A Small Guide for Understanding EDPM Roofing (Ethylene-Propylene-Dien-Monomer)

For understanding EPDM roofing, we must first know some things about this synthetic membrane designed for flat roofs, mostly specific to commercial and industrial buildings, but noot exclusively, as it is also suitable for extensive roofing systems and / or photovoltaic systems. Flat roof sealing systems are widely made of EPDM rubber membranes and various accessories that fit all types of roofs and environments, delivering unsurpassed performance in terms of durability.

EPDM (Ethylene-Propylene-Dien-Monomer) is a 100% synthetic single-ply membrane vulcanized in sheets of different thicknesses, chemically stable and with unlimited UV resistance. It does not contain plasticizers.

It is important, for better understanding of EPDM roofing and its performance, to know that since 50 years ago, when the first such membrane was used, billions of square meters have been installed all over the world for all kind of applications, ranging from roofs and terraces to pools. The membranes installed five decades ago are reviewed annually by manufacturers, revealing that their mechanical performance still does not require replacement. No other waterproofing membrane managed to approach or match longevity requirements, which is why the use of EPDM installed by commercial roofing companies Denver pros has increased over the years.

The extraordinary elongation of over 300% is another feature that gives the EPDM membrane the advantage of taking over the mechanical stress as no other material can do. Its particular flexibility makes it capable of absorbing the dimensional modifications of the support it is applied on, modifications resulting from uneven drainage or constructive flaws.

EPDM roofing systems can be installed in any climate, considering that their flexibility is not affected up to -40ºC. The EPDM membrane is made of synthetic rubber composed of isobutyl and isoprene, with excellent resistance to external factors, chemical agents and UV radiation. EPDM maintains its physical and chemical properties between – 45 ° C and 130 ° C, remaining unaffected to an induction of 250 ° C.

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Other benefits

  • The mechanical strength of EPDM membranes is superior to other membranes and foils, due to their exceptional flexibility
  • They present higher chemical resistance than PVC / PE foil or bitumen
  • Fire resistance is another pro; although just for a limited period of time, the EPDM membrane is resistant even to open flame
  • This material has a high moldability, which means that it can be cut and glued by cold vulcanization, in any desired shape
  • Repairs can be quickly remedied, and maintenance can be performed with ease
  • EPDM membranes have a long lifespan: the 20-year warranty and the fact that the first functional projects are almost 50 years old make the EPDM membrane a long-term investment.

EPDM membrane has a few direct competitors:

  • insulated concrete with special waterproofing layers
  • PVC foil
  • polyethylene film
  • bituminous membrane (only for roofs)
  • natural insulators such as clay (only for ponds and water basins)

Finally, understanding EPDM roofing also entails knowing other applications of such a membrane. Here are the most important ones:

  • artificial decorative ponds
  • reservoirs
  • irrigation tanks
  • retention basins (wet detention basins or stormwater management ponds)
  • wastewater collectors
  • manure tanks
  • fire water tanks
  • artificial snow tanks
  • construction waterproofing.