The compelling benefits of EPDM roofing membranes

Firestone’s RubberGard™ EPDM roofing system has been used for both new build and refurbishment of flat roofs for more than 40 years in the UK. Thanks to the unique features and benefits of EPDM, many of those early installations are still going strong and specifiers, contractors and installers can all gain advantages from using the system.

Size matters For any roofing project, the roof needs to be covered as quickly as possible to make it weatherproof. Increasingly, there is also a business critical need to complete roofing projects on programme and to tight deadlines. Specification of an EPDM membrane like Firestone’s RubberGard EPDM system can help with all of that.

While bitumen-based felt roofing systems are usually supplied as 1m wide sheets and thermoplastic single-ply membranes can be supplied at widths of up to 2m, Firestone’s RubberGard EPDM membrane can be ordered in any width between 3m and 15m on a 30m roll. This is because the manufacturing process for EPDM enables larger scale sheets to be assembled during production, rather than being limited by the size of the extrusion line.

The range of available widths allows the roofing contractor, advised by Firestone’s technical team, to select a width that could offer the best solution for the size and layout of each individual roofing project. Selecting a size of membrane tailored to the project saves time and supports improved roof integrity by reducing the number of seams, which are the most time- consuming and critical element of any installation.

The Right Fix

Along with the varied choice of membrane size offered by EPDM roofing systems, specifiers and contractors also benefit from a variety of fixing systems. This ensures that EPDM provides greater design flexibility and is suitable for almost any substrate or roof build up.

Firestone’s RubberGard EPDM roofing system can be installed as a fully- adhered or mechanically-fixed system. A self-adhesive system has also been launched for the US market. The membrane offers completed flexibility in the design of the roof and can be used for inverted, ballasted, green and modular roofs.

Adhesives are usually used with smaller widths of EPDM and Firestone has developed a water-based adhesive specifically for use in factory-based modular construction, which is also ideal for occupied buildings or any environment where nuisance odours may be an issue.

For mechanically-fixed roofs, which are always advised when using a larger width of EPDM, Firestone has developed a fixing system that does not penetrate the membrane. This avoids any vulnerability to leaks around the fixing system.

Fantastically Elastic

EPDM is a naturally and permanently elastic material, with over 300% elongation. As a result, EPDM roofs are very resilient both at the time of installation and throughout their service life.

The elasticity of the EPDM roof means that it can flex to cope with any differential movement between building components, avoiding the need for any complex expansion joints unless required by building regulations. EPDM does not crack or split at very low temperature nor soften or melt at very high temperatures and can cope with temperature shock from rapid temperature fluctuation.

With an increasingly erratic climate, the U/V resistance and long-term elasticity offered by EPDM present compelling reasons to specify systems like RubberGard EPDM.

Environmentally Responsible Featured in the Green Guide and contributing to a BREEAM summary A+ rating over an appropriate support, EPDM is an inert material, containing no plasticisers, heavy metals or chlorine which means there is no change in the material even when exposed for many years, and the extended service life significantly lowers the environmental impact, while helping to ensure the longevity of the building. At the end of the roof’s service life, the EPDM membrane is completely recyclable.

EPDM membranes are also practically odourless and Firestone has also developed a water-based adhesive and low VOC primers for use as part of a complete system.

Heat & Flame Free Whether the RubberGard EPDM roofing system specified is fully-adhered, mechanically-fixed or ballasted, installation is totally heat and flame free, with all joints formed using a self adhesive spice tape. This avoids any fire risk from the roofing project, along with any fire-risk related insurance costs on fire safety wait times for installation teams at the end of a day on site.

As no electricity-powered tools are needed, there is no requirement for any temporary or permanent power source. This is a significant advantage for remote sites where getting a generator to the location may be onerous or expensive. It is also a benefit when working close to residential areas as it avoids any nuisance noise from the generator.

Specification Guidance Firestone has an experienced technical team to support specifiers and contractors throughout the specification and installation process to ensure that each project maximise the benefits of RubberGard EPDM. To find out more, visit the Firestone Building Products website:



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