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EPDM Rubber Roofing

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The Best Roof for Hail, Fire, and Wind Protection in Colorado

We have unpredictable weather in Colorado. We get rain, wind, snow, hail, wildfires, tornadoes, and just about anything else you can imagine (we haven't seen a hurricane yet, but we wouldn't completely count it out).

What kind of roof will put up with that stress?

An EPDM roof. It's the most hail-, fire-, and wind-resistant roof that we use. And it's uniquely suited to Colorado.

What Is EPDM?

Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) is a roof made of synthetic rubber panels. They can be glued down or mechanically attached, as well as combined with other insulating and protective materials.

Rubber roofing "panels" come off rolls that can measure up to 20" x 100". Various dimensions and system components vary between manufacturers; installers shouldn't mix and match roofing materials from different manufacturers! Firestone, Carlisle, Johns Mansville, you name it—we're familiar with all the major EPDM brands and their system components.

You have two options for EPDM:

The first option is an adhered system. The membrane is bonded (glued down) with rubber cement adhesive rolled onto the insulation with paint rollers. The insulation sheets are generally closed-cell urethane ISO foam insulation of varying thicknesses with compatible paper surfaces bonded on both sides. They're designed to be compatible with the adhesive and are screwed to the deck utilizing mechanical fasteners, stress plates and/or adhesives. Either non-reinforced or scrim-reinforced membranes can be used, with the non-reinforced membranes making up most adhered installations.

Fully adhered systems are lightweight and ideal for a wide range of building sizes and geometric configurations, including complex crickets and diverters, and high-elevation applications. Because of recent technological advances in application, the fully adhered system is becoming the system of choice for roof replacement applications in many areas of the country.

There are also mechanically attached systems.

These can be installed using large panels and attached through the edge of the membrane, then adhering (or welding, if TPO) the following membrane "panel" to continue the course, or using narrow panels attached in the side laps. Non-reinforced or scrim-reinforced membranes can be used, depending on the needs of the building owner.

The membrane is then attached using either screws and round plates or batten strips to the underlying deck. Mechanically attached systems are lightweight and ideal for all building sizes and configurations. This configuration protects the insulation from damage but is more susceptible to wind uplift. Tornadoes and straight-line winds create lift vacuum similar to an aircraft wing when passing over a flat roof surface.

Market surveys show that EPDM is the number one roofing choice for architects, roof consultants, and contractors in both new construction and roof replacement. And it's our most common recommendation for flat and low-slope roofs in Colorado, largely because it's extremely weather-resistant and energy-efficient.

Benefits of EPDM Roofing

  • Long-lasting synthetic rubber cuts down on roof replacement costs over time (the standard estimate for EPDM roofs is 50 years).

  • Fully adhered systems are lightweight and work well for high-elevation roofs and complicated projects.

  • EPDM roofing panels can be combined with deck sheeting to create extremely weather-resistant roofing.

Adding Hail, Fire, and Wind Resistance

We can double the lifespan, hail resistance, fire resistance, and wind resistance of the roof at very little additional cost. This is our most-recommended flat roof and low-slope roofing choice for small- to medium-size commercial and residential properties throughout Colorado.

EPDM rubber membrane roofing material glued to a waterproof hardboard backer is one of the toughest and most durable roofing systems available; we specialize in and highly recommend this roofing system for use in Colorado on flat or low-slope roofs. When installed with a fiber-reinforced deck sheeting product that's designed to be mechanically attached with screws (DensDeck), a very stable surface ideal for adhering the rubber membrane to is created.

The 60-millimeter-thick EPDM membrane installed with this method achieves the highest impact and wind uplift ratings and can last up to 50 years.

Here's what you get with that combination:

  • Class A fire rating. This class of roof significantly reduces the risk of externally caused fires and windblown embers. This is the same rating as asphalt shingles and steel roofing.

  • High wind resistance. The EPDM membrane is glued to the waterproof backer, leaving no room for wind to lift it up. Wind uplift resistance should exceed 130 MPH.

  • The most hail-resistant roof you can get. By combining the backer and EPDM panels, you can protect the roof and the surface under it from hail larger than 2" in diameter. It's so effective that it might snag you a discount on your property insurance.

Who Should Use EPDM Roofing?

Anyone who wants significant resistance to hail, fire, and wind. When combined with a solid backing, there's no roof out there that protects from the elements as well as EPDM roofing.

Businesses looking for a very durable roof. You can expect an EPDM rubber roof to last 50 years. That's almost three times the lifespan of asphalt shingles and almost as much as a steel roof.

Find Out More About Protecting Your Roof With EPDM Rubber Membrane Roofing

Want to find out if EPDM roofing is a good option for your project? Have questions about the weather resistance of rubber panels? Need more information on this popular roofing option?

Give us a call at 303.332.3107 today for a free consultation!

Not sure if EPDM is right for you? Check out TPO, a similar roofing type.