EDPM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class) rubber. For those of you who are not heavily into chemistry, EDPM is used to make water hoses for gardens, pond liners, window seals, solar panels, and, yes, roofs.

And America likes EDPM single-ply roofing – 1-billion square feet of EPDM roofing is installed every year in our country, which translates to a whopping 35% of our roofing market.

So, why is EDPM so strikingly popular in America? Here are five reasons why:

EPDM Roofing – also known as rubber roofing – is less expensive that other flat roofing

According to this popular online roofing calculator, the average rubber roof will cost 4 to 6 dollars per square foot: Polyvinyl chloride or PVC roofing and thermoplastic polyolefin or TPO is estimated to cost between $5.50 and $7.50 per square foot.

Chaffee Roofing offers an expert cost estimation service.

EPDM Roofing Seam

Rubber roofs resist damaging UV rays

The warm rays of the sun make our lakes sparkle, our purple lilacs flourish, and dry up muddy lands in spring, but our roofs do not benefit from ultraviolet (UV) rays beating down on them.


UV rays change the chemical structure of materials, like asphalt, which can result in a roof’s surface cracking, shrinking, and becoming brittle.

Rubber roofs resist UV rays – EDPM is often used on recreational vehicles (RVs) for this, and other, reasons.

Rubber Roofing Lasts A Long Time

Perhaps the most important factor in considering what kind of roof you should install on your commercial building or home is how long the roof will last: Installing a new roof every 20 years is not a feasible strategy.

So, how long does a rubber roof usually last?

You can expect your rubber roof to live a long life. The current life expectancy of a rubber roof is between 30 and 40 years, assuming the membrane is .075 to .090 thick and installed properly with 6” seam tape. Considering that a TPO rubber roof will live only 25 to 30 years, and a PVC roof will also last between 25 to 30 years, an EPDM roof is a fiscally responsible investment.

EPDM roofing

Rubber Roofing Is Not Heavy

A roof deck is the structure that your roof will be installed over, and the heavier the roof, the stronger the roof deck must be. EPDM roofing is light, unlike asphalt roofing that could require the bolstering of the roof deck, meaning additional installation costs.

Rubber Roofing Is Easy To Repair

It is important that all roofs are maintained well, so that they will last a long time and keep the elements at bay. Should a rubber roof spring a leak, for example, patching said leak is an uncomplicated and effective process.

An EPDM roof is a solid choice for a flat commercial roof as it costs less than other materials of similar performance; resists the chemical-altering powers of the UV rays that emanate from the sun above, outlives most other flat roofs, is conveniently lightweight, and does not require intense maintenance.

Check out all of our information and more about types of roof systems.

EPDM roofing

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