EPDM, commonly known as a “rubber roof” or ethylene propylene diene monomer, gets its name from the chemicals mixed in various proportions to form it. It’s manufactured in large sheets or rolls and is quick and easy to install, on top of being one of the most inexpensive roofing materials around. EPDM roofing membrane is very lightweight, so the roof deck will not need any reinforcement. And because there are few seams, leaks are rare and a good quality EPDM can last for decades.
EPDM generally comes in at the lowest price per square foot for flat or low-sloped roofs. Generally, it is long-lasting with a lifespan of over 20 years. And if purchased in white, since it is easily paired with polyiso insulation, it can be a very energy-efficient roof choice.
Ballasted EPDM systems are relatively inexpensive when compared to others, however fully adhered or mechanical systems are slightly more expensive than TPO. In the wrong environment and toward the end of its life, EPDM can start to become fragile. Additionally, there is a common thought that the black flat EPDM roofs are not the prettiest sight to look at.
Thermoplastic Polyolefin is made up of a single layer of synthetics, usually polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. Its primary advantage is that it’s typically the lowest material cost for single-ply membrane roofs. It typically comes in white on top, which can help reflect the sun’s light and stop heat buildup within the building.
TPO can be attached with adhesives, fastened directly to the roof deck, or even heat welded in places around chimneys and other protrusions. It resists corrosion, mildew, and algae growth, and does not require pressure washing, making it even easier to care for during the annual checkup.
TPO provides outstanding resistance to ozone, ultraviolet rays, and some chemical exposure at a low cost. It reflects heat radiation better than EPDM and resists mold growth, dirt accumulation, tears impacts, and punctures.
Heat welding the seams requires a very high-quality installation to hold up over time. Some formulations of TPO may not last much past the 10-year mark, and newer technology makes for a lack of a proven track record.
Flat roofs are aesthetically interesting, generally versatile, easier to maintain, and more energy-efficient than most sloped roofs, so new home builders, in particular, enjoy the lower cost of long-term ownership. Despite their advantages, it’s vital to consider the drawbacks of flat roofs. Without the right planning and the right Noblesville roofing contractor, a flat roof can turn into a major problem.
Flat roofs take up less space and consequently use less material than sloped roofs. This makes initial construction cheaper but also means savings if any extensive repairs become necessary. Flat roofs are also ideal for roof deck construction and are fantastic for keeping home utility costs manageable, especially in warmer climates. While sloped roofs can trap unwanted warm air or allow cooled air to escape, a flat roof means less overhead space for air to stagnate.
Flat roofs generally need to be replaced every 10 years or so. Water is more likely to accumulate and pool on flat roofs, and ice dams can cause dangerous levels of snow and ice accumulation. While turning a flat roof into a garden space is a very eco-friendly and aesthetic choice, it can present problems over time with invasive plant roots. Without proper treatment, the plants can penetrate the roof and create leaking issues.
At Rojas Roofing, we have years of experience in commercial roofing that will ensure you the job is done as intended the first time. If you’re ready to see what your roofing solutions can look like, schedule an estimate with us today.