Flat Roofing Materials: Pros and Cons of EPDM

Flat Roofing Materials: Pros and Cons of EPDM

A flat roof presents a unique challenge to home and business owners alike. A flat or low-slope roof does not possess the natural moisture-deflecting abilities of a pitched roof, and is more prone to leaks. Flat roofing materials must be highly resistant to moisture to keep the roof dry. A popular choice for flat roofs that does the job very well is EPDM.

Pros and Cons of EPDM Roofing?

EPDM is short for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, a synthetic rubber. This black roofing material has been used by skilled roofing contractors since the 1960s, and is a top pick for commercial roofing.

EPDM provides a range of benefits over shingles or slate for a flat roof:

  • Resistance to moisture, mildew, and ozone damage
  • Energy efficiency
  • Durability
  • Cost effectiveness

The rubber material gives a flat roof a watertight seal that protects against hail, snow & ice, rain, and high winds.

EPDM can be installed directly over plywood board, making roof installation relatively quick and cost-effective. Asphalt, tar, felt, or shingle roofing must be removed prior to the application of EPDM. The petroleum content in these roofing materials can cause the rubber roofing to swell, rendering the roof unstable.

The downside to using the rubber material comes only in a very few circumstances. Climates that are consistently humid or extremely wet may not be the ideal site for an EPDM flat roof. Dry conditions are required for proper installation of the rubber adhesive. Faulty installation can cause bubbling, blistering, and tearing of the EPDM. Hire a professional experienced in flat roofing installation to avoid these problems.

Ready to Install EPDM?

All Roofing Solutions is a Delaware and Pennsylvania roofing contractor experienced in installing, repairing, and inspecting a variety of roofing materials, including flat and low-slope EPDM.

In business since 1998, we provide roof, gutter, siding & window installation and repair services to residential & commercial customers taking great pride in what we do.

Call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania for a free estimate!


  1. Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    EPDM rubber roofing membrane is excellent and economical choice for many residential and small commercial / industrial flat roofing projects, and with certain limitations, will last a long time and provide easy maintenance for roof owners.

    • Posted July 19, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing. High performance reinforced EPDM flat roofing systems from AR Systems. We supply new reinforced EPDM flat roofing systems to roofing contractors for residential, commercial and industrial projects.

  2. Posted July 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for writing about the advantages and disadvantages of installing EPDM materials for low sloped roofs. We can pass this info onto our clients who often deal with restorative roofing replacements after fire/storm damage.

  3. Posted October 26, 2015 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I never thought my area would work with a flat roof, but your description gives me hope. We do get a lot of snow and wind, but it’s also a dry desert climate. It sounds like this style of roof would be perfect. I’d really prefer to get a flat roof because they’re so much cheaper.

  4. Posted February 10, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the information.
    You are right…EPDM provides range of benefits for flat roof. But for this we require a highly skilled and experienced roofing contractor. Also we can use green roofing on flat roofs. It is new in the market and provide a healthy and fresh environment.

  5. Posted August 21, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    One of my favourite benefits to EPDM is the durability. Studies have shown that it can last up to 50 years in some cases. That’s excellent value for money.

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