EPDM Single Ply Rubber Roofing

EPDM Single Ply Rubber Roofing

Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is a type of single ply rubber membrane used in roofing. It has been around more than thirty years and is known to be sturdy, resistant to damage from sunlight, tears and leaks. And if a leak does occur with an EPDM roof, they are relatively easy to fix. EPDM is one of a group of roofing materials which are known as thermoses membranes. Other thermoset roof membranes include chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE), Epichlorohydrin (ECH), Neoprene (CR), and Polyisobutylene (PIB). Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) thermoset membrane roofs are the most popular. The makeup of EPDM comes primarily from ethylene and propylene, both substances which come from oil and gas production.

The lifespan of an EPDM rubber roof is more extensive than what is required by industry standards. Its ability to survive extremes of heat and cold, exposure to UV rays, and heavy wind make it a popular roofing system for homes or buildings in areas where inclement weather is the norm.

Repairing an EPDM roof

To repair an EPDM rubber membrane roof an experienced roofer can normally fix a tear or leak within minutes using adhesive and the right set of tools. Even older EPDM roofs can be repaired quickly in a cost effective manner.


EPDM rubber membrane roofing comes in several sizes including 45 mil, 60 mil and 90 mil. The 45 mil thickness is sufficient for most roofing jobs. However, if the roofing system is being installed in an area where weather is a consistent problem it is probably better to go with a thicker grade, as the thicker the membrane, the more weather resistant the roofing system is. The rubber comes in sheets which are applied in a variety of ways including what is called mechanical, fully adhered and ballasted.

Mechanical refers to the fact that the sheets attached using batten bars, while fully adhered means the roofers will use a liquid solvent to attach the membrane to the substrate roof and ballasted means that after securing the membrane to the substrate, a ballast of some type of material either river rocks or pavers is put on top. The seams between the sheets are closed with either a type of liquefied glue or a special type of roofing tape. Installation is fairly easy, inexpensive and quick. Both white and black membranes are commonly available.

In general, most EPDM rubber membrane roofing systems do not have surfacing laid on them unless you choose the ballasted installation. Non ballasted EPDM roofs have a smooth and aesthetically pleasing appearance. A ballasted type EPDM roofing system is necessarily heavier than the fully adhered or mechanically adhered EPDM roof and the structural integrity of the roof must be considered before installation.

Roof Control can talk to you about your roofing system options including EPDM roofs. They can help you decided which type of roofing system will work best for you. All EPDM roofs come with a guarantee, and are installed by our roofing experts. Our EPDM roofs are carefully installed and should deliver years of trouble free use.