The Truth About EPDM Rubber Roofs As Shared By ROOF TIME LLC
* EPDM Rubber: What it is and why it lasts so long.
Proper Care: What manufacturers actually recommend
* How to keep your EPDM rubber roof clean & looking like new.
EPDM is one of the most versatile and long lasting materials ever
manufactured for outdoor exposure. Most industry experts
consider EPDM rubber roofing membrane the most dependable,
most cost effective and easiest to maintain roofing material there is.
At ROOF TIME LLC we love to use the EPDM roofs for flat roofing
applications becasue of Cincinnati's extreme winters.
EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer.
Engineering specifications describe EPDM as, "Ideal for outdoor
because of its excellent resistance to ultra-violet light, ozone,
oxidants and severe weather conditions."
EPDM rubber roofing membrane is made to last 20 years or longer and
has a 10 to 12 year guarantee depending on the brand. The guarantee
does not require the use of any protective 'roof treatment' or 'roof
protector' product and recommends only cleaning. Unlike natural rubber
(latex) or blends (tires & wiper blades), EPDM does not require
periodic applications of any product to protect it from ultra-violet
light or ozone. The statement or implication that you should purchase
and apply a product to "protect" your rubber roof from the elements is
misinformation. Buying and using such a product can be a mistake and
may even damage the EPDM membrane. Roof Time LLC forbids our repair
crews from ever using "tar" as a repair option on rubber roofs.
Petroleum distillates (black tar) are incompatible with and should
never be used on EPDM.
Engineering specifications rate EPDM's solvent and oil resistance as
Dicor's Care and Maintenance instructions warn:
"CAUTION: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing
petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives or citric based cleaners. You may
cause irreparable damage to your roof." Laboratory tests conducted in
July of 1996 evaluated the effect of a
leading "roof treatment" product on EPDM roofing membrane using
standard sunlamp and immersion testing procedures. The "roof
treatment", which contained petroleum distillates, caused a 63% mass
change (swelling). In the summary/recommendations portion
of the lab test the scientists stated they would recommend the "roof
treatment" and more tellingly noted, "Per the MSDS, this product
contains petroleum distillates, a substance that is known to be
INCOMPATIBLE with EPDM sheeting".
And don't be fooled by names such as "organic solvent","hydrocarbon
carrier", etc. Petroleum distillates by any other name should NEVER be
applied to EPDM. If you aren't sure about a
product, contact the manufacturer and have them send you a copy of the
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Look under the section entitled
"HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS". If it lists any petroleum distillates, do not
use it on EPDM.