EPDM Rubber Roof vs. Traditional Built-Up Felt Roofing: Making an Informed Choice

When it comes to roofing choices, EPDM rubber roofs and traditional built-up felt roofing are two popular contenders. Understanding the differences between these options and the advantages of using an EPDM rubber system can help you make a well-informed decision for your roofing project.

EPDM Rubber Roof:

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber roofs are single-ply membranes made from synthetic rubber compounds. Here’s why they stand out:

1. Durability: EPDM rubber roofs offer exceptional durability, resisting damage from UV rays, extreme temperatures, and weather fluctuations. They have a lifespan of 40 years or more, outlasting traditional felt roofing.

2. Low Maintenance: EPDM rubber roofs require minimal maintenance. They don’t crack or blister like traditional felt roofs, reducing the need for frequent repairs.

3. Weather Resistance: EPDM rubber roofs provide reliable waterproofing and weather resistance. They remain flexible in cold temperatures, eliminating the risk of cracking.

4. Energy Efficiency: EPDM rubber roofs are reflective, helping to keep your building cooler during hot weather and potentially reducing cooling costs.

5. Eco-Friendly: EPDM rubber is recyclable, making it an environmentally conscious roofing option.

Traditional Built-Up Felt Roofing:

Built-up felt roofing involves layering felt sheets with bitumen or asphalt. While a familiar choice, it comes with some limitations:

1. Shorter Lifespan: Felt roofs typically last around 20 years, requiring more frequent replacements compared to EPDM rubber roofs.

2. Maintenance Intensive: Felt roofs are prone to cracking, blistering, and water pooling. Regular maintenance is necessary to prevent leaks and damage.

3. Limited Flexibility: Traditional felt roofing becomes brittle in cold weather, leading to potential cracking and water infiltration.

Advantages of Using an EPDM Rubber System:

1. Longevity: EPDM rubber roofs offer a significantly longer lifespan, providing better value over time.

2. Reduced Maintenance: With minimal maintenance requirements, EPDM rubber roofs save you time and money.

3. Better Weather Resistance: EPDM rubber systems excel in extreme weather conditions, providing reliable protection.

4. Energy Efficiency: The reflective properties of EPDM rubber contribute to energy savings.

5. Sustainability: EPDM rubber roofs are eco-friendly, contributing to your sustainability goals.

6. Lower Lifetime Cost: While the initial investment might be slightly higher, the longer lifespan and reduced maintenance costs of EPDM rubber roofs make them more cost-effective over their lifetime.


While traditional built-up felt roofing has been a go-to choice, EPDM rubber roofing offers clear advantages in terms of durability, longevity, and overall performance. If you’re looking for a roofing solution that requires less maintenance, offers superior weather resistance, and aligns with your sustainability values, EPDM rubber roofs are a smart choice. When making your roofing decision, consider the long-term benefits that EPDM rubber systems bring to the table.

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