EPDM Roofing: An Energy-Efficient Choice

March 19, 2015
EPDM Roofing

© Glen Jones / Dollar Photo Club

EPDM roofing, commonly known as rubber roofing, is an affordable roofing material that provides excellent protection against the elements. Rubber roofing is ideal for flat roofs on both commercial and residential buildings. Here is what you need to know about using rubber roofing for your next building or remodeling project.

Roof Maintenance

EPDM roofing has several benefits over other roofing materials. If a shingled roof sustains extensive damage, you might have to replace all of the shingles. This is an expensive and time-consuming project, even if you have experience repairing roofs. With EPDM roofing, you can use a patch kit to repair small cracks or holes.

Many EPDM roofing repairs are inexpensive, making rubber roofing more affordable than shingles, stone, and other roofing materials. One thing you can do to keep your costs down over the life of the roof is make sure rubber roofing is installed properly. Without proper installation, you might have problems with the flashing around your roof vents.


Rubber roofing is one of the most durable materials available for flat roofing surfaces. However, there are several factors that can affect the lifespan of a roof covered with EPDM. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures or weather conditions, the EPDM will degrade faster than if you lived in a mild climate.

Allowing water to build up on the surface of the roof can also cause EPDM roofing to break down prematurely. If you have heavy rains, make sure you do not allow water to pool on the roof for more than 48 hours. Doing so increases the risk that your EPDM roof will sustain moisture-related damage.

Installing your EPDM roofing properly is one of the most critical factors in determining the lifespan of an EPDM roof. In approximately 95 percent of cases, rubber roofing failure can be traced back to poor installation techniques. If you do not have experience working with EPDM roofing, it is best to have a professional roofer install your new roof.


There are several factors that determine the total cost of an EPDM roof. Compared to roofs made with other materials, an EPDM roof is rather inexpensive. Rubber roofing typically costs about $3 per square foot. This price includes the cost of the materials and the installation fees. If your roof is 1,500 square feet, it would cost about $4,500 to purchase the materials and have the roof professionally installed.

High-quality EPDM costs a little more, but it is well worth it when you consider how much of an impact the roofing material you choose has on the lifespan of your roof. Installation costs vary, but you can expect to pay more if you have a complex roofing job.

Life Expectancy

Most manufacturers guarantee their EPDM roofing materials for anywhere from five to 20 years. However, some manufacturers offer no warranty at all on rubber roofing designed for residential properties. If you are concerned about the lifespan of your roof, ask your roofing contractor to purchase EPDM from a company that offers some kind of warranty.

In some cases, rubber roofing does not show major signs of wear for as long as 30 years after installation. The lifespan of your EPDM roof will depend on where you live and how well you take care of the roof. If you live in a hot climate or an area that receives a lot of rain, your roof may not last as long as someone who lives in a milder climate.

EPDM and Weather Concerns

EPDM is ideal for any type of climate, whether you live in an area that receives a lot of rain or a relatively dry area. Some manufacturers even make white EPDM for residents who live in areas with high temperatures. The white EPDM reflects the sun’s rays, keeping your home cooler and reducing your energy costs.

Rubber roofing also stands up to snow, hail, and heavy rain. What causes the most damage is standing water. There are special roofing squeegees available to remove excess moisture from your EPDM roof. Use one of these squeegees to keep standing moisture from damaging your roofing materials.

If you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, rubber roofing is an excellent choice. Contact an experienced roofing professional to discuss your options.

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