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Waterproofing Explained: What is EPDM?

What does EPDM stand for?

What does EPDM stand for?


EPDM is a acronym for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer.

EPDM is an M-Class rubber where the 'M' in M-Class refers to its classification in ASTM standard D-1418; the M class comprises elastomers having a saturated chain of the polyethylene type (the M deriving from the more correct term polymethylene). EPDM is made from ethylene, propylene and a diene comonomer that enables crosslinking via sulphur vulcanisation systems.

EPDM is used for many things but one of the biggest applications is waterproofing for flat roofs. There are many benefits to using EPDM for your flat roof which will move on to in the next part of this article. It's also worth noting that pretty much all types of Skylights designed for Flat Roofs will work with EPDM Roofing material.
What is EPDM Roofing?

What is EPDM Roofing?

Like Felt, Asphalt, GRP; EPDM is another type of waterproofing used for flat roofing applications. But what makes EPDM a good choice for your new roof? Well, there are actually a whole lot of reasons why you might want to choose EPDM over other types of waterproofings.

EPDM Roofing material is usually supplied in continuous sheets, which is usually between 0.4 to 1.5mm thick, depending on the manufacturer and option you go for.

Manufacturers like Firestone for example (Yes, the same industry leader who manufacture the tyres on your car!) are able to supply seamless sheets up to 6 meters in width! That means no joins or seams that could fail. Roof area of 10 x 6m? You can cover that in a single sheet!

EPDM is a 100% cured single-ply roofing membrane, meaning it is extremely waterproof and very durable to the elements. EPDM offers resistance to the ozone, UV radiation and high or low temperatures. Most manufacturers claim a life expectancy of up to 50 years.

EPDM is usually installed in one of two ways: Either with an adhesive like contact adhesive and a PVA waterbased adhesisve, or, with a fleeceback system where the backing acts as a cushioning layer designed for use over minor imperfections, splits or ridges that may have formed in the existing roof system. And because EPDM is installed without heat, there is no flame on site unlike that of a felt system.

Did we mention that EPDM systems are relatively easy to install yourself? Thousands of DIYers have succesfully installed EPDM Roofs, so you don't always need to pay the costs of a Roofer (But we advise it unless you are familiar with EPDM)

EPDM membrane can also elongate over 300% to accommodate building movements.

EPDM also requires little to no maintenance, making the whole system very low cost for its life-cycle.

EPDM systems also come with a range of flashing's and tapes, ideal for flashing Skylights for flat roofs and making sure you get a watertight installation.

So, to recap on why EPDM Roofing is a great choice for your flat roof:

  • Easy installation

  • Superior durability

  • Seamless sheets in 1 piece

  • Flame-free and easy installation

  • Very low life-cycle cost

  • High flexibility and elongation

  • Environmentally friendly


  • Permaroof Edge TrimPermaroof Gutter TrimEPDM Trims

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