Advantages and disadvantages of EDPM roofing vs. rubber membrane built-up roofs

There are different types of flat roof systems to choose from for your home or building. Many options are suitable for new construction homes and roof replacement needs, making it more difficult for you to decide which style is best for your property. There are two most common choices in the flat roof market. Built-in roof system (BUR) And EDPM rubber membrane roofing system. Continue reading to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each to learn more about the two systems.

Built-up ceilings (BUR)

Built-up roofing (BUR) is a traditional choice for flat roof systems. These systems are made in layers, starting with several waterproof ply sheets, followed by a layer of hot tar and gravel (based on hot bitumen or asphalt), and then a layer of smooth river rock. Is. This top layer acts as an effective reflective coating to increase energy efficiency, while the hot asphalt mix provides durability and doubles as a fire retardant.

Although traditionally made from hot tar and gravel or tar paper, industrial innovations are on the rise and more advanced materials are being used for BURs, such as fiberglass membranes. The total cost of purchasing and installing a BUR varies from client to client, depending on a variety of factors. Some of the most impressive factors include the quality of the total square footage and content. On average, BUR systems typically cost between $ 5 and $ 7 per square foot.


Cheaper than alternative flat roof options.

Visually appealing for roof overlooking windows and balconies

Reflective coating improves energy efficiency and reduces heat gain.


Routine maintenance is required more often than alternative systems.

Materials are heavier and increase installation time.

Installation can be difficult; Improper installation can block gutters.

EDPM rubber membrane roofs.

EDPM rubber membrane roofs (“EPDM” means “ethylene propylene diene monomer”) is another common flat roof option that works great for large, flat roofs. This material is a real flexible rubber that can be installed in many ways. The most traditional installation methods include the use of fasteners to mechanically anchor it, rock it, or use an adhesive. They come in wide rolls that must be designed with extreme precision and care to avoid air bubbles and other structural defects.

EDPM roofing systems offer a wide range of advantages, including greater durability, UV damage resistance, and more. Property owners appreciate ease of installation and low maintenance requirements, as well as resistance to abrasions and scratches such as natural wear and tear. Depending on the cost, the total amount will vary depending on the unique factors and circumstances of your property. On average, you can expect EDPM rubber roofing to cost $ 4.00 and $ 7.00 per square foot.


Easy to patch with low maintenance and water leakage

Resistant to water leaks and surface stains such as abrasions and tears

Can last up to 20 years or more with good maintenance.

Gives a clean, uniform shape.


Absorbs a large amount of heat, requiring a reflective top coating

Reflective white top coating is an additional cost for procurement and installation.

Absorbing excess heat can increase energy costs by 30% or more.

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