EPDM Or Asphalt – Which Is Better For Roofing ?
It is time to discuss the pros and cons of asphalt roofs and EPDM roofs as these are the most common roofs in North America. It is important also to have a basic understanding of the features of each of these types so that they can be compared.
Organic felt or fiberglass dipped in asphalt, and coated with ceramic or stone dust is what is used for asphalt roofing. The coating is done for the purpose of hardening the surface, giving colour and enabling the roof to reflect a small amount of sunlight.
Asphalt roofs are made with asphalt roofing mats or with asphalt shingles. The only difference in these two is that mats are not as heavy as shingles in spite of being made of the same things.
Their greatest advantage is their low cost in addition to ease of installation and low maintenance requirements. However, asphalt roofs are dark in colour and heat the house easily and increase air-conditioning costs. They also contribute to the heat island effect and global warming.
EPDM is used, among many things, for waterproofing roofs. It is especially useful for low-slope roofs and has been for a long time. EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene M-class. It is a synthetic elastomeric rubber and can also be used for roof renovation.
The advantages of EPDM lie in its ability to resist cyclical membrane fatigue, thermal shock, ozone, weathering, abrasion, UV, hail and heat damage. It tends to retain its flexibility in cold temperatures and is also fireproof and resistant to wind uplift.
Installing EPDM roofing is easy. Like asphalt roll roofing mats, it also comes in the form of large mats that have to be stuck to the roof using adhesives and not nails. This is an advantage because nails in roofs are points where roof deterioration can occur by rusting followed by water penetration.
While EPDM roofs are mostly black in color, white versions are also available and using this is an advantage because of the cooling effect it has on homes. This also reduces money and energy spent on artificially cooling the house and is an advantage when compared to asphalt. EPDM as a material is more durable than asphalt.
While EPDM and asphalt are comparable with regard to ease of installation, affordability, recyclability and lifespan, the best choice for a flat roof or a mildly pitched one will be EPDM and for a pitched roof will be asphalt shingles. This is because EPDM shingles are not made. Asphalt rolled roofing is commonly replaced by EPDM roofing but EPDM sheets aren’t to be laid on the asphalt as they will deteriorate because of the oils from asphalt.