203 858 0080 naas@mac.com

EPDM Roofing Deterioration Stems from UV Exposure

An EPDM roofing problem on a residence in Greenwich, Connecticut stemmed from the prolonged exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays. We found that the single ply EPDM rubber was shredded in a tight corner, next to a chimney, causing the roof to leak.

Over time, the combination of direct sunlight, and the reflection from the chimney caused a concentration of extreme ultraviolet light exposure to that particular area of EPDM rubber. Even though this is an example in the extreme, we saw that the rest of the roof had been similarly affected, showing brittleness and shrinkage.

A costly ongoing roofing repair problem if the homeowner continues to use EPDM as a repair solution. We recommend replacing it with a two-ply Modified Bitumen Rubber Roof System that has embedded ceramic granules as protection against harmful UV rays.

Harmful UV Rays Deteriorate EPDM – Watch Video

EPDM Roofing Accounts for 1/3 of All Flat Roofs in the US

EPDM roofing accounts for 1/3 of all flat roofs installed in the US, despite inherent problems of the rubber since its inception in the 1960s. Most roofing contractors will install it, and architects will specify it in their designs because it is easy to install and is dependable for the first 8-10 years.

Professionals widely use EPDM roofing.  An EPDM roofing system has inherent problems. However, most professionals use estimates and tactical salesmanship to promote EPDM as an acceptable roofing solution, even when other roofing systems are more superior.

This doesn’t mean professionals are dishonest about the products they use. Instead, it is a roofing system that they are most familiar with since becoming the industry standard in the 1960s.

At Commercial Roof USA, we provide our clients with a 2 Ply Modified Bitumen Torch Down Roofing System that has built-in UV-ray protection, and a 40-year warranty on every installation.

EPDM Roofing Problems in Climatic Conditions

EPDM roofing problems in climatic conditions prove to cause the biggest reason for multiple repairs and eventually a roof’s replacement. These membranes come in different thicknesses of 45, 60, and 90 Mil., however, 45 Mil. has been used as the industry standard. It is the thinnest rubber of the three options and can succumb to the careless removal of snow and ice and the constant exposure to the sun. This can increase the likelihood that the wear and tear will compromise the membrane with leaks.

We, at Commercial Roof USA, recommend the installation of the 2 Ply Modified Bitumen Torch Down Roofing System as a roofing solution. This membrane is five times thicker than an EPDM membrane and has embedded ceramic granules that protect it from UV ray degradation.

EPDM Rubber is Vulnerable

EPDM rubber membranes are vulnerable to the effects of foot traffic. Because of work crews service rooftop units, for various reasons, protective mats are essential to protect the thin membrane from being punctured. However, the mats do not cover the work areas adequately. During services and repairs to units, screws, nails, and other sharp objects are unintentionally dropped and left behind. These objects are stepped on causing punctures to the thin membrane.

EPDM Roofing - This area of the roof was destroyed by harmful UV exposure.

 EPDM Roofing: Flashing Problems 

With the use of EPDM roofing adhesives, flashing problems occur where walls and roofs intersect. Over time, these adhesives degrade from prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays, because the heat that penetrates the thin membrane, causes premature separation from the flashing.

With the use of the Modified Bitumen Torch Down Rubber Roofing System, the thicker, two-ply membrane itself, is stabilized with embedded ceramic granules, which are used to prevent UV ray degradation, which protects the transition to the flashing.


EPDM Roofing Problems - This image shows many repair patches where adhesives have failed due to harmful UV rays.

 EPDM Roofing: Inadequate Seam Caulking

When you watch the next video, you will notice that there is a lap sealer (caulking bead) applied to all seams. This is part of the initial installation process of EPDM roofing. The lap sealant is needed, because the adhesives used to bond the seams, do not provide a water-tight seal. Over time, this thin bead of lap sealer dries up and peels away, causing leaks and compromising the integrity of the entire roof. It’s essential to replace the lap sealant every 4 -5 years to properly maintain a single ply EPDM roofing system.


Single Ply EPDM roofing has numerous problems. Once the membrane is compromised, it is subjected to multiple repairs and maintenance. A 2 Ply Modified Bitumen Torch Down Roofing System should be considered when evaluating a permanent solution to these problems.

When not to repair a EPDM Rubber Membrane

EPDM Rubber only Ten Years Old - Patches - Don't make this mistake. New Canaan CT
When an EPDM Rubber Roof Membrane is beyond repairs This article: Explain why it is not wise to repair an EPDM Rubber Membrane that was installed before 2015. See the ...
Read More

Rubber Roofs – Comparing EPDM with Torch Down -Video

Rubber Roofs -Comparing EPDM and Torch Down Rubber Membranes Video
Rubber Roofs - Modified Bitumen vs EPDM Rubber This Article: Comparing Rubber Roofs "Modified Bitumen Torch Down" vs "EPDM Rubber Membrane" Rubber roofs were introduced in the late 60's in the ...
Read More

EPDM Rubber Roofing Membrane – Ultraviolet Degradation – Watch Video

EPDM Rubber Roofing Membrane - Ultraviolet Degradation - Watch Video
EPDM Rubber Roofing Membrane EPDM Rubber Roofing membrane will shrink due to ultraviolet exposure. This, in turn, will put stress on the adhesives that bond the seams and eventually separate ...
Read More

Why do Roofing Contractors Install EPDM Rubber-Watch Video

Flat Roof Problems with EPDM Rubber Membranes Hi, my name is Andre and today we are looking at an EPDM Rubber roof, one of the most popular roofs um to ...
Read More

Pros and Cons of EPDM Rubber Roofs – Watch Video

Harmful Ultraviolet rays have damaged an EPDM Rubber Roof - watch video Pros and Cons of EPDM Rubber Roofs - Video Transcription: Erik talks about the Pros and Cons of EPDM Rubber ...
Read More

EPDM Rubber on Commercial Roofs – Watch Video

EPDM Rubber on Commercial Roofs
What is EPDM? And "Why EPDM Rubber on Commercial Roofs?" This article and others on this website along with videos will prove that it is not wise to install EPDM Rubber on ...
Read More

EPDM Rubber Roofs Issues – Fail Prematurely – Watch Video

EPDM Rubber Roofs
EPDM Rubber Roofs Issues - Fail Prematurely Before 2014, all EPDM Rubber Roofs Issues stems from the breakdown of liquid adhesives used to bond seams. This single-ply rubber roofing system is ...
Read More

EPDM & Modified Bitumen Torch Down Rubber Roofs – Which is the Best?

EPDM and Modified Bitumen Rubber roofs
EPDM & Modified Bitumen Torch Down Rubber Roofs After 10 Years Below are images of EPDM rubber roofs and Modified Bitumen Torch Down Rubber roofs that are about ten years and ...
Read More

EPDM Roofing Systems – Advantages & Disadvantages

EPDM Rubber Roof Membrane Tear - Flat Roof Repair - Alabama
EPDM Roofing - Rubber Membrane EPDM rubber roofing materials come in different thicknesses. They are .045, .060, and .090 thousandths of an inch.  Most contractors use the industry standard thickness of ...
Read More

EPDM Rubber Material need to be constantly patched due to Ultraviolet degradation

EPDM Rubber Material degrades fast when exposed to ultraviolets. Therefor the constant patching
How to find and repair leaks on float roofs Finding and repairing leaks on flat roofs. Choose from different categories what you want to learn about. Flat roof leaks can ...
Read More


Submit a Comment