What Is An EPDM Roofing Membrane and How Much Does It Cost?

Posted on April 25, 2024

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What Is An EPDM Roofing Membrane and How Much Does It Cost?

EPDM roofs have become a trendy option for commercial and industrial buildings. This weather-resistant, long-lasting synthetic rubber membrane is a wise investment for building owners and contractors because it provides several advantages. 

This blog post will explore EPDM roofs, covering their definition, primary benefits, and most importantly, the cost of installation.

*Please note that price ranges listed in this article may not reflect the final cost of your project. Prices are subject to change based on various factors such as local labor rates, material quality, and more. All costs established in this article are rough estimates based on average industry rates. 

What Is An EPDM Roof Membrane?

EPDM is a roofing material widely used as a premium single-ply roofing membrane for commercial and industrial applications. Well-known for its exceptional performance, durability, and weatherproofing qualities, EPDM is flexible enough to be installed on multiple types of buildings, and it even comes in various thicknesses. 

With options including ballasted, mechanically attached, and fully adhered methods, EPDM membranes are typically backed by a warranted lifespan of up to 30 years and have an expected lifespan of up to 50 years or more when installed correctly. Standard colors like white, gray, and tan not only provide options but also contribute to reducing heat absorption and energy costs. 

EPDM roofing membranes remain a preferred solution across diverse roofing applications because of their versatility, durability, and ease of installation.

How Much Do EPDM Roofs Cost?

The installation cost of an EPDM roof accounts for several things, such as labor, materials, removal, and disposal of the old roofing materials. An overview to help you determine the total cost is provided below:

How Much Do EPDM Roofs Cost

1. Labor Cost:

Labor expenses for an EPDM roof installation generally range from $1 to $3 per square foot.

2. Material Cost:

The typical expense for EPDM roofing material falls between $3 to $5 per square foot. However, the final cost varies depending on roof size, property location, and the specific EPDM membrane and insulation chosen.

3. Tools and Supply Cost:

Before installation begins, you can anticipate additional expenses for tools and supplies, typically ranging from $300 to $500.

4. Additional Costs:

Other factors influencing the total installation cost include removing and disposing of the old roof, any other necessary repairs or enhancements to the roof deck or structure, and permits and inspections mandated by local building codes.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of An EPDM Roof? 


1. Cost-effective: 

EPDM roofs are a more affordable option compared to materials like metal, TPO, and PVC.

2. Durability: 

With proper care and installation, EPDM roofs can withstand different weather conditions such as hail, high winds, snow, and ice to last for around 20 to 30 years.

3. Restoration Ease: 

EPDM membranes can be quickly patched or replaced when damaged.

4. Flexibility: 

EPDM rubber membranes with high levels of flexibility allow for simple installation on various roof types.

5. Minimal Maintenance: 

EPDM roofs need less care than other materials because they’re resistant to chemicals, UV rays, and pollutants.

6. Water Resistance: 

Leaks are rare, and frequent repairs are unnecessary because EPDM membranes are waterproof.

7. Fire Resistance:

The exceptional fire resistance of EPDM roofing materials improves building safety.

8. Versatility in Terms of Appearance: 

EPDM is aesthetically pleasing and can be coordinated with any exterior property thanks to its range of colors, finishes, and styles.


Despite their many benefits, there can be some drawbacks to consider when choosing EPDM:

1. Vulnerability to High Temperatures: 

If not adequately shaded or ventilated, EPDM can suffer damage in extreme heat, leading to shrinkage, stretching, or cracking.

2. Susceptibility to Ponding Water: 

Improper installation or unsealed seams can lead to water accumulation and long-term roof damage.

3. Potential for Seam Failure: 

While EPDM roofs are durable, the seams can be weak points, requiring proper installation and regular inspections.

4. Initial Installation Cost: 

While cost-effective in the long run, the initial installation cost of EPDM may be a barrier for some property owners. However, it’s an investment in long-term durability and quality.

What Are The Different Factors That Affect The Cost Of EPDM Roofs

1. Material Costs

> EPDM Material Costs: The price of EPDM roofing materials will range depending on the square feet of your property and how much is needed.

> Accessories and Tools: Additional accessories and tools required for EPDM installation contribute to the overall project cost.

2. Installation Costs

> Roof Size: Larger roofs necessitate more materials and labor, leading to higher costs. 

> Ease of Access: Roof accessibility influences costs, with additional expenses for scaffolding if needed.

> Roof Height: Taller roofs may require additional safety measures, impacting overall costs.

> Roofing Contractor Rates: Regional variations in contractor rates affect overall installation costs.

3. Maintenance and Repair Costs

> Maintenance and Repair Costs: These costs go hand and hand as the amount of maintenance your practice correlates to how much you may have to spend on repairs if neglected. While maintaining your roof may involve some costs, inspections are typically a low-cost, and sometimes free, alternative that can make all the difference. 

4. Additional Costs

> Waste Removal: Disposal of old roofing materials and EPDM offcuts entails additional expenses.

> Insulation: Additional insulation may be necessary, impacting overall costs.

5. Climate and Environmental Factors

> Climate: Colder climates may require additional insulation, affecting overall costs.

> Environmental Factors: Protection from UV rays, wind, hail, and other weather conditions may incur extra expenses.

6. Roof Penetrations and Installation System

> Roof Penetrations: Additional sealing around roof penetrations, such as skylights and vents, increases the cost of both labor and materials.

> Installation System: Different installation methods (fully adhered, mechanically attached, or ballasted) impact the overall expense.

Steps To Install EPDM Roof Membrane To Your Roof

Install EPDM Roof Membrane To Your Roof

Here is a brief overview on what it takes to install an EPDM roof membrane. Remember, it’s always best to hire a professional team of contractors for the job as they will be able to provide you with a roofing system that’s durable and long-lasting, without needing repairs in the near future. 

1. Preparation

  • Prioritize Safety: Before commencing any roofing project, ensure you possess the necessary safety gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a harness if operating at elevated levels.
  • Cleanse the Roof’s Surface: Eliminate any debris, grime, or former roofing materials from the roof’s surface. Ensure the roof is pristine and devoid of any hindrances that might impact the EPDM installation.
  • Assess: Before installing the EPDM membrane, examine the roof for any impairments or concerns that require attention. Fix any leaks, fractures, or impaired sections.

2. Measure and Cut The EPDM Membrane

  • Measure the Roof: Precisely measure the dimensions of your roof to fix the required amount of EPDM you need for installation.
  • Cut the EPDM: Using a sharp tool, precisely cut the EPDM membrane to the required dimensions, allowing for a few inches of overhang on all sides.

3. Apply Adhesive

  • Prepare the Adhesive: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare the adhesive to bond the EPDM membrane to the roof’s surface.
  • Apply Adhesive: Employ an appropriate application method to uniformly apply the adhesive to the roof’s surface according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

4. Install The EPDM Membrane

  • Position the Membrane: Gently place the EPDM membrane on the adhesive-coated roof surface, ensuring proper alignment and placement.
  • Smooth Out the Membrane: Use a roller to press the EPDM membrane onto the adhesive, ensuring a secure attachment and eliminating any air pockets or wrinkles.

5. Finalize and Seal

  • Trim Excess: Use a knife or scissors to trim any extra EPDM membrane, leaving a tidy and precise perimeter around the roof.
  • Seal Edges and Seams: Apply seam tape or adhesive to seal the edges and seams of the EPDM membrane, establishing a waterproof seal.

6. Inspect and Maintain

  • Review the Installation: Once the EPDM membrane is installed, inspect the roof for gaps, wrinkles, or areas that require additional sealing.
  • Routine Maintenance: To ensure the durability of your EPDM roof, conduct periodic inspections and maintenance to address any issues and prolong the membrane’s lifespan promptly.

How Do You Maintain An EPDM Roof?

Maintaining your EPDM roof involves several essential steps to ensure longevity and performance. To help you out, here are some crucial maintenance procedures:

1. Regular Cleaning and Inspection:

Clean the roof periodically to remove debris, leaves, and dirt, preventing damage and ensuring proper drainage. Perform visual inspections a few times yearly to detect potential issues requiring repairs.

2. Snow Removal:

Develop a snow removal plan during winter to alleviate the added stress of the weight of snow on the roof.

3. Trim Overhanging Branches:

Trim trees near the building to prevent branches from scratching the roof and causing damage.

4. Use Quality Coatings:

Opt for high-quality EPDM coatings to provide additional protection to your roof.

5. Preventative Maintenance:

Routinely sweep the roof and clean gutters and drains to uphold the roof’s integrity and prevent water accumulation.

6. Address Issues Promptly:

Promptly attend to any tears, blisters, or marks to prevent further deterioration and maintain the roof’s longevity.

Get High-Quality EPDM Roof Installations With OConnor Contracting

EPDM is a durable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible option, particularly for commercial roofing needs. Property owners can benefit from the long-term benefits of this long-lasting roofing material by learning about the nuances of EPDM roofing costs and implementing cost-effective strategies. Regarding affordability, sustainability, and durability, EPDM is an excellent choice for new construction projects and roof renovations.

For quality EPDM roof installations in Western New York, choose OConnor Contracting. With years of experience, our licensed and insured team specializes in EPDM roofs from leading manufacturers like Carlisle SynTec, Versico, Mule-Hide, and Firestone. We prioritize premium materials for durability and provide detailed estimates before every project to ensure alignment with your needs. Contact us today at (716) 600-7663 to find out how we can help you.

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