EPDM (ETHYLENE PROPYLENE DIENE TERPOLYMER) roof systems are composed of a single ply thermoset sheet in which the molecules are chemically cross-linked together to give it its strength and stability.

The sheets are factory formed and then “cured” or vulcanized to cause the cross-linking to occur.  They are usually 45 or 60 mill membranes installed on the roof either fully adhered, mechanically fastened or loose laid and ballasted with 10 lbs of 1 ‘/2” round river rock per sq. ft. The membrane generally comes in either black or white. Other colors are available with some manufacturers.

The EPDM sheet comes in various widths up to forty or more feet with some manufacturers. The material looks very much like inner tube material only thicker and is indeed manufactured by the same companies that make inner tubes.

With the introduction of the butyl based seam tape for the seams, as opposed to the contact cement which was the original method, the EPDM system is an excellent roof system for most applications. Click here for technical information.

For more information please call our roofing professionals at (303) 971-0256 or Click Here to request a free quote.

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EPDM-colied-rubber-roll

Thermoset membranes incorporate principal polymers that are chemically cross linked or vulcanized. Membranes that are vulcanized also may be referred to as “cured.” One characteristic of true thermoset polymers is once they are cured, they only can be bonded to similar materials with adhesives.

  1. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)
  2. Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene (CSPE)
  3. Epichlorohydrin (ECH)
  4. Neoprene (CR)
  5. Polyisobutylene (PIB)
EPDM principally is composed of two compounds, ethylene and propylene, that are derived from oil and natural gas. The following are some characteristics of EPDM roof membranes:

  • Sheet widths range from 7.5 feet to 50 feet wide.
  • Sheets are typically 45 mils and 60 mils thick.
  • Seams are sealed using liquid adhesives or special formulated tape.
  • The membranes commonly are black, but white is available.

EPDM roof membranes can be installed fully adhered, mechanically attached (using batten bars) or ballasted. Most EPDM membranes do not receive surfacings.

EPDM and polymer-modified bitumen membranes often are confused by consumers because of colloquialisms used by roofing contractors. Contractors commonly call both of these membranes “rubber” roofs. However, in most cases, when contractors specify rubber roofs, they are referring to EPDM.

EPDM Roof Examples:

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Fully adhered EPDM roof system

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Ballasted EPDM roof system