If your home has a flat roof, you don’t have as many roofing options to choose from. Flat roofs are affordable, look unique, and offer extra space. However, without the right roofing material, water damage can become a huge problem. Many homeowners with flat roofs prefer EPDM roofing. If you aren’t sure if it’s the right choice for your home, check out these facts.
EPDM Is Rubber
EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, which is a long term that describes a type of rubber. While rubber may not sound like the best roofing material, it is actually quite useful. One of the biggest advantages to EPDM being rubber is that it expands and contracts well.
In the hot summer months, your roof (and other parts of your home like windows and doors) expand from the heat. During the colder months, the materials contract. If the material doesn’t have much elasticity, damage may appear as the expanding and contracting wears down the roof. Rubber, however, can expand and contract far, so your roof doesn’t develop leaks or other problems as quickly.
When choosing your EPDM roof, you’ll need to consider the width. Some EPDM roofs have a width of 7.5 feet, but others may be fifty feet wide. Similarly, consider the thickness of the material. Your roofer will help you determine which is best for your roof.
Flat roofs are usually always less expensive than sloped roofs. Not only is this because the materials are often cheaper, but because there is less space to cover. The slope may make your roof look nice, but it also increases the total area of the roof.
EPDM roofs, however, are even more affordable at about $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot for the materials and installation. The thicker the membrane, the higher the cost. To compare, modified bitumen, which is another common flat-roof material, costs about $5 per square foot (materials and installation). Metal is another option for flat roofs, but expect to pay closer to $15 per square foot.
Also, because the roof expands and contracts well, you won’t have to pay for minor maintenance as often, such as fixing holes or gaps from ove-rexpansion.If you choose a white membrane, you may even save money on energy bills because more sunlight will be reflected away from your
home. In colder climates, a black roof can absorb heat.
It’s Long Lasting
Finally, if you want a roof that will last a long time, EPDM may be a perfect choice. No roof lasts forever, but an EPDM roof can last about 20 years, which is comparable to many other roofing materials. Asphalt shingles also last about 20 years. Of course, there are some roofing materials that can last much longer, but they aren’t good for flat roofs.
For your roof to last as long as possible, you will need to maintain it, but maintaining an EPDM roof is a breeze. They resist water extremely well, but you should make sure your drainage system is always working. Similarly, if you spot holes or gaps in the roof, repair them, so water doesn’t penetrate the underlying structure.
As with all roofs, you’ll need to keep it free from debris, and flat roofs may require more work to keep them clean. With a sloped roof, much of the debris falls off, but on a flat roof, the debris stays or clogs your drainage system.
A rubber roof is a great way to protect your home if you have a flat roof. Regardless of what you choose, however, you will need to maintain the roof and drainage system to prevent problems. If you would like to know more about installing or maintaining an EPDM or flat roof, contact us at Landmark Roofing today.