EPDM Roofing (Materials, Installation, & More)

EPDM roofing, also known as rubber roofing, has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of installation. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner considering a flat roof solution, understanding the ins and outs of EPDM roofing is crucial.

That’s why, in this guide, we’ll delve into:

What is EPDM Roofing?

EPDM roof

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) roofing is a synthetic rubber membrane widely used for flat or low-slope roofs. It’s composed of a mixture of recycled rubber, sawdust, and slate dust, offering exceptional durability and weather resistance. EPDM roofing comes in two primary types: black EPDM and white EPDM. Black EPDM is more common, while white EPDM offers additional energy-saving benefits by reflecting sunlight.

Pros and Cons of EPDM Roofing

Like any roofing material, EPDM has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

✅ Pros:

  • Durability: EPDM roofing can withstand extreme weather conditions, including hail, wind, and UV radiation, without deteriorating.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: EPDM is relatively affordable compared to other roofing materials, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners and businesses.
  • Easy Installation: EPDM roofing can be installed quickly and efficiently, reducing labor costs and minimizing disruption to daily activities.
  • Low Maintenance: EPDM requires minimal maintenance over its lifespan, saving you time and money on upkeep.
  • Energy Efficiency: White EPDM reflects sunlight, reducing cooling costs during hot weather and enhancing energy efficiency.
  • Long Lifespan: When properly installed and maintained, EPDM roofing can last upwards of 50 years, providing long-term protection for your property.

❌ Cons:

  • Vulnerability to Punctures: While durable, EPDM roofing is susceptible to punctures from sharp objects, such as falling branches or debris.
  • Limited Aesthetic Options: EPDM roofing typically comes in black or white, limiting design choices for homeowners seeking a specific aesthetic.
  • Potential for Seam Failure: Improper installation or maintenance can lead to seam failures, resulting in leaks and water damage.
  • Susceptibility to Shrinkage: EPDM roofing may shrink over time, especially in areas with fluctuating temperatures, potentially compromising its integrity.
  • Environmental Impact: While EPDM is recyclable, its production process and disposal can have environmental implications, particularly if not managed properly.

Cost of EPDM Roofing

The cost of EPDM roofing installation varies depending on factors such as the size of the roof, labor rates, and any additional materials or services required. On average, expect to pay between $4 to $8 per square foot for EPDM roofing installation. Keep in mind that while EPDM may have a higher upfront cost than some traditional roofing materials, its longevity and low maintenance requirements often result in cost savings over time.

How Long Does EPDM Roofing Last?

One of the key advantages of EPDM roofing is its impressive lifespan. When properly installed and maintained, EPDM roofing can last 30 years or more. Some manufacturers even offer warranties of up to 50 years, providing peace of mind for property owners. Regular inspections and prompt repairs can help maximize the lifespan of your EPDM roof and ensure optimal performance for years to come.

Maintenance Requirements for EPDM Roofing

While EPDM roofing is known for its low maintenance requirements, it’s essential to perform regular inspections to identify any issues before they escalate. Here are some maintenance tips for EPDM roofing:

  • Inspect the roof annually for signs of damage, including tears, punctures, or seam separations.
  • Keep the roof clean and free of debris, which can trap moisture and accelerate deterioration.
  • Trim overhanging branches to prevent damage from falling debris.
  • Check flashings, drains, and gutters for signs of wear or blockages.
  • Promptly repair any damage or leaks to prevent water infiltration and structural damage.

Why You Need a Professional to Install EPDM Roofing

installing EPDM

While DIY projects can be rewarding, installing EPDM roofing is best left to trained professionals. Here’s why:


Professional roofers have the knowledge and experience to ensure proper installation and minimize the risk of costly mistakes.


Roofing work can be hazardous, especially on flat or low-slope roofs. Professional roofers are equipped with the necessary safety gear and training to perform the job safely.

Quality Assurance:

Professional installation ensures that the EPDM membrane is applied correctly, seams are properly sealed, and flashings are installed to prevent leaks and water damage.

Warranty Protection:

Many EPDM manufacturers require professional installation to validate their warranties, protecting your investment in the long term.

5 Signs That You Need to Replace Your EPDM Roof

While EPDM roofing is known for its longevity, there may come a time when replacement is necessary. Here are some signs that your EPDM roof may need replacing:

1) Visible Damage:

Cracks, tears, or blistering on the surface of the EPDM membrane indicate deterioration and may compromise the roof’s integrity.

2) Persistent Leaks:

If you experience frequent or persistent leaks, despite repairs, it may be a sign that the EPDM membrane is reaching the end of its lifespan.

3) Shrinkage or Wrinkling:

EPDM roofing that appears wrinkled or has begun to shrink may no longer provide adequate protection against the elements.

4) Excessive Wear and Tear:

If your EPDM roof is showing signs of excessive wear, such as granule loss or surface erosion, it may be time for replacement.

5) Age:

As EPDM roofing approaches the end of its expected lifespan, it becomes increasingly susceptible to damage and deterioration.

How to Find a Good Commercial Roofing Contractor

When it comes to installing or replacing EPDM roofing, choosing the right contractor is crucial. Here are some tips for finding a reputable commercial roofing contractor:

  • Research and Reviews: Start by researching local roofing contractors and reading online reviews from previous customers. Look for contractors with a proven track record of quality workmanship and customer satisfaction.
  • Licensing and Insurance: Verify that the roofing contractor is properly licensed and insured to perform roofing work in your area. This ensures that you’re protected in the event of any accidents or damage during the project.
  • Experience and Expertise: Choose a roofing contractor with extensive experience installing EPDM roofing systems. Ask about their training, certifications, and previous projects to ensure they have the necessary expertise.
  • Written Estimates: Obtain written estimates from multiple contractors and compare their pricing, warranties, and proposed scope of work. Be wary of contractors who provide significantly lower estimates than others, as they may be cutting corners or using subpar materials.
  • Communication and Transparency: Choose a contractor who communicates openly and transparently throughout the project, addressing any concerns or questions you may have. A reputable contractor should provide regular updates and keep you informed of any unexpected issues that arise.
  • References: Ask the contractor for references from past clients and follow up with them to inquire about their experience working with the contractor. A satisfied customer is a good indicator of a reliable contractor.

Commercial Roofing Experts

EPDM roofing offers a cost-effective and durable solution for flat or low-slope roofs, suitable for both residential and commercial properties. By understanding the characteristics, pros and cons, and maintenance requirements of EPDM roofing, property owners can make informed decisions about their roofing needs.

Whether installing a new EPDM roof or replacing an existing one, choosing a reputable roofing contractor is essential to ensure quality workmanship and long-lasting performance. If you’re ready to install EPDM rubber roofing, contact Monarch Roofing today!

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