Rubber Roofing Shingles -

EPDM, Truth About it And Frequently Asked Questions


EPDM, truth about it and frequently asked questions

EPDM is an elastomeric compound, which is made of ethylene, propylene, and a small amount of diene monomer. That combination of ingredients produces such product that can withstand weathering, extremely low temperatures and abrasion; it also resists to acids and alkalis. What ismore, these materials are one of the most flexible and enduring. It is considered to be the easiest to maintain roofing material and effective in all climates. One of its unique characteristics is the ability to be easily repaired as well as restored unparalleled in the roofing industry. Such material can be used in various installations like pond liners, tunnels, foundations, terraces, garden roofs, and RV roofs.



Still a lot of misinformation about the EPDM exists. We would like to tell the truth about it.

There is a myth, that to protect your rubber roof you have to imply a special product on it. But it is completely untrue; the rubber roof is made to last for more than 20 years. It is not required to use any roof protection products on it. Unlike natural rubber it does not need protection from ozone or ultra-violate light, it is only recommended to be cleaned. The application of such products can only cause damage of the membrane.


But there is one strict precaution: you should never use cleaners which content petroleum solvents, that are citric based or have harsh abrasives. In 1996 laboratory tests were held, they proved the pernicious effect of the products, which contain petroleum distillates, on the sheeting. The scientists used immersion testing procedures and standard sunlamps, which showed that petroleum distillates caused a 63% swelling.


In some cases petroleum distillates can be named «hydrocarbon based» or «organic solvent», but you should not be fooled by such terms. Any products which contain petroleum solvents can contact with the material. You should carefully study the composition of the cleaning products to prevent the damage.


This material is becoming more and more popular. In the United States it accounts for over 1 billion square feet of roofing annually, represents approximately 35% of the entire roofing market, and in Europe the market share is around 12% and it continues to grow. It is still difficult to predict percentages on the other markets, but growth is expected to accelerate in the Middle East and China as well.


Also this material is one of the most environmentally friendly among materials that are used today in the construct industry. Such products can be recycled into manufacturing of other products for roofing and elements, that is how it reduces the impact on landfills.


As for the warranty, different manufactures offer various propositions with normally warranties that vary from 5 to 20 years.


Frequently asked questions and true answers to them:

  • It is not necessary to protect the rubber roof against ultraviolet light.
  • To care about your roof all you need is periodic cleaning.
  • Even if the manufacturer tells you that there is a minimum percent of petroleum distillates in the roof treatment products, you should not listen to that. The percentage does not matter, no amounts of petroleum distillates are recommended.
  • If you still use such cleaning products, which contain petroleum distillates on your rubber roofs, that can void your warranty.
  • If you are going to buy a used RV with a rubber roof, and you want to know whether the previous owner damaged the roof by using petroleum distillates, you have two ways to know the truth. First - swellings and, second - loose areas.
  • It is not very difficult to repair tears in the roof membrane, you should just use some repair methods. Stick repair kits could be used on damaged areas.
  • If your roof seems to oxidize, no need to panic, the roof membrane is supposed to oxidize slowly over time. That is normal. To prevent the acceleration of the process, you should clean the roof at least four times a week.
  • If the rubber roofing is slightly wrapping over, you should clean the area and use products that repel soiling and that are safe for rubber roofs.


Environmentally friendly, long-lasting and easy in exploitation, EPDM is the perfect choice.