EPDM may sound like the name of a disease or a type of music, but in fact, it is a roofing material. EPDM stands for "ethylene propylene diene terpolymer," a type of very sturdy, synthetic rubber. It might not be as common as shingle or tile roofing, but in fact, it is a good choice for many homeowners. Here's a look at the pros and cons of this lesser-known roofing material.
Pro: EPDM is very resistant to environmental damage.
EPDM is not weakened when exposed to UV rays, which means it won't deteriorate if you live in a really hot, sunny environment. It's also almost impervious to hail damage, and since it is a single, thin membrane that's tightly adhered to your roof, it won't peel up when high winds roll in like asphalt shingles and metal panels sometimes do. If you live in a harsh climate, choosing EPDM will save you a lot of calls to the roof repair company.
Pro: EPDM is an eco-friendly choice.
Even though it is an artificial material, EPDM is considered an earth-friendly material. It does not release nearly as many volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, as many synthetic materials. Rubber is a good insulator, so EPDM also decreases your energy bills by reducing heat loss through the roof. If you choose a light color for your roof, rather than black or gray, it will also reflect more sunlight, keeping your home cooler and reducing your AC bills in the summer.
Con: EPDM must be carefully applied by a professional.
EPDM is manufactured off-site and then applied to your roof by a qualified professional. Since EPDM is not as common as other roofing materials, you may have a harder time finding a qualified installer in the area. Since the installation requires specialized equipment and adhesives, it is not a great task to DIY.
Con: EPDM has a non-traditional look.
EPDM roofing is very smooth and flat. It does not have a texture like shingles or roofing tiles. While some homeowners may not mind this at all, others feel that the look of EPDM is a mismatch for their home's architecture.
If you're looking for a highly weather-resistant roof that's also good for the planet, then EPDM may be the perfect choice for you. Look for a roofing specialist in your area who offers this service, and talk to them to learn more about your options.