Is EPDM better than Felt?

Feb 22, 2021 Off Comments in News by
Is EPDM better than Felt?

EPDM is a rubber roofing material that can provide major benefits over traditional torch on felt and much more simple and safer to install than built up roofing (BUR) systems. Find out more about why EPDM is a better choice than Torch on Felt.

7 Reasons Why EPDM is better than Torch on Felt for Flat Roofing

1. EPDM is Safer than Torch on Felt

With approximately one roof fire in the UK every month, concern about hot works is growing, and under the NFRC Safe2Torch guidelines, the circumstances of many of your roofing projects may exclude hot works and bituminous products in all or part of the roof.

Your insurer, or your clients’ insurer, may place limitations on your use of hot works, and if you sign the Safe2Torch pledge you may be able to tender for a wider range of projects using EPDM.

2. EPDM is a Simpler, Faster Installation than Torch on Felt

One key advantage of EPDM over felt is the size of the rolls. Wider rolls mean fewer seams. For example, using 3.05m wide rolls of EPDM results in 67% fewer seams when compared to a 1m wide roll of bitumen felt.

Sealing laps is also much simpler and faster with EPDM. Flex-R’s RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM products include labour saving Factory Applied Tape (FAT™) that offers 30% greater peel strength and 32% greater shear strength over standard seaming methods. The pressure sensitive tapes are applied to one edge of the roll and the other edge has a guideline to ensure correct overlap widths and membrane placement, reducing seaming time by up to 75%.

3. EPDM is Simpler to Detail than Torch on Felt

Complicated details can be incredibly labour intensive with many flat roof systems. EPDM is used in conjunction with Pressure Sensitive Tapes. Along with the range of pre-formed accessories, obstacles can be overcome quickly & reliably.

The flexibility and stability of EPDM also means longer life and easier installation than torch on felt, remaining pliable and adaptable throughout its lifetime.  If your customer wants to put in a rooflight or PV system in future, EPDM does not go brittle and can easily be adapted to new penetrations.

4. EPDM is a more Flexible Membrane

EPDM is an extremely flexible membrane, remaining workable even in extremely cold conditions. It is used all over the world in a range of climates due to its stability. Projects can be undertaken throughout the year.

Even when working at low temperatures, EPDM will easily bend with no stress, which allows the membrane to follow the contours of the roof and encompass seamless angle changes. In fact, when you combine this with the enhanced adhesion characteristics of a fleece backed membrane, it makes upstands of any height and almost any surface a possibility.

5. EPDM is Robust and Durable

Quality felts are regarded as the robust flat roof systems available. Carlisle SynTec EPDM’s have been protecting roof tops for decades, with the original roofs installed in the 1960’s still performing. RubberBond FleeceBack’s 35-year BBA Certificate recognises this, and provides specifiers, building owners and contractors with the confidence to install millions of square metres in the UK every year.

Flex-R’s RubberBond FleeceBack provides a robust system. At 3mm thick, including Fleece reinforcement, it was originally designed to directly overlay aged felt roofs. Over the years it’s become popular in a vast range of applications due to its reliability, speed of installation & ease of use. It is now equally likely to be specified for new developments, as it is to restore schools and industrial buildings.

6. EPDM is More Cost Effective than Torch on Felt

Felt is available in a range of quality. It’s often difficult to ensure you get the right product, with many end users reliant on their contractor to guide them. This can be challenging in a crowded marketplace. By specifying RubberBond and using a Specialist Registered Installer, you can be sure you’re getting a system that meet all your criteria for quality & longevity.

Install a Flex-R EPDM roof and compare the labour costs to you and your client, then look at the finished result and see that you really can get a better result for less outlay.

7. EPDM flat roofing: Clean, Fast, Safe and Reliable

EPDM flat roofing is better than felt in a number of ways, as we have seen:

  1. It is safer to use with no hot works.
  2. It is simpler, faster and more convenient to install.
  3. It is simpler and more reliable to detail.
  4. It is a more flexible membrane you can work with at low temperatures.
  5. It is much more robust, durable and long-lived, and
  6. It is more cost effective than torch on felt.

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