A debate that comes up is whether to install a PVC roofor an EPDM roof. Both flat roof systems have been around for a similar amount of time, and have unique attributes that are beneficial or detrimental, based on how your building is used.
A PVC Versus EPDM comparison chart is below.
|Years Used as Roofing Product||Over 50 Years, but formula has changed dramatically over time||Over 40 Years||EPDM, since formula has been more consistent.|
|Base Product||Vinyl / Plastics||Synthetic Rubber||Neutral|
|Color||White, Gray, Tan||Black + White at price premium||PVC|
|Temperature Impact on Roof||Cools Roof||Heats roof (Unless white)||PVC if lots of HVAC and other rooftop equipment. EPDM if minimal rooftop units. *EPDM melts small amounts of snow if black EPDM is exposed. Once roof is completely snow covered, doesn’t help at all.)|
|Seaming technology||Heat Welded||After 1980, 3” or 6” Seam Tape.Before 1980, liquid adhesives||PVC|
|Thicknesses||.036 to .090||.045 to .090||Neutral|
|Reinforced||Always Reinforced (Older non-reinforced systems could shatter)||Reinforced or Non-Reinforced||Neutral|
|Puncture Resistance||OK to Good, depending on thickness and manufacturer||Good to excellent, depending on thickness||EPDM|
|Environmental Impact||Poor – is actually banned in some countries||Moderate||EPDM|
|Slippery With Moisture||Yes||Yes – Moderate||EPDM|
|Known Problems||Depends on building!|