Pros and Cons of EPDM as a Roofing Material

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If you would like a sturdy and durable roof over your commercial property, it’s most likely recommended to you that you should opt for an EPDM roofing system. However, you’ve probably heard that the EPDM rubber membrane has certain drawbacks, such as issues with leaking and being easily punctured, so you’re most likely confused about whether or not to use EPDM as a roofing material at all.

In order to solve your doubts and help you decide whether EPDM should be an integral part of your roof, we decided to create this blog post in which we’ll present all the advantages and disadvantages of this prevalent single-ply roofing material. But before we start with the pros and cons of EPDM as a roofing material, let’s dive a little bit further into what EPDM is in the first place.

What Is EPDM?

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber) is a rubber roofing material that has been on the market since the 1970s. It belongs to single-ply roofing systems alongside TPO and PVC.

The main two ingredients of EPDM are ethylene and propylene, which are derived from oil and natural gas. Other ingredients of EPDM include diene comonomer and fillers such as carbon black and calcium carbonate. Thanks to these components, the EPDM rubber roofing material has developed many benefits, which we’re going to present to you in the following sections.

Pros of the EPDM Roofing System

Some of the most known advantages of EPDM are:

  • Ideal solution for low-slope roofs,
  • Cost-effectiveness,
  • Low maintenance,
  • Durability,
  • A lightweight material,
  • Adaptive material,
  • Fire-resistant material,
  • Energy savings,
  • Environmentally friendly,
  • Easy repair, and
  • Resistant to blistering and cracks.

Let’s break down each of these benefits.

Ideal Solution for Low-Slope Roofs

Thanks to its structure and characteristics, the EPDM rubber roofing membrane is widely used in low-slope buildings in the United States.

Cost Effectiveness

EPDM rubber is known as an extremely affordable material, especially compared to other roofing materials.

Low Maintenance

Unlike other roofing materials, EPDM doesn’t require maintenance, especially since moss growth and mold do not collect on it.


If you are looking for a roofing material that will last for a long period of time, rubber roofing is the one you should opt for. Why? Because EPDM lasts for more than 50 years and with maintenance-free properties, it ensures peace of mind and cost-effectiveness over its extensive lifespan.

A Lightweight Material

Even though there is information out there that EPDM is a heavy roofing material, the fact is that EPDM is way lighter than asphalt roofing solutions.

Adaptive Material

One more benefit of using EPDM as a roofing material is its ability to adapt to any kind of shape or style of a roof without losing its massive advantages.

EPDM Is a Fire Resistant Material

Not only is EPDM a fire-resistant material, it can impede the progress of a fire, as well. This benefit comes in handy for all sorts of commercial properties with sensitive merchandise.

Energy Savings

Due to its characteristics, EPDM rubber is known as energy-efficient since it retains heat during the winter months and can thus save on energy costs for the entire building.

Environmentally Friendly

Unlike other roofing materials, EPDM is made out of recycled materials, which makes it an environmentally friendly solution. Another ecological factor is that you won’t need to replace an EPDM roof for decades, thanks to its great durability.

Easy Repair

EPDM roof repair is known as easy, fast, and inexpensive. The repair consists of three simple steps:

  1. Cleaning the damaged surface thoroughly,
  2. Applying appropriate primer, and
  3. Using flashing tape to finish the repair process.

Resistant to Blistering and Cracks

Unlike other roofing materials that are prone to blistering and cracks, EPDM rubber, if installed correctly, is completely spared from these issues.

Cons of EPDM as a Roofing Material

As we’ve now seen, EPDM comes with many advantages. However, even this valuable roofing material has certain disadvantages.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of this material is the rather demanding installation. That’s why it is extremely important to entrust the installation of EPDM to experienced roofing experts who know how to work with this material.

Furthermore, EPDM roofs aren’t resistant to damage, so walking on an EPDM roof requires care and precision; it’s, therefore, best to leave that part to experienced roofers who know how to walk on those surfaces and who have adequate footwear.

Lastly, color. EPDM roofs mostly come in black, which can be pretty inconvenient, as this can further attract the sun’s rays, thus increasing the consumption of electricity needed to cool down buildings covered by an EPDM roof.

Fortunately, this third and last shortcoming of EPDM can be easily overcome by using a special coating.

Use Conklin’s EPDM Coating System to Get One More Benefit Out of EPDM Roofing Materials

If you would like to get one more benefit out of EPDM and make your EPDM roof even more attractive, use Conklin’s EPDM commercial roof system in white.

Not only will the white color reflect the sun’s rays and reduce heat absorption (which will lead to energy savings on air conditioning costs), but it can also extend the lifespan of the underlying EPDM membrane by shielding it from excessive UV exposure.

To find out more, contact our team of Conklin contractors, who are here to help you with any of your commercial roofing needs, including EPDM roofing.