EPDM Roofing

EPDM: The commercial roofer’s environmentally-friendly choice


A lot of businesses are looking for proven and trusted roofing solutions that will keep their property dry without having a negative environmental impact. That’s where EPDM roofing comes into play! EPDM is a strong, resilient, and cost-effective commercial roofing membrane that can often be reused in the future once its serviceability as a roof membrane is over. Fortunately for property owners, EPDM’s roofing lifespan can easily grow past 30 years or more with the right amount of preventative maintenance!

Read on to see why EPDM roofing is one of the best roofing materials that commercial roofers can apply to their buildings, and why Chaffee Industrial Roofing is New England’s go-to contractor for commercial roof replacements and installations with EPDM roofing!

What is EPDM Roofing?

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a resilient, single-ply, synthetic rubber material that has stood the test of time as a roofing material in the commercial building sector. With a history spanning more than four decades, EPDM is a tried-and-true roofing solution, specifically designed to meet the rigors of diverse weather conditions and temperature fluctuations.

Strength and durability are some of the key factors that property and business owners consider when choosing a roofing solution, and EPDM checks all of the boxes. It is a strong defense against abrasions and UV rays as well as an eco-friendly choice for modern commercial properties.

Its resilience and general recyclability make it one of the most environmentally friendly rubber roofing materials to boot, making it an excellent choice for businesses serious about reducing their carbon footprint and making a positive impact on the environment. Read on to see why EPDM is a durable, sustainable, and high-performing roof designed to last.

Benefits of EPDM Roofing

Durability: One of the primary benefits of EPDM roofing lies in its extraordinary durability. This roofing material is designed to withstand the test of time with resistance to UV rays, extreme weather conditions, and temperature fluctuations. With a lifespan that can extend up to 50 years or more, EPDM is a sound investment for those seeking a long-term roofing solution.

Easy to Repair: Another key advantage of EPDM roofing is its repair-friendly nature. While the material is tough, in the unlikely event that a section gets damaged, it can be easily patched up. This means fewer instances where a full roof replacement is needed, which offers massive time and money savings in the long term.

Energy Efficiency: A major benefit of EPDM roofing is its thermal efficiency. The material’s natural black color can help absorb and retain heat during the colder winter months. This feature can significantly reduce your building’s reliance on heating and cooling systems, leading to substantial energy savings!

Environmentally Safe: Looking for a recyclable rubber material that can be repurposed to reduce waste and improve sustainability? EPDM might just do the trick. EDPM is a synthetic rubber used in many different industries such as HVAC, automobiles, and industrial applications. Recycled EPDM is commonly used for gym floors, yoga matts and pond liners.

Is EPDM Roofing Expensive?

Fortunately for property and business owners around the country, EPDM is a relatively low-cost roofing solution. At $4-12 per square foot installed, EPDM is on the lower end of commercial roofing solution pricing. Additionally, the longevity and durability of EPDM minimizes the need for frequent repairs and replacements, reducing the overall lifecycle cost of the roof. 

While we’re talking cost-efficiency, the thermal efficiency of EPDM roofing can contribute to considerable energy savings. By reducing the reliance on heatings, you can substantially lower your energy bills during the colder winter months. These savings, over time, begin to offset the initial cost of the roof, making EPDM roofing one of the most cost-effective solutions in the long term.

Is EPDM Roofing Difficult to Install?

Despite its high-end characteristics, EPDM roofing is surprisingly inexpensive and straightforward to install when done by experienced professionals. The EPDM material is supplied in large rolls, which are rolled out across the decking of the roof and then secured firmly in place by either adhesion, mechanical fastening, or ballasting.

Commercial roof installations with EPDM are usually done with fewer crew members and less time, cutting down on costs. Installing an EPDM roof should not be performed by an amateur, however. The process for installation can be tedious and it is very important to get every detail right. Therefore, it’s important to hire an experienced roofing contractor to get the job done and avoid costly mistakes.

There are three primary ways that EPDM roofing can be installed on a commercial property:

Fully Adhered: in a fully adhered application, the bundles of EPDM material are rolled out across the surface of the roof substrate. Then, once the EPDM is pulled back, a bonding adhesive is applied on top of the substrate. The membrane is then pulled back on top of the adhesive and underlayment. Afterwards, a crew member will go over the top of the EPDM with a roller to flatten out the roof and eliminate bubbles/imperfections. 

Mechanically Fastened: mechanically attached EPDM roofing systems are held in place at the seams by a line of screws and fastening plates that keep the membrane attached to the substrate of the roof. Once the edges of the rolls of the membrane are attached with the screws and plates, the overlapping pieces of EPDM are bonded together with adhesives to achieve a weatherproof seal. 

Ballasted: This old-fashioned process works by placing rocks and stones on top of a roofing substrate like EPDM to hold it down and fight against natural threats like wind damage. While a less-skilled option, ballasted roofing is labor-intensive and adds loads of unnecessary weight to a roof, considering more modern applications.

Why Chaffee?

At Chaffee Roofing, we have a team of professionals with decades of experience in installing EPDM roofs. We understand the nuances and intricacies of the EPDM roofing process and guarantee all of our commercial roofing work. We take pride in our attention to detail, ensuring every aspect of the installation is executed flawlessly so you don;t have to worry about anything. Chaffe has it covered for you!

We understand that every building is unique, and we approach each project with a fresh perspective, tailoring our services to meet your specific needs. We work closely with our clients throughout the entire process, keeping you informed and ensuring your peace of mind.

Choosing Chaffee Roofing is New England’s EPDM roofing installation contractor of choice for quality, expertise, and commitment to exceptional customer service. We don’t just install roofs – we build long-term roofing solutions. Contact us today to learn more about your EPDM project!

Content Interview

  • What are the benefits of EPDM?
    • Ease of installation
    • Proven – been around for 60 years
    • Very durable membrane 
    • Can get increased warranty coverage if you get reinforced EPDM (only some manufacturers – Carlisle, Johns Manville, Elevate.
    • Labor is relatively inexpensive.
    • Absorbs heat and helps melt snow in cold climates. 
    • Sun doesn’t beat up EPDM as much as other roofs.
  • What are the cons of EPDM?
    • Getting more expensive in recent years
    • Requires a lot of accessories – membrane, cleaner, primer, seam tape, 3-4 products to assist. Their prices go up during the years. These are sometimes the hidden costs of EPDM. ‘They kill you with the accessories!’
    • Shrinkage – happens over time
    • Not good for certain industries like restaurants. 
    • Ponding water is bad for seams 
    • Installation is weather-reliant. Anything from chill to light rain could thwart the whole project.
  • What are your installation methods?
    • Mechanically Fastened – more common method in private sector
    • Adhered – extra cost to adhere, hard to educate on the benefits of the extra cost.
    • Ballasted – the OG way to do it. 
  • What unique value do you bring to this kind of roof type? 
    • Professional company
    • Chaffee helps you pick the right system with the right products
    • High-quality installation
    • You can get a cheap EPDM roof, but we make sure you get the best product at your price-point.
    • “Good quality manufacturer and top-notch installation team and you have the makings of a roof that goes the distance.”

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