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What are EPDM Rubber Roofs and Should You Get One

16th November 2023

What are EPDM Rubber Roofs and Should You Get One

16th November 2023

In this article

EPDM stands for (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). EPDM rubber is a roofing solution that is durable and weather resistant. It is a synthetic roofing material that is mostly used on flat roofs. EPDM rubber roofing is made from a mix of ethylene, propylene and diene monomers, hence the name sake of EPDM. These materials offer exceptional resistance to UV rays and any temperature fluctuations. EPDM rubber roofing is well known for its long life span, durability and the minimal maintenance it requires. It is a flexible and eco-friendly option for roofing solutions on your property that can really be put to the test by all manner of weather conditions and pass with flying colours. 

Why Choose EPDM for Your Roofing Needs?

Choosing EPDM rubber roofing for your home / property is a decision that should be seriously considered for several reasons! Some of these reasons include:

  • Durability: the EPDM rubber roofing material is a highly durable material and it also has a very long lifespan usually lasting over 50 years! Something we say here at Evesham Trade Centre [GM Roofing] is “you only need a rubber roof once!”. If you look after your rubber roof properly and conduct maintenance on it, it can last a lifetime and you should never need to replace it! An EPDM rubber roof can withstand harsh weather conditions and outside temperatures including extreme weather conditions without the materials deteriorating.
  • Weather Resistance: EPDM is also known for exceptional weather resistant properties. The EPDM rubber roofing materials are resistant to UV radiation, harsh rain, snow and hail as well as winds and harsh sunlight. The EPDM will remain intact and protect your home.
  • Low Maintenance: This roofing material needs very minimal maintenance and reduces the long-term costs of the upkeep to your roof. To maintain your roof it will require occasional cleaning and inspections to make sure that any issues that may arise are caught early and easily fixed. The occasional cleaning and rare inspections are really all that is needed to maintain your EPDM rubber roofing and keep it performing properly for your home.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: EPDM rubber roofing is definitely one of the more cost effective roofing materials. While the initial cost of the roofing may be more expensive than you are expecting, it does eliminate the long-term costs of roofing upkeep. The longer lifespan and these reduced upkeep costs makes an EPDM rubber roof a great choice for long term investments into your home.
  • Energy Efficiency: EPDM roofing materials are often available in white or available with a reflective coating on them. These colours or coatings can help to reduce the energy costs by reducing cooling costs in your home, this is done when reflecting the sunlight and heat away from your home, ultimately lowering your energy bills.
  • Versatility: EPDM rubber roofing materials are extremely versatile and can be used on many different architectural styles and different types of buildings. These can vary from residential homes, commercial buildings and industrial properties. EPDM rubber roofing is suitable for new installations or roofing replacements, making it a popular choice for many different projects and property renovations.

The Benefits of EPDM Rubber Roofing

EPDM rubber roofing offers you as the property’s owner many benefits, which help to boost its popularity as a roofing material. Some of the key advantages of EPDM rubber roofing include:

  • Durability: It’s proven track record of long-term durability and performance. It is very durable and can withstand the harsher weather conditions such as UV radiation, extreme temperatures and fluctuations in weather conditions. 
  • Weather resistance: This roofing material is highly resistant to UV rays, rain, snow, hail and sleet as well as harsh winds. Even facing these possible harsh weather conditions your EPDM rubber roof will uphold its features and integrity and continues to protect your property in these weather conditions.
  • Longer Lifespan: When you have your EPDM rubber roofing materials installed properly and professionally and you maintain your roofing the materials can last for around 30 years+ some cases exceeding 50 years of durability! This longevity of the materials and the installation can save you money in the long term on any roofing replacements and roofing upgrades in the future.
  • Quick Installation: EPDM usually has a quick installation time and can help you to reduce costs on labour and minimise disruptions to your property and schedule.
  • Flexibility: The material in EPDM rubber roofing has flexibility which allows the material to adapt to a building’s movements and settlements over time without cracking and breaking, ensuring that the roofing remains intact.
  • Proven Performance: EPDM has a history of success in its use in roofing applications. Millions of square feet of EPDM rubber roofing are installed worldwide each year demonstrating its reliability.
  • Eco-Friendliness: EPDM is a recyclable roofing material that doesn’t release harmful chemicals and substances which makes it an environmentally friendly material and therefore an environmentally friendly roofing choice.

How to Install EPDM Rubber Roofing

It is best to leave installing EPDM rubber roofing to trained professionals, such as our teams here at Evesham Trade Centre. This is due to the complexity of the installation and the need for the precise measurements and techniques to use when installing the roofing. 

Please keep in mind that the following is a general guide, it may not be specific enough to your property or project. These are very loose, basic guidelines for the process of fitting an EPDM rubber roof. 

Before committing to this project please consider hiring a professional to install your EPDM rubber roofing for you if you are not experienced in roofing. Incorrectly installing EPDM can cause and lead to leaks in your home and property damage, which may cost more to fix, as well as other issues you may encounter. You can contact us at Evesham Trade Centre by calling 01386 800600 or emailing at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a survey appointment and quote for your EPDM rubber roof.

Materials and tools [recommended]:

  • EPDM membrane (this can be purchased at Evesham Trade Centre or the Cotswolds Home Improvements Supercentre)
  • Adhesive or seam tape
  • Primer
  • Roofing membrane cleaner
  • Seam roller
  • Utility knife
  • Rollers for pressing membrane down
  • Flashing and sealant (edges)
  • Metal termination bars and screws
  • Screwdriver / drill
  • Roofing nails

Step 1: Prepare the Roof

  • Ensure that the roof deck is clean, clear, dry and free from debris. Repair any damages and fix any leaks or rotting wood you may encounter.
  • Fit insulation boards and make sure they are securely fastened down.
  • Apply a primer to the cleaned roof deck and allow it to dry. [primer helps to ensure a bond between the EPDM and the roof deck]

Step 2: Measure and Cut the EPDM

  • Measure the roof's dimensions accurately. [allow for overhang usually 3-6 inches]
  • Roll out the EPDM and cut to size. [add overhang]

Step 3: Apply Adhesive / Seam Tape

  • For a fully adhered system, apply adhesive to the roof deck using a roller or a brush.
  • Carefully lay the EPDM rubber onto the adhesive, ensuring it is properly aligned and free of wrinkles.

Step 4: Seam Sealing

  • If you are using seam tape, overlap the edges of the adjacent EPDM sheets by several inches.
  • Apply seam primer to the overlap area, and press the seam tape into place. Use a seam roller to secure the bond.

Step 5: Securing the Edges

  • Install metal termination bars along the roof’s edges and secure them using screws.
  • Apply flashing and sealant around penetrations [pipes, vents etc] to ensure a watertight seal.

Step 6: Trim Excess

  • Trim the excess EPDM material from the edges.

Step 7: Check Adhesion

  • Carefully inspect the installation to ensure proper adhesion, no wrinkles, bubbles or imperfections.

Step 8: Final Inspection

  • Inspect the entire roof for any defects or issues.
  • Clean the EPDM surface to remove dust and debris.

Remember that EPDM rubber roofing installations require precise measurements, proper adhesive and crucial attention to detail. If you're not experienced in roofing, it is highly recommended to hire a professional to do this installation for you to ensure it is done correctly and to prevent any damage or leaks to your home which could cost you more money!

EPDM vs Other Roofing Materials

EPDM rubber roofing is just one option that is available for roofing materials for residential and commercial buildings. To make a more informed choice you can compare EPDM with other common roofing materials, here are some comparisons you can consider with EPDM:

  1. EPDM vs Asphalt Shingles:
    1. EPDM: a single ply rubber roofing material known for durability and resistance to UV rays, common for flat roofs.
    2. Asphalt Shingles: widely used for more sloped roofs. They are cost effective but have a shorter lifespan than EPDM. They may need more maintenance, more often and are less suitable for flat roofs.
  2. EPDM vs Metal Roofing:
    1. EPDM: flexible and well suited for flat roofs. Durable, energy efficient and resistance to weathering.
    2. Metal Roofing: versatile and can be used on sloped or steep roofs. Also highly durable and resistant to fire, reflecting heat well too. It can be a noisier option especially in rain or hailstorms.
  3. EPDM vs PVC Roofing:
    1. EPDM: highly resistant to weathering and UV radiation. Synthetic rubber material making it a flexible and durable option.
    2. PVC: also a singly ply membrane roofing option that offers great UV resistance. It is known for having heat welded seams and high energy efficiency.
  4. EPDM vs TPO Roofing:
    1. EPDM: EPDM is a synthetic rubber material with strong longevity and resistance to UV rays. Less reflective than TPO, however it is still energy efficient.
    2. TPO: TPO roofing is also a single ply membrane, it is thermoplastic. TPO is known for energy efficiency and its white reflective surface. Often used for mainly commercial and industrial properties.

Common Problems and Solutions with EPDM Roofing

EPDM rubber roofing does have many advantages but like any roofing materials you can encounter issues over time. Here are some common problems you may face with an EPDM rubber roof and the solutions for these problems:

Leaking Seams:

PROBLEM: Over time the seams between your EPDM sheets can develop leaks due to ageing or poor installation or prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions.

SOLUTION: Inspecting the seams regularly and reseal them with the appropriate materials. Most EPDM rubber roofing installations come with a guarantee. In this case and you do get a leak on your EPDM rubber roof, you can call the installation company and they will come and repair the problem free of charge under the guarantee. Here at Evesham Trade Centre [GM Roofing] we offer a 20 year warranty guarantee on our EPDM rubber roofing installations.

Punctures and Tears: 

PROBLEM: Sharp objects, heavy debris or increased foot traffic on your EPDM rubber roof can cause punctures or tears in the membrane which can lead to leaks.

SOLUTION: Patch or repair punctures and or tears with an EPDM repair kit or contact your installers for warranty/ guarantee protections.

Neglected Drainage Issues:

PROBLEM: Poor drainage on a flat roof can lead to pooling water which can accelerate wear and tear on your EPDM membrane.

SOLUTION: Ensuring proper drainage by keeping gutters, downspouts and guttering clean, clear and free of any debris. This can improve the drainage and reduce pooling. You can also do a drainage redesign if you need to, to prevent more pooling and damage to your membrane.

Neglected Maintenance:

PROBLEM: Neglecting routine inspections and maintenance can lead to more significant issues over time.

SOLUTION: Schedule regular maintenance inspections to identify if there are any problems or weak spots in your roofing membrane early and fix the issue before it becomes a problem. Cleaning the roof’s surface and removing debris can also help to ensure the roof’s promoted longevity.

Longevity of EPDM Roofs

The longevity of EPDM rubber roofing is highly promoted and one of the main benefits of this roofing material. However the longevity of EPDM rubber roofing can vary depending on different factors such as climates, the quality of its installation as well as maintenance and upkeep. In general EPDM is known for being able to last for several decades.

Some estimates of longevity are:

20-30 years: EPDM rubber roofs typically have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Although many EPDM roofs can last longer with proper maintenance, upkeep and care.

Up to 50 years + : Some very well maintained EPDM rubber roofs have been known to last up to 50 years and in some cases last more than 50 years!

The longevity and lifespan of your EPDM rubber roof can be influenced by various different factors, these include:

  • Climate: EPDM is highly resistant to UV radiation, however extreme heat and prolonged exposure to high intensity sunlight can affect its lifespan. In areas with harsh sunlight you may see a slightly reduced longevity.
  • Installation Quality: proper installation is crucial for the improved lifespan and longevity of your EPDM rubber flat roof. If it is not installed correctly, some issues might arise that can shorten the lifespan of your roof. 
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including cleaning and inspections, is essential to ensure your EPDM roof performs properly and optimally. If you neglect your roof, problems can occur and shorten the lifespan of your EPDM flat roof.
  • Coatings: Applying EPDM compatible coatings such as UV resistant coatings, these can enhance the longevity of the roof by protecting it from weathering.
  • Environmental Conditions: Regions with extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snow, frequent hail and severe storms may impact the roofs longevity.

Why Trust ETC for Your EPDM Roofing Needs?

Why should you trust us here at Evesham Trade Centre [GM Roofing] to install your EPDM rubber flat roof? There are many reasons and benefits for choosing us to install your EPDM rubber flat roof. For your ease here are our highlights:

  1. Expertise and Knowledge. Here at ETC [GM] we have over 25+ years of experience in the roofing industry with extensive experience and knowledge in EPDm rubber flat roofing. All of our staff are highly trained and highly skilled in fitting and installing roofing systems.
  2. Proven Track Record. There are many customer testimonials and recommendations from installations we have completed. One of our happy customers described us as “The Rolls Royce of roofing companies!” with others complementing our work saying “The quality of this work was completed to a high standard and which we are happy with.”
  3. Skilled Workforce. As mentioned our staff and roofing fitters are highly skilled and specifically trained in roofing specialising in certain areas, one of which being EPDM rubber flat roofs. Our professional fitters have been in the industry for many years and hold their work to the expected high standards we have.
  4. Customer Focused Approach. Our staff in the office and our fitters are focused on providing you with the best customer service and the best customer experience possible. Our friendly customer care team will keep in touch and provide you with updates and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
  5. Warranty and Guarantees. Here at ETC [GM] we provide a 20 year guarantee on all of our EPDM rubber flat roofs. If any problem occurs with your flat roof at this time, for example a tear or a leak, we will come out to your property and fix the issue with no problems. 


So to round out our article here about EPDM rubber flat roofs. Its durability, longevity and weather resistance are perfect reasons to choose EPDM. Choosing an EPDM rubber roof is like investing in peace of mind, knowing that your property is protected for decades to come.

But why just stop there at your decision to get an EPDM flat roof? If you’re looking for a high quality & hassle free installation there’s no competition right? Choose us. Our 25+ years of experience in roofing, unwavering commitment to high quality standards of installation and our star customer care team committing to provide you with the perfect experience. 

Don’t settle for less, upgrade your property and rely on your new EPDM rubber flat roof for years to come. Call us today on 01386 800600 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange your free survey and quote today.


Why would I choose EPDM rubber roofing as opposed to felt roofing?

EPDM rubber roofing is the obvious alternative to traditional felt, bitumen or asphalt for installing on flat roofs and extensions. Whilst felt, bitumen and asphalt were previously the go to choice, using rubber for your flat roof needs brings with it many benefits. Benefits that include it being easy to install, environmentally friendly and offering superior resilience, longevity, strength and good looks.EPDM roofing is perfect for residential / commercial projects due to its durability. Its efficiency in regards to other roofing systems means that the heightened initial cost is justified, due to other systems requiring continual upkeep and maintenance.

Is EPDM rubber roofing worth the additional cost?

Firestone RubberCover EPDM requires little or no maintenance. This feature combined with the inherent durability and competitive installed cost result in a very low life-cycle cost. A 20 year guarantee provides peace of mind and no unexpected costs. Another large advantage of rubber is that if the roof ever does have a leak, repairs are fast, easy and extremely inexpensive.

Why is EPDM rubber the best product for my flat roof?

GM Roofing (GM Roofing is part of the Evesham Trade Home Improvements Supercentre group) only installs EPDM Rubber roofing for all flat roof installations. We firmly believe that EPDM rubber is the best product available.EPDM is Recyclable and incredibly environmentally friendly. EPDM roofs are compatible with green systems, meaning vegetation can be grown on top of them. Becoming more widely used, this is a great way that rubber roofs can be used to further help the environmentEPDM roofing is one of the most efficient roofing products on the market today. EPDM is extremely weather and fire resistant.EPDM Roofing is Flexible, but also durable Unlike traditional rubber, the Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) is incredibly resilient. At GM Roofing, our experienced installations team have been installing EPDM rubber roofs for over 15 years.

What guarantee do GM Roofing provide for EPDM rubber roofing?

GM Roofing provides all customers with a comprehensive 20 year guarantee which covers all work completed. Should you encounter any quality issues, general concerns or you would simply like to discuss your installation with someone, our friendly customer care team are always available to help and advise, even when the guarantee has expired. EPDM roofs can offer long-term coverage of 50 years or more with proper maintenance. Once installed, a fully adhered EPDM roofing system is highly flexible and remarkably versatile in its uses.

Can the rubber roofing be installed in one piece?

Yes, because we supply EPDM rubber roofing to the trade, we are able to stock large quantities and sizes of rubber. GM Roofing will install your EPDM Rubber roof as one piece, avoiding any seams or joins which could encourage water leaks.

What is the life expectancy of EPDM rubber roofing membranes?

EPDM rubber roofing membranes boast an impressive life expectancy, often exceeding 50 years with proper maintenance. Their resilience to weather, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations contributes to their longevity, making them an ideal solution for a lasting roofing system.

Are flat roofing kits available for EPDM rubber roofing?

Absolutely, flat roofing kits are available for those looking to install EPDM rubber roofing. These kits come complete with all necessary components, including the rubber membrane, adhesive, and detailed instructions, simplifying the installation process for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

How does the rubber membrane of EPDM compare to other roofing materials?

The rubber membrane in EPDM roofing systems is superior in terms of durability and weather resistance. It stands out as an eco-friendly option that can adapt to various architectural styles, offering a versatile solution for both new installations and replacements.

Why is EPDM rubber roofing considered an ideal solution for both residential and commercial buildings?

EPDM rubber roofing is an ideal solution for a wide range of properties due to its versatility, long life expectancy, low maintenance requirements, and exceptional durability. It's an investment in your property's protection against diverse weather conditions.

What warranties are provided with EPDM rubber roofing installations?

Most professional installations of EPDM rubber roofing come with a warranty, typically offering up to 20 years of coverage. This warranty assures property owners of the quality and reliability of their roofing system.

Discover the Advantages of EPDM Rubber Roofing

Considering an upgrade from traditional roofing materials? Explore the Cutting-Edge EPDM Rubber Roof Solutions on our dedicated page. EPDM stands out with its unmatched durability, eco-friendliness, and minimal maintenance requirements, making it a smart investment for your flat roof. Our comprehensive 20-year guarantee reflects our confidence in EPDM's performance and your satisfaction. Dive deeper into how EPDM can enhance the efficiency and aesthetics of your roofing project.