Roof Coatings – EDPM or Silicon Rubber?

April 26 2018 0comment

Roof Coatings – EDPM or Silicon Rubber?

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When a flat roof needs replacing, choosing the right type of roofing material is vital to ensure durability, compatibility and costing.  Today we’re going to take a look at two of the most popular materials used in flat roof replacement, considering the advantages of both so that readers can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right type of membrane for their flat roof, whether it’s a commercial or domestic property.

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber is a type of synthetic rubber of a high density that is able to withstand extreme temperature changes.  It’s strong and flexible which means that it can be an idea choice for buildings that are exposed to both high heats and extreme cold.  Commercial property owners often prefer it as it’s easy to maintain and represents an affordable choice.  It is flame-retardant, UV resistant and easily installed.  EPDM is also recyclable which means that it won’t result in environmental problems when it finally needs replacing in a few decades.

Silicon rubber is also flexible, flame-retardant, UV-resistant and able to withstand high temperatures, actually able to withstand slightly higher temperatures than EPDM which is why it’s an ideal choice for engineering and automotive applications.   However, silicon rubber is not as strong as EPDM which can result in it becoming damaged by extreme weather.  Silicone is also recyclable, offering sustainability but it’s less effective against rain because it doesn’t enjoy good acid or alkali resistance.

What’s the real difference between the two, you may ask.  For most applications, the differences are negligible – both will protect your roof from environmental factors, both will protect it from fire and both materials are flexible when faced with changes in temperature.  If environmental protection is the main concern (as it so often is, here in the UK), then an EPDM coating would represent a better option as it is more effective and durable against rainfall and is less likely to tear in hail or other strong weather conditions.

However, silicone is the ideal choice if extremely high temperatures have to be factored into the choosing process.  For business owners who carry out welding or repair work on the roof on a regular basis, a silicone coating will protect the roof more effectively.

Both of these materials should remain durable for decades and neither of them needs a high level of maintenance in order to do so.  When it comes to making the right choice your roofing requirements are the first consideration.  You need to determine what the roof will be used for when choosing the coating.  Once you’ve determined the utility of the roof in question, then you can begin to consider other factors such as price, strength and resistant properties of the material. 

Whichever type of material you choose for roof replacement, bear in mind that if regular access to the roof is needed in order to carry out cleaning, maintenance of any plant located on the roof, etc., that you’ll need to ensure safe access to the areas of the roof where the work is to be carried out.  Whether this is a rooftop demarcation barrier, a roof walkway system or a combination of both types of protection, make sure that the company chosen to replace your roofing material is aware of this before undertaking the work at hand.

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