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A Rubber Roofing Starter Guide – Part Two: Benefits of Rubber Roofing

In the first part of this series, we presented a brief history on EDPM rubber roofs, their components, and their application types. Today, find out a little more about the advantages of EDPM rubber roofs.

Durability. A study on long-term weathering capacity found that EDPM rubber roofs as old as 30 years or so can still perform like new, particularly when it comes to withstanding the effects of fire, water, and even hail. Tensile strength, thickness, and factory seam strength in the roofs involved in the study were found to be excellent, meeting or surpassing the required industry standards. This is why it’s not uncommon to find EPDM roofs that typically feature a 30-year warranty coverage. And, with current technological advances, you can look forward to a rubber roof that might soon surpass even four decades of service.

Sustainability. For the eco-conscious homeowner, EPDM is a great choice. A Life Cycle and Assessment (LCA) study reported in the ATHENA Sustainable Materials Institute found that EPDM performs better compared with other single-ply or bitumen-based roofing materials when it comes to global warming, acidification, and smog generation. In addition, the EPDM Roofing Association says that the EPDM membrane can be removed from a roof (when it approaches the end of its life cycle) and recycled back into new walkway pads for new or existing roofs. In fact, the association launched a recycling program with its affiliate members – and, by the end of the first quarter of 2012 alone, already managed to recycle 13.5 million square feet of EPDM rubber membrane.

Energy efficiency. EPDM may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of energy efficiency, but don’t discount its value altogether. White EPDM, for one thing, is specially engineered for improved resistance to UV rays and to offset energy costs. White coatings can be applied over black EPDM membranes to boost their energy performance. A recent study conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratories also found that roofs with ballast applied over EPDM membranes are as effective as white membranes in helping a property save on energy during peak energy demand.

It certainly sounds like installing a rubber roof could be the smart thing to do, what with its many advantages. But how do you ensure that you truly get to benefit from your investment in rubber roofing? Read on, because we will cover the information you need to know about the installation, care, and maintenance of EDPM in the last part of this series.


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