing system, there are also drawbacks to EPDM which should be considered. The EPDM roof needs to be installed by a professional certified roofer. Obviously this particular problem can be solved by using the trained and certified installers at Wanamaker Group, who have a verifiable track record of experience successfully installing EPDM roofing.

It is also possible for small leaks to develop around vent pipes and other protrusions on a roof, especially if the installers are not as familiar with these. Punctures can also occur in a rubber roof, especially with the wind and snow damage the regions has experienced, but these defects can be easily repaired by a roofer skilled in EPDM roofs.


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