What is EPDM? Part Three – Firestone Rubber Roof Membrane Benefits for Trade and DIY

The final part of our three-part series on Firestone rubber roof membrane, steps into the area of the benefits that EPDM offers. We will examine how EPDM compares to traditional flat roof coverings, such as felt, and how its composition gives it unique and unmatched longevity, in addition to the far-reaching environmental benefits.

If you missed out on parts one and two, check out the links and catch up. In part one we looked at the ingredients of EPDM rubber roof membrane, and found out why it is being hailed as the next generation of sustainable roofing. Read part one here.

In part two performance was addressed, both current and historic, and we looked at how EPDM can be used in other applications than flat roofing. Read part two here.

Comparing EPDM to other flat roofing materials

EPDM rubber roof membrane from Firestone has the flexibility in various climatic conditions around the world, to adapt, expand and contract in a way that is completely unmatched in the flat roofing industry.

Moisture ponding, thermal shock, expansion and contraction are major factors that contribute to the degradation of roof coverings such as felt, one of the UK’s most widely-used roofing materials in past decades. Roofing felt is common in built-up roofing – shed roofing, garage and extension roofing – and is manufactured using bituminous-based substances mixed with a fine grit and rolled to form sheets.

The trouble with felt, and other bituminous waterproofing systems, is that it is prone to cracking over time in extreme weather conditions, causing water ingress which leads to damage to both internal decoration (or products stored inside), and the roof deck itself.
EPDM membrane demonstrates no such issues, with superior resistance to extreme temperature fluctuations, and a life expectancy of more than five decades. EPDM membrane can elongate up to 300% to counter building movement in a range of climatic conditions without putting additional stress on the membrane.

The compound make-up of Firestone rubber roof EPDM, with no organic ingredients, ensures that there is no decay or breakdown of EPDM over time, unlike built-up roofing systems, which degrades with moisture absorption. The ability of EPDM to resist absorption and temperature extremes is a key factor to its successful performance, as it resists premature aging and promotes longevity of the installation.

Environmental benefits of EPDM rubber roof membrane

From the outset, during the manufacturing process, EPDM membrane outperforms its closest rivals, with its low embodied energy number. This is calculated by taking the amount of energy required to produce the material across all processes – extraction, manufacture and install.

Other components of EPDM used in the manufacturing process, were designed specifically to reduce the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions during installation, such as primers, adhesives and cleaning products.

As the roofing industry has searched for a sustainable solution to flat roofing, EPDM provides the answer with an environmentally-friendly material with a low life-cycle cost.

A DIY flat roof solution

EPDM membrane has taken the DIY world by storm, due to the ease of application. Permaroof UK Ltd has introduced the flat roof kit, enabling non-professionals to tackle flat roofing with ease, with no hot, bituminous substances, and in a single piece, eliminating the need to create joins.

Joins are notoriously the trickiest part of flat roofing, as these create vulnerabilities in the installation, where water is most likely to ingress. A system with no joins is the music to the DIYers’ ears, particularly when a simple, water-based adhesive is used. Permaroof flat roof kits contain all the elements needed for installation, and produce no waste if the correct standard kit is ordered.

Find Permaroof flat roof kits here. Permaroof UK Ltd is the country’s leading importer and stockist of genuine Firestone EPDM rubber roof systems for flat roofing, green roof projects and more. Our experienced teams are on hand during the working week to answer your queries and help you with your orders.

Why not consider attending one of our EPDM training courses, designed to give a comprehensive view and approach to installation of single-ply membrane, part of the fastest-growing sector of the roofing industry today. Our one-day courses offer an opportunity for you to join our nationwide contractor network, and can help you to expand your business. Contact our teams today to find out more.

What is EPDM? Part One – Single-ply Membrane for DIY Flat Roofing

What is EPDM? Part Two – High Performance Rubber for Roofs