Commercial Roofing EPDM Rubber Roof

     For many years, rubber roofing was only used as a waterproof lining on top of metal roofs, but now it is also seen covering entire commercial buildings. These rubber roofing systems can be made from EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) or NR (natural rubber). Both of these are synthetic elastomers consisting mainly of polymerized butadiene, which means that they contain carbon atoms. The difference between the two types is in their chemical structure and some properties. The main advantage of commercial roofing rubber tiles and sheets is their great resistance to extreme weather conditions. They are suitable for temperatures ranging from -40 °C (-40 °F) to over 100 °C (212 °F), making them the most versatile type of commercial roofing system available today.
A unique feature in all kinds of rubber roofs is that the membrane can be fixed directly onto steel, aluminum or concrete slabs, without the need for a substrate layer. The rubber roofing membranes are based on synthetic polymers; most commonly EPDM and NR. The main function of these elastomeric coatings is to protect the underlying structure from water penetration. They do this by forming a waterproof barrier, acting as an elastic seal, which does not allow water or air through — even if the coating cracks.
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     Rubber roofs have proven themselves in many parts of the world where conventional roofs can't be used due to extreme weather conditions: in harsh winters and hot summers with high rainfall and humidity levels. It should be noted that while rubber roofs perform well under constant exposure to rain and sunshine, they are more vulnerable to rapid temperature changes than other commercial roofing types.

  Are rubber EPDM roofs heat resistant? 

     The heat resistant properties of rubber roofs make them a great choice for countries with intense sunlight and dry, hot winds. The sun heats up the rubber surface so that it can withstand temperatures as high as 100 °C (212 °F). This is especially beneficial in areas where there is little or no shade to offer protection from the sun's strong rays. By fixing a rubber sheet onto cold steel or aluminum corrugated sheets, their thermal expansion properties protect against cracks appearing in the metal sheets during temperature changes. These cracks are usually caused by condensation forming on cold metal surfaces when it gets warm– something that would not happen with an EPDM rubber material covering it. In wintertime, snow does stick to rubber roof surfaces, but when it melts, rain water can easily be dispersed by the elastic membrane as it flows down the smooth surface. This natural process avoids damage to underground pipes and drainage systems beneath the commercial roof.

     Other properties of rubber roofs that make them suitable for use in commercial buildings are its resistance to UV radiation and ozone degradation. Rubber roofing is also fire-resistant since heat deforms rather than burning it up. It also doesn't turn brittle from cold weather like most other plastic materials do, making it a strong construction material for roofs that have to withstand any kind of severe weather or temperature changes — even over long time periods.

 What is EPDM roofing material? 

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     EPDM is a copolymer of ethylene and propylene, while natural rubber contains sulfur in its molecular structure. While EPDM rubber roofing sheets resist more extreme temperatures than NR and have stronger physical properties, NR has better resistance to weathering UV radiation, ozone degradation and cracking. Like most materials used as commercial roofing systems today, both EPDM and NR are synthetic products made from petroleum-based chemicals through an intensive production process involving severe weathering.
     EPDM membranes are available in both black and white colors, each of which offers certain properties: the black EPDM rubber sheet has better elasticity than the white variety. Black color also insulates against heat fluctuations while weakening its resistance to cold temperatures; it does however have greater flexibility at low temperatures (up to -40 °C). This functionality is favored for use in regions with extreme weather conditions and where snow buildup on roofs is a problem. The white rubber membrane, on the other hand, offers higher heat resistance and retains it at higher temperatures (-20 °C/-4 °F) while being less flexible than the black version. EPDMs can be produced to resist yellowing effects caused by exposure to UV radiation.

     Since rubber roofs can last for up to 50 years or more, they are an excellent choice of commercial roofing maintenance material when it comes to maintenance time and costs. With a well-maintained EPDM rubber material covering it, the owner/manager of the building with this type of low slope commercial roof is guaranteed that no leaks will appear in its structure during heavy rainstorms or high winds. Although EPDM rubber sheets do require regular maintenance and inspection (at least once every two years) some repair works can be done without taking off the cover from the entire surface — which saves owners both time and money. For instance, if minor cracks appear on your commercial roof's surface due to one side becoming heavier than the other, the rubber sheet can simply be cut along those cracks and then glued back together for easy sealing.

 Is EPDM rubber roofing fire-resistant? 

     EPDM rubber roofing material is fire-resistant and nonflammable; it doesn't produce toxic gases or fumes when burned and won't melt even if exposed to high temperatures — which means you don't have to worry about your building burning down should such a scenario occur. But if there are any faulty joints in the system due to wear and tear that allow water to leak into the building's structure, all this would add up to damage caused by mold infestation . This could easily lead to further losses both financially as well as reputationally for building owners since these fungi thrive on stale air, often resulting in asthma attacks in children and adults alike — who are sensitive to mold spores.

     EPDM rubber roofing membrane is a very environmentally conscious choice of commercial building roofing material, especially when considering that most petroleum-based products/materials need at least 40 years for complete degradation in soil; while EPDMs will degrade within just 16–20 years and cause less pollution in the process overall. Another advantage of choosing rubber as a commercial construction material over conventional materials is its resistance to termites; it does not provide them with food sources or shelters, making such low slope structures more durable than those made from wood, metal or fiber cement found in someone's home. If you do however have an existing structure made out of timber that needs to be protected against insects, you can consider putting an EPDM rubber cover over it as an additional precaution.

     When choosing commercial roofing materials for your structure, consider going with the highest quality products that will not only ensure your building's durability but also its insulation and energy efficiency — you can get all these benefits from EPDM rubber roofing membrane!

      The major manufacturers of rubber roofs include ATSKO, Duroline (A Shaw Co.) , Elastotec (Tarkett), Mastic, PBI/Polyguard (FlexShield) and others.

 Are there disadvantages of black EPDM commercial roofing material? 

     The disadvantages of black EPDM single-ply roofs are clearly seen when exposed to extreme temperatures such as those found in Texas and other states in the Southeast of the US — where temperatures can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks at a time during the summer months. Additionally, many roofing experts believe that these rubber roofs are not suited as well to valley flashing installations due to their lack of flexibility and tendency to crack under extreme temperatures (especially when exposed directly to sunlight). Many times this results in ponding water problems. Click here for more information on Commercial Roofing Fully Adhered Polymeric Underlayment.