What Is EPDM Roofing?

When it comes to roofing solutions, there are too many out there to name. Of course, many of them are virtually indistinguishable from the next. Unfortunately, roofing isn’t something you can choose based on hype or “good enough.” Aside from the leaks you’ll eventually endure, bad roofing could cause a fortune in property damage. For this reason, more and more people are turning to EPDM roofing for their homes and commercial buildings.

EPDM Roofing

EPDM roofing solutions involve synthetic rubber membranes that are extremely durable, yet thin. Despite their strength, EPDM is also quite lightweight (about 1/3 pound per sq ft), which is one of many reasons people pick it for their roofing needs. Just about any building is structurally sound enough for a layer of EPDM roofing to go over the top.

The material is made primarily from propylene and ethylene, which come from natural gas and oil. For the most part, you can choose from either black or white. EPDM comes in a wide range of widths though, the widest being about 50 feet. However, there are just two thicknesses to choose from: 45 and 60 mils.

Seamless Installation

An EPDM roofing system is usually applied via roller. This plastic material is rolled out and then connected to the roof of the building one of a few ways. It can be ballasted, mechanically attached, or fully adhered.

When installed, EPDM isn’t actually seamless, but it might as well be. That’s because the seams are then smoothed over with specially formulated tape or liquid adhesives.

In either case, this roofing application beats out many competitors where you have to ensure a liquid solution is spread out evenly over the entire roof. The membranes used in EPDM roofing solutions virtually guarantee nothing will get through. Plus, the sheets generally overlap one another, so even if a seam was left unattended, it would still form a reliable seal.

Many installers actually use heat to virtually weld one swath of roofing to another. The heat literally creates a chemical bond that is nearly impossible to break. Wind, rain and snow certainly won’t be able to.

Lastly, because of the way EPDM is applied, most equipment that has been installed on the roof or other protrusions can simply stay put. This saves on time and labor costs.


If the installation description above didn’t sell you on the benefits of EPDM roofing solutions, consider that most warranties will cover up to 20 years. That’s despite the fact that you’ll save with EPDRM roofing when compared to other popular options out there.

Plus, even if the unthinkable happens and your roof gets damaged, repairs couldn’t be easier. You can simply add a new patch and your EPDM roofing system is as good as new.

Simply put, there is no roofing system that can compare to EPDM in terms of simplicity. It’s easy to install, low on maintenance, and simple to fix, should that ever become necessary. In spite of all these benefits, though, EPDRM roofing is incredibly affordable, especially when you consider the warranties most come with.

What to Do If You Have Roof Leaks

The first step is not to panic. Roof leaks are very natural, and they’re bound to happen at some point – no matter how many precautions you’ve taken to ensure the longevity of your roofing system. The next step is to make an assessment of the situation.

If the leaking is severe and coming in through multiple places, this problem is likely already out of your hands – unless you’re already a gifted roofer. Multiple leaks are a sign that something is seriously wrong not only with the roof, but also with the structure underneath that roof. If this is the case, then it’s best that you get in touch with a licensed roofing contractor right away. Even though you might be scared of the expenditure, believe that things are only going to get worse and more expensive the more you delay.

It’s a Roof Leak, Not Multiple Roof Leaks

If this is the case, then perhaps you might be able to take care of this problem yourself. That being said, you might have noticed that no two roofs are alike, so it will be impossible to give you specific advice for fixing your roof leaks. However, we can still provide you with some general guidelines, which you should be able to use to determine for yourself how to best tackle the situation.

Step 1: Find the Source of the Leak

Finding the source of your roof leaks is going to be a tricky task. Because almost all roofs are angled in some fashion, the place where the water appears to be entering from within the building will not necessarily correspond to the place where it’s actually entering the building from without. But, if you get up on your ladder and take a look, it might be readily obvious where some trouble spots are. Maybe there’s a missing shingle? Perhaps you’ve noticed a perforation in your EPDM roofing? If the site of the leak doesn’t seem obvious, you can use a hose to spray small amounts of water on different parts of the roof and see if that helps locate the source of the leak.

Step 2: Fix the Roof Leak

Once you’ve located the source of the roof leak, it will be time to make repairs. The roof leak repair that you’ll need to make, though, will depend entirely on the kind of roofing system that you have in place, and the way in which it’s damaged. If you’re missing a shingle, then you’ll need to get a replacement. If you have a hole in your EPDM roofing system, then you’ll need to apply a coat of liquid roof to the damaged area.

If you’re unsure of the materials that you’ll need, you can always talk to the folks at the hardware store. They should be able to make recommendations. If, though, things seem more complicated then you originally gave them credit for, you can always reach out to a licensed roofer. Fixing roof leaks is, after all, what they’re good at!

5 Must Know Tips for Successful RV Roof Repair Project

RV roofs are lightweight, durable and resistant to the elements, but that doesn’t mean they’re impenetrable. It actually takes surprisingly little to damage your RV’s roof. Strong winds might blow a branch down, punching through the roof and creating a serious leak. Over time, mold and mildew might compromise your roof’s integrity as well. RV roof repair can be tricky, particularly if you’re doing it yourself, but there are several tips that can make the process easier.

RV and Motor Home Roof Leaks

RV and Motor Home Roof Repair Project

RV Roof Tip-1 : Find the Leak First

Your leak might be obvious. That branch sticking out the top of your RV? That’s the most likely culprit. However, it’s also possible that the source of the leak isn’t that obvious. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get up on top of the RV to inspect things. If your RV is older, chances are it has a metal roof. However, if it’s a newer model (manufactured within the last 10 years or so), it probably has an EPDM (rubber) roof. Don’t walk on metal roofs without first putting down supports – plywood slats work. EDPM roofs can be walked on with care.

RV Roof Tip-2 : Find the Defect

There’s a difference between RV leaks repair and just sealing leak temporarily. If there’s a defect causing the leak, such as a puncture, you’ll need to make an actual repair to the underlying structure of the roof. If the rubber coating over the roof is damaged, you can use RV rubber roof repair to seal it. If there’s a defect or damage, repair it first, then seal the damaged area with RV roof repair rubber.

RV Roof Tip-3 : Small Leaks

If you notice a very small water leak from your RV’s roof, you can handle it without too much trouble. These leaks generally involve nothing more than a minor problem with the rubber roof or one of the seals. In these instances, a couple of coats of RV rubber roof repair sealant will be all that’s necessary. However, before you do anything, make sure the leak really is minor.

RV Roof Tip-4 : A Note on Bubbling

It’s normal to see some bubbling on your RV’s roof. However, that doesn’t mean these are defects or flaws. Rather than trying to cut out the bubble, just repair the leak. Bubbles will usually go away on their own over time. In fact, it’s somewhat normal to see bubbles form in the rubber leak repair material itself. These will shrink and disappear shortly.

RV Roof Tip-5 : Buy the Right Products

As a final note, you should make sure you’re actually buying products made for RV roof repair. There are products designed for residential and commercial use that are similar, but you need to make sure that you’re purchasing rubber roof repair material designed for use with RVs. RVs uses EPDM roofing material, and it takes the right type of material to repair leaks here.

RV roof repair doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. A handy owner can usually tackle basic RV roof repair needs on their own. However, know when a problem is too big for you, and get professional help.

For complete training and guide see RV Roof Repair Training Video.

What Is an EPDM Roofing System?

You’ll find an incredible number of roofing systems out there today, from conventional shingles to tile, slate and more. One that you might not be aware of is EPDM roofing. It’s primarily designed for commercial and industrial use, but it’s beginning to see use in numerous other areas, including RVs and travel trailers, flat residential roofing and other low-slope roofing applications. What is EPDM and why should you know about it?

What’s EPDM All About?

EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer – rubber, in other words. However, this isn’t the same rubber found in car tires or toy balls. This rubber is specially designed and engineered for several characteristics, including:

  • The ability to maintain elasticity over time, even with exposure to high heat and UV rays
  • The ability to withstand moisture, even in ponding situations, such as those found on commercial and industrial roofs
  • The ability to be easily installed and sealed

EPDM comes in long sheets, and each sheet must be sealed to the one beside it. This is done with a rubber roofing sealant. The same sealant can be used to make spot repairs to the EPDM material if it’s punctured or develops a leak.

Not Just Commercial Applications

While EPDM roofing has been heavily used in commercial and industrial applications, it’s also being adopted by the residential housing industry. There are several products on the market that can be used with residential homes and they are particularly beneficial for flat and very low slope roofs, such as carports and other areas where there is little to no roof pitch. This includes dormers, home extensions, garages, garden sheds and other outbuildings, and a great many others.

RVs and Travel Trailers

An EPDM roofing system is very lightweight, but very resistant to weathering, which makes it an ideal solution for use in RV and travel trailer manufacture. If you have purchased an RV or trailer in the past decade or so, chances are good that it has an EPDM roof, rather than a metal roof. In fact, most RVs stopped using metal roofs a long time ago because of the problems inherent with rust and corrosion. Because EPDM can be easily repaired and replaced, EPDM roofing solutions offer more affordable maintenance and greater longevity for RVs and travel trailers.

Repairing EPDM Roofing

As mentioned, one of the reasons that EPDM roofing has been so heavily adopted is its ease of repair. Unlike conventional roofing systems, EPDM roofing solutions can be repaired with liquid rubber in most instances. Even serious damage only requires installing new rubber roofing in most instances. However, because of its resistance to weathering, it lasts much longer than other roofing systems on the market.

EPDM roofing systems are strong, durable and affordable, providing commercial, industrial and residential buildings with quality roofing that stands the test of time. If your home or business is in need of new roofing, contact a reputable roofing company that specializes in EPDM roofing installation.

Are EPDM Roofing Solutions Right for Your Home?

Home roofing systems have evolved considerably in recent years, with newer shingle systems offering 25 years of life. Metal roofs can offer up to 50 years of life. However, none of these is foolproof, and they’re also subject to leaks. Metal roofs can rust, and shingle roofs can be easily damaged by high winds. Metal dents when impacted by hail. Is there another option? Actually, EPDM roofing might be the best option for your home. What should you know?

How Does EPDM Differ from Conventional Roofing?

There are several important differences between EPDM and conventional roofing. First, it’s a rubber material that must be installed directly to the roofing substrate. It’s not made of metal, and there are no shingles. It’s made of various sheets of specially designed rubber, adhered to one another using liquid rubber. It’s highly resistant to all types of weathering, and is specially designed to maintain its elasticity even when exposed to high heat and UV rays for year after year.

EPDM has been widely adopted throughout the construction industry, but sees more use in commercial and industrial applications than in residential construction. With that being said, new technologies are enabling it to be used in many different areas of home construction, particularly in covering carports, garages, outbuildings and the like. It’s especially effective for use on flat roofs, because of its waterproof properties.

Interestingly, most roofing materials aren’t waterproof. They only need to be water resistant. In a conventional home design, the roof is sloped so that water runs down and off. In these situations, water resistance is all that’s needed. Shingles (or whatever other roofing might be in place) must only resist the water until it stops raining and the roof dries. However, in a flat roof, that can take a long time. What’s more, low spots in the roof will collect water, called ponding. These areas keep the roofing submerged for long periods, creating the ideal situations for a leak to form. Once a leak starts, the substrate is weakened and there’s a greater chance for further leaking and damage.

With EPDM roofing solutions, ponding is not a problem. The roofing material is completely waterproof, so standing water cannot penetrate into the substrate no matter how long it stays in place. For homeowners with flat roofs, this is a significant advance.

Repairing EPDM Roofing

EPDM roofing systems are subject to damage, just as any other roofing material would be. However, it’s better at resisting some – high winds, for instance – which reduces some potential for repairs. In instances where damage is unavoidable (a falling tree limb is a good example), repairing EPDM roofing is very simple. Once any damage to the substrate has been repaired, a couple of coats of liquid rubber will seal the roof again and protect it like new.

EPDM roofing systems offer significant advantages to homeowners. However, they must be installed by licensed contractors – this is not a DIY project. Contact a reputable roofer to have your home inspected to determine if EPDM is the right material for you.