Common EPDM Roofing Issues and How to Avoid Them

January 12, 2024 4:47 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Water,Droplets,On,The,Rubber,Membrane.,Waterproofing...,Close-up,Selective,FocusEPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roofing systems have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. However, like any roofing material, EPDM is not without its fair share of issues. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common EPDM roofing issues and provide helpful tips on how to avoid them.

1. Poor installation

One of the primary reasons for EPDM roofing issues is poor installation. If the membrane is not properly adhered to the roof substrate or if seams are not properly sealed, it can lead to leaks, moisture infiltration, and premature roof failure. To avoid this problem, it is crucial to hire experienced and certified roofing professionals who have a proven track record of successful EPDM installations.

2. Ponding water

Ponding water occurs when the roof is not adequately sloped, and water starts to accumulate in certain areas. This can accelerate the degradation of the EPDM membrane, leading to leaks and other structural issues. To prevent ponding water, it is essential to ensure proper roof slope during installation. Regular inspections and maintenance can also help identify and rectify any low spots or drainage issues that may cause ponding water.

3. Punctures and tears

EPDM roofing systems can be susceptible to punctures and tears, which can be caused by various factors such as foot traffic, falling branches, or sharp objects being dropped on the roof. These openings can allow water to penetrate the membrane, leading to leaks and potential damage to the underlying structure. To minimize the risk of punctures and tears, it is recommended to restrict access to the roof and avoid unnecessary foot traffic. Additionally, regular inspections can help identify any potential issues and allow for timely repairs.

4. UV degradation

EPDM roofing materials are exposed to constant UV radiation, which can cause the membrane to degrade over time. This can result in a loss of flexibility, shrinkage, and cracks, ultimately leading to leaks and reduced overall performance. To combat UV degradation, it is recommended to apply a suitable protective coating or regularly apply a UV-resistant sealant. This will help prolong the life of the EPDM roofing system and maintain its integrity.

5. Poor seam quality

Seams are an integral part of any EPDM roofing system, as they connect individual membrane sheets together. If the seams are not properly installed or if the adhesive fails, it can lead to seam separation and subsequent leaks. To avoid this issue, it is crucial to select high-quality EPDM adhesives, follow manufacturer guidelines for seam installation, and conduct regular inspections to identify any seam failures early on. Repairing or replacing faulty seams promptly can help prevent more significant issues down the line.

6. Lack of regular maintenance

Just like any other roofing system, EPDM requires regular inspection and maintenance to ensure its long-term performance. Ignoring routine maintenance can lead to small issues going unnoticed, which can eventually develop into more significant problems. It is essential to establish a maintenance plan that includes regular inspections, gutter cleaning, debris removal, and immediate repair of any identified issues. This proactive approach will help extend the lifespan of the EPDM roof and minimize any potential problems.


While EPDM roofing systems offer numerous benefits, they are not immune to common issues that can arise over time. By being aware of these problems and implementing preventative measures, such as hiring experienced installers, addressing drainage issues, limiting foot traffic, protecting against UV radiation, ensuring seam quality, and conducting regular maintenance, you can avoid many of the common EPDM roofing issues. Remember, investing in proper installation, periodic inspections, and timely repairs will go a long way in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your EPDM roofing system.

Need a Roofing Company in Springfield, MA?

Since 1987, R & H Roofing has remained one of the most trusted names in the roofing industry. We specialize in commercial and industrial roofing and offer a wide variety of roofing systems including EPDM systems, TPO Systems, Metal Roofing Systems, BUR Tar & Gravel Systems, Asphalt Shingles, and PVC Systems. We also work with some of the leading manufacturers including Firestone, Carlisle, Duro-last, and Garland. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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