There are mainly three types of Roofing Materials commonly used for flat roofs.
The three types of roofing materials are EPDM Rubber, TPO Vinyl, and Modified Bitumen Torch Down. These materials classify as “single ply” roofing membranes. Every roofing system has its pro’s and cons and techniques of installation.
Modified BitumenTorch Down is by far the most durable roofing material. Once a single ply torch down is coupled with a second layer Modified Bitumen Membrane, it becomes a Two Ply System that surpasses the quality and standards of all other roofing systems.
EPDM Rubber Roofing materials are popular
The biggest problem with EPDM Rubber Roofing Material is that the adhesives that are used to glue the seams together. The adhesive used is a contact cement and over the last 40 years have been recalled over five times.
The extreme heat on a flat roof, over 160 degrees F, breaks down the bonding properties and compromises the roof.
EPDM is also a thin material that can easily damage by workers around air conditioners and other objects on the roof. The maximum life expectancy for an EPDM roof without maintenance problems is between 10 – 15 years.
Why is Modified Bitumen Rubber Materials better than EPDM rubber?
- Heat welding versus glue – The glue that bonds the EPDM rubber at the seams is affected by heat and the sun and deteriorates over time.
- When it comes to maintenance – It’s far easier and fewer skills needed to repair an MB rubber roof than EPDM or TPO roof
- Modified Bitumen will last longer without maintenance than all the other roofing systems.
- EPDM and TPO has a big shrinkage problem over time. That is what will pull away from the wall and flashing. Not so much with MB.
- A roof gets abused by Maintenance people – air conditioning, cleaners and snow removal people. Modified Bitumen Rubber can withstand most of these abuses.
- The MB rubber is tougher and can withstand snow shovels better than the EPDM or TPO membranes.
- Modified Bitumen rubber life expectancy is far greater than EPDM or TPO membranes without trouble.
The Pros of Modified Bitumen Roofing Materials
This type of rubber roof is very sturdy and durable. When it comes to commercial roofs, then this is the choice material because it is expected to have service and maintenance people on it constantly.
If they happen to drop nails and screws, it will not be a problem if someone would step on it unlike on an EPDM rubber roof.Installing Modified Bitumen rubber roofs is pretty straight forward.
There are techniques as in any roofing material that should be followed to ensure a stable roof over many years. The problem is that many roofing companies have stuck to EPDM rubber and never got familiar with Modified Bitumen rubber roofs.
Installing a Modified Bitumen rubber roof is also less costly than EPDM. It is tougher and thicker than EPDM and installs over almost any surface, unlike EPDM rubber roofs.
As long as the flashing is exposed and free from debris, you can install the modified bitumen membrane straight onto an existing roofing material.