EPDM Roof System 101

EPDM 101


The elastomeric, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), is a single-ply rubber-appearing roof membrane system that has been around for near
ly 50 years in the commercial/industrial roofing industry.


Typically, fully adhered to a rigid board substrate or insulation board, EPDM then is sealed by a self-adhered EPDM seam/cover tapes that fully seals joints, flashings, edges, walls, projections, laps and seams.  These tapes were initially introduced in the 1980’s, replacing liquid adhesives. These adhering tapes have greatly increased the effectiveness, quality, water-tight capability and life span of the overall system.

Also, this kind of system can be mechanically installed with proper steel plates and fasteners (screws), but the membrane must be reinforced, meaning it is manufactured with a scrim, built-in, that provides extra strength.

EPDM is provided by the manufacturer to the installer in large rolls that are rolled out on the respective roof field, to be installed.


  • Lighter in weight provides less weight to the roof structure and supporting trusses and/or roof deck
  • Carbon black UV plasticizer protects the membrane from UV radiation
  • Life span reaching between 20-30 years
  • Advantageous flexibility in a large range of temperatures
  • Can be offered in multiple colors
  • EPDM can be painted once washed and primed (if acrylic based paint is used)
  • Lower maintenance costs compared to built-up-roofs of old
  • Ease of leak detection or damage
  • Resistance to high heat
  • Ease of installation
  • Less machinery needed, compared to other systems, during installation


  • Typically, slightly more expensive than most other single-ply membrane systems (including material & labor)
  • Can become very hot in high temperatures (black EPDM), causing higher energy costs needed for A.C.
  • Can be punctured easier than other system options (branches, toolboxes, other equipment, etc.)











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