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

Part two in our three-part blog series about EPDM rubber roofing membrane looks at the performance of this revolutionary flat roof material, gauged over the past four decades.
In part one we examined the make-up of Firestone EPDM Rubbercover; its active ingredients, and how it compares to traditional roofing materials. Catch up with part one here if you missed it.

Historic performance of EPDM all over the world

The unmatched longevity of EPDM membrane has been monitored and studied around the world for the past four decades, proving and establishing EPDM as a high-performance membrane suitable for all climatic conditions. With more than 1 billion square metres of EPDM installed in a wide range of locations globally, conditions for geographic testing have been broad and far-reaching.

The weatherability of EPDM comes down to the following characteristics, which remain unsurpassed by any other flat roofing material:

  • EPDM has superior resistance to UV
  • EPDM has unmatched resistance to thermal shock
  • EPDM exhibits superior resistance to cyclic fatigue
  • EPDM has superior resistance to hail damage
  • EPDM will not become brittle and will not shatter due to low temperature flexibility

Let’s look at testing more closely.

In addition to field testing, EPDM has come under close scrutiny during laboratory testing, particularly with temperature fluctuations. Samples have been subjected to heat testing up to 240°F over a period of four weeks as standard. EPDM has performed well over a 25-year period, exceeding the ASTM specification in both laboratory and field testing conditions.

The superior qualities of this flat roofing material, and its performance in both hot and cold temperature extremes, has contributed to its growing success in the roofing industry on a global scale.

The performance of EPDM in installations other than flat roofing

Firestone EPDM membrane has been proven to perform well in other installations, and not just in flat roofing projects. The composition of EPDM, and its waterproofing qualities, has made it the ideal membrane to use for:

Green roofs

The rise in popularity of green roofing installations across the globe has given the sector cause to search for a high-performance solution to sustainable, long-lasting and low maintenance waterproofing layers. EPDM has a proven track record in such applications, but guidelines are still given to ensure these tricky installations remain reliable:

  • It is advisable to choose an EPDM layer of high quality, with high puncture resistance. (premium grade)
  • Lay the membrane in a single piece if possible, or heavily overlay splices and joins
  • Ensure the installation contains the correct slope to aid drainage at the membrane level
  • Install additional protection against puncture and root growth – including drainage and root barrier layers

Pond liners

EPDM can be used for lining domestic and garden ponds, but care should be taken and thought given, to puncture risks. Again, it is advisable to use a premium grade and if in doubt, consult your EPDM supplier.

Other possible installation uses for EPDM:

  • Tunnels
  • Foundations
  • Thru-wall flashing
  • Terraces
  • RV roofing

Permaroof UK, as a leading supplier and importer of Firestone EPDM, has an experienced team waiting to help you with advice for specialist installations and projects.

Using EPDM for DIY flat roof repairs

EPDM characteristics dictate that even after years of weather exposure in the field, it can be effectively repaired easily, and will remain watertight for the rest of its lifespan.

Permaroof UK has a useful library of installation guides and video tutorials that can assist with common flat roof repairs.

The ease of use of EPDM membrane makes it the material of choice for both trade and DIY flat roof projects.

Unlike other flat roof materials, Firestone Rubbercover EPDM single-ply membrane retains its integrity and flexibility following repair, and will not degrade or become brittle.

In the next and final part of our blog series, What is EPDM? we will examine the benefits of this flat roofing system, particularly when compared to its traditional rivals.

For further information about Firestone EPDM membrane, please download our PDF information sheet here.

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