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The Ultimate Guide To EPDM Roofs: Unraveling the Best Commercial Roofing Material

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The Ultimate Guide To EPDM Roofs: Unraveling the Best Commercial Roofing Material

As a commercial business owner, you understand the constant pursuit of excellence. Every decision you make plays a vital role in protecting your valuable assets and ensuring the success of your business. So obviously, you would want an effective roof that plays a role in keeping your business protected.  

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unveil the secrets behind a cutting-edge roofing solution that is revolutionizing flat roofs alike, EPDM. EPDM has been gaining recognition as a game-changing material that can redefine your expectations of what a roof can achieve.

Whether you’re a business owner considering a roof upgrade or a roofing professional seeking the latest advancements, this guide is your key to unlocking the potential of EPDM roofs. Get ready to discover the future of roofing.  

What Is An EPDM Roofing System? Understanding This Commercial Roofing Material

As a roofing company that’s been operating in Tampa for years, we get a lot of queries regarding EPDM roofing material. Sure, EPDM is popular, but most business owners don’t have an in-depth understanding of this roofing material. If you’re one of them, don’t fret!

EPDM is a type of single-ply membrane roofing material that sticks to your roof and can protect it from the harsh conditions prevalent in Tampa. EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer. 

EPDM roofing systems are made of a highly durable synthetic rubber membrane that is functional in both commercial and residential applications, from flat roofs to patio roofs. EPDM is available in a range of widths from 7.5 inches to 50 inches, and thicknesses from 45 mil to 90 mil, with the most common thickness being 60 mil.

EPDM roofing membranes come in black or white, and they are made of a mixture of recycled tires, sawdust, and slate dust, which makes them one of the most inexpensive roofing materials on the market.

Check out our blog post: Different Commercial Roofing Types: Pros and Cons 

Types Of EPDM Roofs

You can categorize EPDM roofs further based on the following:

  • The type of installation method used
  • The EPDM roof color

Type Of Installation Method

There are three types of EPDM roofing systems: mechanically attached, fully adhered, and ballasted. 

Mechanically Attached EPDM Roofs

Mechanically attached EPDM roofs involve securing the EPDM membrane to the roof deck using fasteners, plates, or screws. This method provides a secure and reliable attachment, particularly suitable for roofs with a slight slope.

Fully Adhered EPDM Roofs

Fully adhered EPDM roofs involve bonding the EPDM membrane directly to the roof substrate using adhesive. This method creates a strong bond between the membrane and the roof, offering enhanced resistance against wind uplift and improving overall durability.

Ballasted EPDM roofs

Ballasted EPDM roofs use large stones or pavers to hold down the EPDM membrane. The weight of the ballast provides stability and prevents the membrane from shifting or being uplifted by wind.

EPDM Roof Color 

Black EPDM

This is the most common EPDM roof color, and you will see it frequently around Tampa. Black EPDM membranes are known for their durability, weather resistance, and ability to withstand UV exposure. 

Black EPDM
Black EPDM

White EPDM 

Over the years, white EPDM roofing systems have grown in popularity. These roofs retain most of the features of conventional EPDM, but due to their white color, it has better reflectivity. However, the price of white EPDM roofs can be a bit higher. 

White EPDM 
White EPDM 

Also Read: Making Your Home Eco-Friendly: Effective Changes That Make A Big Difference

Pros of EPDM Roofing

A roofing material does not become the first choice of commercial owners unless it offers some superb advantages. Well, this is exactly the case with an EPDM roofing system. This roofing system has several advantages that make it a popular choice for homeowners and contractors alike. Let’s look at some of them: 


EPDM is the least expensive commercial roofing material to install. This single-ply roofing system is one of the cheapest when we talk about the cost per square foot. When compared to other popular roofing materials like TPO and PVC, EPDM stands out as the more budget-friendly option.

Faster To Install

The material’s affordability extends to its installation process as well. EPDM roofs are relatively easier and faster to install, reducing labor costs compared to the more complex and time-consuming installation methods such as with TPO and PVC roofs.

EPDM is a rubber, roll roofing system. That is, it’s available in the form of rolls, which get easily attached to the roof. Over the years, the size of the sheets has become larger, so now fewer sheets are needed, further reducing the installation time. 

What does this mean for you? When the roof is able to be installed fast, but effectively, you can get back to business quickly. It’s a win-win! 

EPDM Roofs Can Withstand Harsh Weather Conditions

One of the biggest advantages of EPDM roofs is their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, which is crucial in areas such as Tampa. 

EPDM is one of the longest-lasting commercial roofing systems on the market. When you hire a professional contractor like us, your EPDM roofing system can last 30 to 50 years, and even longer if maintained correctly. 

Hail/Storm Resistant

EPDM is highly resistant to hail damage, making it a great choice for areas such as Tampa, where the weather conditions can take a turn for the worse. Since the main composition of the roof is rubber polymers, the hails tend to bounce off instead of creating holes or tears. EPDM rolls with better thickness perform even better. 

Wind Resistant 

EPDM roofs fare well against the wind as well. If installed correctly, an EPDM roof has superb adhesion properties. Also, due to its large sheets, there are fewer seams, which minimizes the chances of material getting blown away. 

Easy To Clean/ Maintain

One of the key advantages of EPDM roofing systems is their ease of cleaning and maintenance, making them a popular choice for property owners seeking a hassle-free roofing solution.

EPDM roofs require minimal upkeep, allowing homeowners to focus their time and energy on other important tasks. EPDM membranes have a smooth, non-porous surface that prevents dirt, debris, and algae from adhering to the roof, reducing the need for frequent cleaning.   

Cons Of An EPDM Roofing System

At SouthShore Roofing & Exteriors, we aim to make you fully informed about the roofing materials that you may plan to install on your roof. This is why we provide a whole view of the material, including its limitations. Yes, EPDM also suffers from some drawbacks, let us look at what these are in the following section.  

EPDM Is Not As Visually Appealing 

While EPDM roofing systems offer numerous advantages, it is important to note that they may not be the most visually appealing option on the market. These roofs are typically available in black or white. So unless a plain, black roof is what you are looking for, EPDM membranes can not offer you much in terms of appeal.

In most cases, it often appears like stretched-out inner tubes when unrolled on the roof. 

So if aesthetics is a primary concern for you, then this can be an issue. Fortunately, there are various ways to enhance the visual appeal of an EPDM roof, such as using roof coatings, which are widely available on the market. 

EPDM Roofs Can Be Prone To Punctures

The nature of EPDM membranes makes them susceptible to being punctured, leading to water infiltration and potential structural damage if not addressed promptly.

EPDM roofs can be punctured by sharp objects, falling debris, or even foot traffic during maintenance activities. It is crucial to exercise caution when working or walking on an EPDM roof to minimize the risk of punctures.

It is worth noting that punctures are not an inherent flaw of EPDM rubber roofs but rather a vulnerability that can be mitigated with proper care and maintenance.

Enhance Your Commercial Property With EPDM Roofs

EPDM roofing systems are a great choice for homeowners and contractors looking for an affordable, durable, and easy-to-install roofing system. While they have some drawbacks, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. If you’re considering an EPDM roofing system for your property, be sure to contact the team at SouthShore Roofing & Exteriors, Tampa’s best roofing company.

We have been installing quality EPDM roofing systems in Tampa for years and have a great reputation in the area. Contact us today at (813) 400-3329

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