EPDM Rubber Roof Cost, Plus Pros & Cons in 2021

Updated on January 13th, 2021

Welcome to the default, or old school, material for flat roof installations. It’s technical name: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is a mouthful. While it is simply a rubber material, we’ll go with EPDM since everyone else does. This product competes directly with TPO and PVC as membrane type roofing material. This one though tends to only be used on flat roofs.

Some might be wondering why not just use the more traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles. Well, traditional roofing materials normally come in a shingle or tile form designed for sloped water-shedding roofs, not waterproof ones.

If you were to use roofing shingles on a low-slope or flat roof, then any accumulated pooling water would rise underneath the asphalt shingles and seep through inside the house (similar to what happens with ice dams on asphalt shingle roofs), leading to severe issues like mold, rot, and damage to the roof deck and interior of the house. Thus, a waterproofing membrane approach has been in place for nearly a half century to provide an impenetrable waterproof barrier that can reliably protect the structure with a low-sloped roof.

EPDM Pricing and Value

EPDM is the least expensive of the three primary membrane types, but it isn’t cheap. The material is very durable.

Since the early 1960s, EPDM has been the material of choice in canals and other irrigation systems prior to becoming a successful material for waterproofing roofs.

It’s estimated to have 1 billion square feet of EPDM rubber membranes installed throughout the world’s roofs. This is partially due to its relative durability, ease of installation and its competitive pricing.

Average Cost Per Sq. Ft. Installed

On the low end, you can plan to spend around $4.50 to $6.50 per sq. ft. for the installation of an EPDM rubber membrane on a flat roof. — The low-end pricing, although not very common, would be on par with asphalt shingles pricing, which tells you how affordable it can be. $6.50 to $10.50 per sq. ft. installed would be the high-end pricing and would likely be for a thicker or solar-reflective rubber membrane, with the job done by experienced flat roof specialists.

What about DIY for EPDM?

The DIY approach is viable, because installation is not complicated. With TPO and PVC roofs, you need special skills and tools like hot air welders (whether hand-held or robots) for proper installation.

With EPDM, you need the sheets, which are sold in as large as 50 feet wide by 200-foot-long pieces, some glue and preferably some experience in achieving a successful installation.

Home Depot and Lowe’s sell rolls of 10 x 25 feet for around $170 and $225 respectively. Add another $80 for the glue, or bonding adhesive (sold in 3-gallon containers) and $25 for long armed roller and you’re set to go.

When it comes to value or return on investment, that’s another matter. Our Advantages and Disadvantages section below help identify the balance of lasting value vs. known issues.

The reality is EPDM roofs last 7 to 15 years on average before requiring a replacement (less likely) or resealing (more likely). With EPDM liquid roof coatings, repairs and resealing can extend the lifespan of the rubber membrane roof and re-institute the waterproof barrier properties from the original installation.

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PVC Roof Options and Costs – PVC vs. TPO Membrane in 2021

Updated on January 12th, 2021

PVC, technically known as Polyvinyl Chloride is really vinyl roofing, though is routinely referenced as PVC roof.

PVC competes with TPO and EPDM in the synthetic roof membrane arena, and indirectly with all other roofing materials including BUR, modified bitumen, and structural standing seam roofs designed for lower sloped roofs.

Membrane roofs are usually applied to flat or low-slope roofs but using a single-ply membrane on a sloped roof is also possible and common on roofs with slopes between 1:12 and 3:12.

Why not just use traditional roofing materials (asphalt shingles or other tiles) on a low sloped roof? Because they are very likely to leak unless a minimum specified slope for shingles or tiles has been met.

When used with a slope, the overlap of those materials is designed to shed water away from the roof deck. Whereas flat roofs have only a slight pitch, and any standing, or pooling water, could lead to immediate leaks and rotting soon thereafter.

PVC membrane is a kind of roofing material that can withstand pooling or standing water — puddles of water that accumulate on roofs with low slopes.

Cost

Of the three primary membrane roof types, PVC is the most expensive. EPDM is the least costly option, and TPO is somewhere in the middle.

TPO allegedly offers the benefits of both the other types, yet that material keeps undergoing formula changes, and so compared to PVC and EPDM is considered less reliable, particularly when it comes to warranties.

Prices for residential installs can vary greatly. A roofer is likely to quote differently than a professional PVC installer, probably less, but also likely to not have the proper tools. A fair range is between $6.50 and $12.50 per sq. ft. if installed by a PVC expert. On the lower end if going with less thick material.

In terms of value, durability, and ROI, PVC is arguably the best, or longest lasting of the three. EPDM will go 7 to 15 years before needing replacing or re-coating.

TPO is thought to go for as long as PVC, but that information is either suspect or unknown for sure just yet.

PVC has been in the field for decades and unlike TPO isn’t constantly undergoing changes to the formula to address performance issues. Warranties are usually ‘lifetime’ and with proper installation, it ought to retain solid performance for 20 years or more.

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Hail Damage Restoration vs. Roof Upgrade

Updated on February 15th, 2020

In many states in the US we are approaching hail season.  For those that live in areas that are prone to these storms, they know that in a matter of minutes their house could be torn up.  Hail the size of golf balls can come down smashing windows, siding, and damaging asphalt roofs.

After the storm, people are frantic about how to fix their home.  Too many of them, however, go through the restoration process and put the same product onto their home that was just damaged.  The next storm to come could well destroy that new roof. 😉

Hail damage restoration is necessary, but upgrading to a better product is even more important.

Hail Damage to Asphalt Roofs

In the U.S., around 80% of roofs are topped with asphalt shingles.  They are cheap, quick to install, and for the most part they look pretty good on top of houses.  The problem, however, is two-fold.  Asphalt roofs will wear out over time, and they are susceptible to hail damage (as they get older, smaller and smaller hail stones can damage them).

With hail storms increasing in frequency and intensity, the likelihood of your newly replaced asphalt roof being damaged in a storm is pretty high.

Fortunately, there is a better way; instead of restoring your roof, improve it!

Upgrading to a High Quality Metal Roof

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