EPDM is an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane that is commonly used in low-slope buildings in the United States and worldwide. It comes in two major varieties, both of which can be used to add to the environmental friendliness of a building.
What is EPDM?
EPDM or (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is a rubber roofing membrane that is made from products derived from oil and natural gas. It is available in widths ranging from seven to fifty feet and comes in two major thicknesses: 45 and 60 mils. Because of this variation in size, it has can be used for a wide variety of roofing applications.
White and Black EPDM
EPDM comes in two major varieties: white and black.
White EPDM is designed to improve on the environmental qualities of the roofing system. It is made by adding a chemical titanium dioxide to the typical EPDM formula. This is added to the EPDM in order to create a finish that will reflect UV rays. White EPDM is typically used in warm climates where its reflective properties can help to reduce air conditioning costs. Because of its reflectivity, white EPDM is installed using mechanically attached or fully adhered systems.
Black EPDM makes use of carbon black. This is added to the material with the idea of absorbing the UV radiation instead of reflecting it, which allows the UV rays to be converted into heat. Black EPDM would typically be used to help reduce winter heating costs.
Nashville EPDM Installation Experts
There are three main methods that can be used to install EPDM: Ballasted, Mechanical and Fully adhered.
- Ballasted systems are used for new roofing projects and are very easy to install. The EPDM is placed on the roof in large sheets. The sheets are then held in place by putting concrete paving stones or large heavy river rocks on the corners to keep them from moving.
- Mechanically attached EPDM can be used in a wide variety of roofing applications from a repair to a new construction. The EPDM put onto the roof in sheets, and then attached to the roof by using round plates or strips that go through the membrane into the deck of the roof. This requires that the roof deck be able to be hammered into. This method is very lightweight which means it can be used as an overlay for existing roofs.
- Fully adhered EPDM is done by bonding the roofing membrane to the insulation that exists underneath it. This means that some support mechanism must be used in order to attach the membrane to the insulation. This is usually done by using strips or plates.