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Benefits of Rubber Membrane (EPDM) Roofing:

Benefits of Rubber Membrane (EPDM Roofing)

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Polymer) has been the market leader both flat roof and low slope roof applications since the early 1970s. Even with the introduction of more technologically advanced materials such as PVC and TPO membrane, EPDM seems to have maintained advantages over other roofing materials.

Service Life

With more than 45 years of practical, empirical evidence, EPDM remains the undisputed champion of the roofing business. EPDM does, in fact, have the longest average service life of any flat roofing material. A recent study conducted on behalf of EPDM Roofing Associates (ERA) proves EPDM has unmatched longevity and functionality. Tests were conducted to examine and measure the following five critical performance characteristics of advanced age EPDM roof membranes:

A. Elongation

B. Tensile

C. Thickness (cross directional)

D. Thickness (machine directional)

Factory Seam Strength

Continued quality control testing results confirm that EPDM has the ability to withstand the effects of various climates well beyond 30 years. Freeze/Thaw Cycling (rapid and large temperature fluctuations) is one of the most damaging environmental conditions roofing material will face. EPDM is one of the few materials proven to consistently hold up under such conditions. As further proof that that a properly maintained EPDM roof will last longer than 30 years, samples have been heat-aged and tested at prorated service lives of 40, 50 and 60 years. Continued testing and analysis provide ample evidence of first-rate durability.  


Studies have also been conducted to examine the long-term environmental impact of EPDM. Studies conducted by GreenTeam, Inc., a environmental consulting firm based in Tulsa, OK, included examination of EPDM, TPO, PVC, and modified bitumen membrane systems. The data collected in this study was used to calculate Global Warming Potential (GWP) for the various materials. GreenTeam, Inc concluded that for a typical a typical low-slope roof with an insulation value above R-20, EPDM offers the lowest GWP as measured by kilograms of CO2 equivalents. Factors that influenced the calculations are service life, inputs for manufacturing of the material, inputs for installation of the material, and end of life impacts. EPDM remains of the world’s most recyclable low-slope roofing options. 


Here is a short list of the many performance advantages of EPDM roofing material:

A. Proven Hail Resistance

B. Extremely Long Service Life

C. Temperature Flexibility/Seasonal Durability

D. Ultraviolet Radiation Resistance

E. Easy to Maintain/Repair

There is no question that EPDM holds the advantage in service life, performance, and environmental sustainability. EPDM has gained the respect and acceptance in the roofing industry since being introduced in the 1960s and will continue to be a dependable, efficient roofing solution for decades to come. About the Author: Pro Roofing, LLC is a Licensed and Insured Roofing Contractor Located in Madison, WI. Pro Roofing, LLC has been Wisconsin’s Premier Residential and Commercial Roofer Since 1999.  

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