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A common mistake that people make when it comes to constructing their houses and other buildings is taking their roofing for granted.
For some homeowners, they tend to consider roofing as an afterthought; they would go for whatever looks good. Since it’s just way up there and people don’t really notice what kind of roof a house has, they would rather go for anything that fits the theme of their home.
They tend to splurge on other areas of their homes but they don’t really consider the suitability of the roofing they choose to install. That’s why when the hurricane hits, theirs get immediately blown off like a piece of paper.
It is important to know what kind of roofing is most suitable for your home but if budget is an issue, why not go for the EPDM rubber roofing, known as one of the most versatile and practical roofing materials, and can easily be installed by EPDM rubber roofing contractors near you.
The easiest way to get free estimates and quotes from them is simply by filling out the form at the top of the page.
What is the EPDM Rubber Roofing?
From the name itself, you would already have the idea that this kind of roofing uses rubber material, particularly ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, hence the EPDM acronym.
You might wonder if having a rubber roof is a good idea, especially if you live in the areas where it is hot and sunny most of the time. After all, rubber is known to become brittle and crack over time after prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures and sunlight.
Fret not. The kind of material used in the EPDM rubber roofing is very durable and proven to be weatherproof. This means it can easily withstand harsh weather conditions wherever you are.
This may possibly be the first time you have heard of this kind of roofing and this might make you wary about the idea of having a rubber roofing. What you should know is that the EPDM rubber roofing has actually been around for decades.
In fact, various surveys and market research show that it is also considered by various architects and roofing contractors as their top choice of roofing for their projects, whether to replace existing ones or install them on new buildings.
Just the fact that the EPDM rubber roofing is widely regarded by these professionals should encourage you to consider it for your own building or home.
The Advantages of using EPDM Rubber Roofing
You already know that the EPDM rubber roofing is durable and cost-effective but let’s explore those even more and discover other reasons why you should go for it.
The cost is always a major factor when it comes to construction projects. It is a fact that roofing actually takes up a large portion of that budget, from the materials to the labor involved. But if you go for an EPDM rubber roofing, did you know that you can actually save a lot of money?
Compared to other materials, this kind of roofing is generally cheaper but this does not mean it is less durable. Since it is also easier to install, you get to save up on labor costs too because your contractor and workers will no longer have to work on your roofing for days, or even weeks. Imagine how much you get to save!
We briefly touched on the topic of durability and it bears emphasizing. You already know that it is resistant to various weather conditions but aside from being waterproof, did you know that it is also resistant to fires? In fact, the material of this type can even help prevent the spread of fires in your building or home.
This kind of roofing is also great at keeping heat in and out of your house. What do we mean by this? You get to save on heating costs during winter because of its excellent heat insulation. At the same time, you also get to save fees on your air conditioning because this type of roofing is amazing at preventing heat from getting inside your home, especially in the summer.
Did you know that this roofing is also eco-friendly? The materials needed to create an EPDM rubber roofing, including natural gas and oil and even recycled tires, are few compared to other types of roofing. Also, its durability means that you do not have to discard your roofing every now and then. And here’s another fun fact: they are easily recyclable!
Versatility is also an important feature of an EPDM rubber roofing. Some types of roofing can only be used on flat surfaces and some are only suitable for curved or irregular areas. But with this type of roofing, you can use it on both flat and irregularly-shaped surfaces.
Of course, there are other reasons why you should consider this roofing but these should be enough to convince you.
Minor Cons of Using an EPDM Rubber Roofing
Now that you’ve seen why it’s a good idea to use this kind of roofing for your home or building, you should also know about the issues you can face when you use it.
First of all, it is not recommended that you DIY your way into installing this roofing. Installation is best left to roofing contractors to avoid potential issues. If you want to save money by installing your roofing yourself, this is not for you. But when you factor in the cost of other types of roofing even if you install them yourself, you may actually get to save money with this type of roofing, even if you get others to install it.
You should not get just anybody to install this type of roofing. Proper installation is required for an EPDM rubber roofing to avoid any potential issues, such as leaks, curling, and punctures that can void your warranty and shorten its lifespan.
Speaking of, this roofing is not exempted from having tears or punctures, although this rarely happens. But when it does, anyone knowledgeable in its installation and maintenance can easily repair them. No need to replace your entire roof for just these issues.
In general, an EPDM rubber roofing is limited to two colors only: black and white. But you can actually change it to whatever color you like, as long as you use the right kind of paint. Come to think of it, this actually makes them much more customizable than a lot of other types of roofing.
So, despite these cons, you can still see why it’s much more ideal for you to use an EPDM rubber roofing for your home or building.
Other Popular Flat Roofing Materials
Any wise homeowner knows that it’s important to check other options before finalizing which materials to use for their homes. This is also true for roofing.
While we highly encourage using an EPDM rubber roofing, allow us to suggest other categories of roofing material options for you, particularly if you have a flat roof.
- Built Up Roof (BUR) – this type is considered as the pioneer model of flat roofs, dating back to over a hundred years ago. It is created when you mix asphalt or coal tar pitch with bitumen to create a roof felt that is poured over the roof by hot mopping. This process is repeated until multiple layers are created. To finish it off, you add stone granules or gravel on top of the last layer for protection against harsh weather and UV rays and preventing wear.
- Modified Bitumen Roof – this is the same as a BUR but you need to add layers of cap sheets, roof wear, or other similar materials reinforced by polymer on top of every roofing felt layer before you pour another mix of the asphalt and bitumen. Unlike a BUR, you can use various methods of installation, namely self-adhered, cold applied, hot applied, and torch applied, depending on the type of cap sheet you are using.
- Single Layer Membrane Roof – this is a more modern type and an EPDM rubber roofing is actually part of this category. Unlike the BUR and the modified bitumen roof, you only apply one layer of your chosen thin sheet material, usually polymer- or rubber-based, to your roof. Aside from the EPDM, you can also use polyvinyl chloride or PVC, bitumens that are polymer-modified, chlorinated and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets, and polychloroprene or neoprene.
From the options above, it’s easy to see why the single layer membrane roof is much more common nowadays.
Installing the EPDM Rubber Roofing
We cannot emphasize this enough. It is important that you only allow EPDM roofing contractors near you who are really knowledgeable on the topic of installing this materials to install yours. Although installing it is not that hard, it should be done correctly to cover the whole roof. Even just having small gaps due to incorrect installation can have disastrous consequences.
This is the process that the pro will go through when they install it.
- Clean and dry the surface where they will install the roofing. Any type of roof will not adhere properly if the surface it is going to be installed in is dirty and full of debris.
- Remove all traces of your previous roof. Not only will your EPDM membrane adhere better, it can also affect your warranty. Manufacturers may refuse to honor it when they find out that you only installed the membrane directly on top of your existing one if they require their roofing to be installed only on bare surfaces, such as your roof’s plywood base.
- Measure the entire roof, noting down the presence of antennas, roof vents, chimneys, and other appurtenances on your roof. Don’t add allowances to it.
- Once the contractor has the measurements, they make the necessary cutouts on the membrane, ensuring that they will perfectly fit your roof and that there are no gaps.
- Test your EPDM membrane’s measurement by laying it out on the roof and keeping it in position for at least 30 minutes.
- Fold this membrane around halfway of the entire roll to make it easier for you to apply the adhesive to the entire exposed section. Make sure to roll back the roofing before the adhesive dries out. But when drying out happens, apply adhesive only a thin layer to the back part of the roofing, not over the dried-out adhesive.
- Do the same for the other half.
- Once they have placed the entire roofing over the adhesive, they remove the trapped air bubbles by sweeping over it. This also helps bond them together even more.
- They add contact adhesive to your vertical upstands and its immediate perimeter and wait for all the adhesive to dry and bond your roofing before proceeding. To be sure, it is left alone for at least an hour.
- Trim away any excess membrane and do any other adjustments necessary. Again, make sure that there are no spaces or gaps that will allow water to enter.
The above instructions are best for installing a single EPDM membrane to your entire roof. But when contractors need to cover a larger area, they splice sheets of membrane together. For this, a splice tape or liquid adhesive is used.
If splice tape is used, which is much easier and faster to do, they only need to clean and add primer to the surfaces of the membranes, then seams are covered with tape. That’s it. The primer does need to be completely dry for this.
If you prefer a more traditional route by using liquid adhesive, they should also prep the areas to allow them to be joined by using a splice cleaner on them. After this, they will apply splicing adhesive to the membranes. Afterwards, they’ll put sealant along the edges of the seams either immediately or after at least two hours, depending on the type of adhesive they used. This sealant prevents water from getting inside the seams of the spliced membranes.
Repairing Your EPDM Rubber Roofing
No matter how much upkeep you do on your roofing, it is inevitable that you will encounter various issues with it over time. This is true for all kinds of roofing, including an EPDM one, although this type will hardly need any kind of repair if it is installed properly and correctly.
A big advantage of using this type of roofing is that it is much easier to repair compared to the other types, and roofing repairs can easily be addressed by a pro.
This is because the most common issue you will encounter with this type of roofing, if you will have any issue at all throughout its lifetime, is having punctures. The pros will remedy this problem by patching these punctures up.
Tears and punctures are often the only issue a homeowner with an EPDM rubber roofing will encounter throughout its lifetime. But if you feel like there are other concerns that need to be addressed, it is best that you consult a roofing contractor for it.
The Consequences of Roof Leaks
You are not likely to get a leaky roof if you have an EPDM rubber roofing installed on your home or building. But if it happens to you, this is most likely caused by improper installation.
Like we said, this type of roof is very durable and it is nearly impossible for a properly installed one to be damaged on its own, with it enough for you run around your house with pails or buckets to catch water falling from your ceiling.
Leaking roofs should always be taken seriously. Even if you see just a few drops of water falling from the roof every time it rains, you should already be alarmed. It’s either the start of further leaks or there are already issues with your roof that you can’t really see because it’s all on the inside.
Left unresolved, it will damage your ceiling, as well as your attic and all the items stored there. It’s one of the main reasons why you see paint bubbling (and even growing larger) or your wooden ceiling getting water marks and other discolorations.
We all know that water and electricity shouldn’t mix and when they do, the consequences can be fatal. Water leaks can interact with your electrical wirings and not only can this cause your electrical system to go haywire and damage your appliances, it can even start a fire.
Another safety issue is when you leave these leaks unresolved and they worsen to the point of leaving puddles all over your house. It’s not easy to see puddles of water in your home, especially if you have light colored flooring, and these puddles can cause anyone to slip and get into accidents.
Moisture promotes the growth of mold and mildew and it is one of the major consequences of having leaky roofs. If untreated, these can quickly spread throughout your house and affect the health of everyone living in it, especially those who are quite sensitive and have poor immune systems, as well as worsen your home’s air quality.
All of these can easily be avoided, if you think about it. It starts by making sure that your EPDM rubber roofing has been installed correctly by the right person.
The Importance of Getting the Work Done by Professional Contractors
You should always hire professional rubber roof installers to install your EPDM rubber roofing.
Have you noticed how much we talked about getting the right measurements and not allowing any gaps or spaces on your roofing? These gaps can let water in and slowly destroy not only your roofing but even the structure and house framing itself, if left unresolved. This is why it is important for you to get the right measurements but if you have to figure out how to do so, just let the professionals do it for you.
DIY activities are an enigma; if you expect to save money doing it, sometimes you actually end up spending more. In this case, it’s likely that you would spend more than save money via DIY. You still need to shell out a significant amount to cover your entire roof. Imagine all that going to waste and you having to replace them immediately just because you can’t get the measurements right or install them properly without looking like a kid’s school project.
Maintenance is also important. Professional roofing contractors can check out the condition of your roofing to see of the seams should be adjusted or are already showing signs of shrinking, and other stuff. Even if you do perform regular checks on your roofing but you don’t know what to look out for, you can’t take preventive measures to ensure that the problem doesn’t get worse.
As long as you get the right contractor who would do the job well, you can expect your roofing to last up to 50 years or more. In states that require roofers to be licensed, you will need to make sure you hire a licensed contractor for the job or you could end up liable for potential damages.
Getting Free Estimates & Quotations from Competing Contractors to Save Money
If you decide to hire a contractor to install your EPDM rubber roofing on your home or building, don’t just go after whichever one you see first. You also need to take time and weigh in your options. There are plenty of contractors that can do the job for you but not all of them will be willing to work with your budget.
One thing that is important when talking to contractors is the art of negotiation. It is normal for them to give you a higher price once you ask them to give you a quotation for the work you want done. It’s now up to you to haggle the price and make it go down.
One of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to this is to make the contractors know that they are not the only ones you are negotiating with. When they find out, chances are they’d voluntarily lower their quotations just for you to choose them. And once they give you a new quotation, inform the other contractors of the lower price you got. They would either match this by going for an even lower price or providing additional services free of charge. You can go back and forth between contractors until you get the price you want.