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Are EPDM roofing membranes a durable choice?

You may wonder about EPDM rubber membranes and whether they actually are a durable roofing material and if it is worth considering them for your future roofing project. The answer is plain and simple: yes. Find out why below.


What is EPDM? And what are EPDM roofing membranes made of?

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer  and it is a type of vulcanized synthetic rubber that is widely used as sealing and waterproofing material in a number of industries. The use of EPDM in the construction industry as single-ply roofing membranes has been growing since their introduction in the 1960’s. The chemical composition of EPDM rubber, with a high proportion of carbon black and saturated carbon chains, and the fact that it is vulcanized, give EPDM roofing membranes excellent resistance to UV, heat, ozone, micro-organisms, and extreme weather conditions such as hail.


Tests conducted on Elevate’s RubberGard EPDM roofing membrane, as well as observations, carried out on other EPDM roofs exposed over several years to real weather conditions (rain, UV, ozone, heat, thermal variations, micro-organisms etc.) confirm EPDM’s outstanding longevity in roofing applications.

One such study was carried out in 2004 by the German Institute SKZ (Süddeutsche Kunststoff-Zentrum). They took 39 samples of EPDM membranes from roofs across Western Europe that had been installed 20 to 30 years before. During two years, these samples were subjected to artificial ageing tests at high temperatures in laboratory conditions. The study found that all sampled EPDM roofs were still in perfect operating condition and that they did not show any external signs of ageing such as fissures, cracks etc.

The study concluded that, under normal exposure in Western Europe, EPDM waterproofing membranes have a life expectancy of over 50 years.*


On top of their exceptional service life, Elevate EPDM roofing membranes can be easily repaired, even after decades of use. This further reduces their environmental impact and makes them even more durable, meaning their lifespan can be extended beyond 50 years.

In short, EPDM rubber roofing membranes such as RubberGard EPDM and RubberCover EPDM, represent a quality and solid investment thanks to their outstanding durability, allowing a more sustainable approach to building and delivering performance and peace of mind for contractors and building owners.

* “Evaluation of the useful life of EPDM roofing membranes”, SKZ (Süddeutsche Kunststoff-Zentrum).