a collage between two pictures: 1st is an epdm flat roof being installed, and the 2nd picture contains an green eco certification

Environmental Benefits of Using EPDM Roofing

People spend billions of dollars yearly to construct and renovate structures. With global warming becoming an earnest discussion nationally and globally, it is crucial to consider the environmental concerns of materials used in building projects. 


  • An average Canadian home spends over $2,000 on energy annually. EPDM roofing can cut costs by about 30%.
  • EPDM ensures pollution-free rainwater, thereby promoting rainwater harvesting. This can reduce water consumption and water bills by about 40%.
  • EPDM membrane is highly durable and 100% recyclable. It can be recycled to replace fossil fuel consumption.

One of the building materials that builders must pay attention to is roofing. Its impact is not only felt in the structure but also in the environment. EPDM is touted as the most environmentally friendly roofing. 

Today, professionals recommend this product as a sustainable and eco-responsible solution for new building projects. So, is EPDM really eco-friendly and sustainable? What are the environmental benefits of using this roofing system? 

These are the main points of this post. But before talking about these, let us look at the components of EPDM roofing systems.

What are the Components of EPDM Roofing?

EPDM, also referred to as Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is a highly durable synthetic single-ply rubber roofing membrane. It contains two components – Propylene and Ethylene. These two elements come from natural gas and oil. 

The sheet thickness is 45 mil, 60 mil, and 90 mil, while the panels can be 50 ft or 5 ft in width. EPDM roofing installation uses deck adhesive, which makes them completely adhere to the substrate. 

You can also install them mechanically or with a ballasted system. The roofing is chemical and oil resistant and has a 25 to 40-year lifespan.

What are the Environmental Benefits of EPDM Roofing?

You have probably heard a lot about the environmentally friendliness of EPDM roofing and wondering what the ‘hype’ is about. 

So, before performing roofing installation, it is recommended to know the advantages. Here are seven environmental benefits of using EPDM roofing systems.

  • Energy Efficiency

According to statistics, the average Canadian home uses over 11,000 kWh of energy annually, spending an average of $2,000 on home energy. While the roofing option would not eliminate your energy cost completely, it can significantly reduce it. 

EPDM roofing is available in black and white. Black EPDM is reportedly energy-saving in northern climates. It does this by minimizing heating usage. Studies have also shown that this product can save about 30% on energy costs in cold environments, which is significant. 

What does this mean? Using black EPDM roofing installation reduces energy consumption, which has a direct impact on global warming. 

  • Pollution-free Rainwater

EPDM rubber is non-toxic, which means it does not pollute rainwater. In other words, it does not introduce harmful chemicals that can pollute the rainwater. The rainwater will not harm wildlife and the environment, which means the rainwater is safe for harvesting. 

Having an EPDM roofing system means you do not contribute to global warming when it rains. Now, that is a refreshing thought for environmentally conscious homeowners. By the way, rainwater harvesting can help reduce water consumption and water bills by about 40%.

  • Highly Durable

Durability is one of the high selling points for the EPDM roofing membrane. When properly installed, it has a lifespan of over 50 years. In addition, the ease of repairs minimizes the possibility of disposing of this roofing material for landfill. 

It may interest you that landfills release greenhouse gases, especially methane, and also contaminates water. EPDM roofing is 100% recyclable for different purposes, including rubber mats for children’s playgrounds. 

It can also be recycled and used as fuel. This reduces the world’s dependency on fossil fuels and the effect of global warming.

  • Minimal GWP

The global warming potential (GWP) of EPDM warming is low. At 6.93 kg CO²/sq.ft, it is almost half the potential of the nearest roofing material. That means when more people choose this roofing product, the environment is protected against global warming.

  • Compatible with Solar Panel

The world is getting smarter and working towards mitigating global warming. Solar panel usage is one of the steps towards achieving this. Combining EPDM roofing with solar panels for energy production is a wise decision. 

You significantly save costs on the installation and then on energy consumption. Installing solar panels on EPDM is very easy. You can use ballast to push down the solar panels or fix them on the structure mechanically. Whatever installation option you choose, will boost the eco-friendly capabilities of your home. 

  • Access to Government’s Eco-roof Incentives

Countries are exploring ways for people to choose eco-friendly products to mitigate global warming. For example, various Canadian provinces offer incentives to homeowners for installing eco-roofs and solar panels.

Some of these provinces are Toronto, Alberta, and Edmonton. Toronto gives grants to support green roof installation in homes and buildings. In fact, homeowners can get $100 per square meter installed. 

  • Bitumen-free Roofing

Bitumen is a complex component of crude oil and is considered hazardous. Apart from having adverse environmental effects, it is also expensive and difficult to dispose of. EPDM does not contain bitumen, unlike one of the most used roofing materials – roofing felt.

  • Minimal Smog Effect

Smog is a type of air pollution that affects visibility. According to studies, this roofing has the lowest effect on acid rain, smog, and global warming compared to other roofing systems. Using an EPDM membrane for your roofing reduces the build-up of air pollution and increases air quality.

How EPDM Roofing Compares to Other Roofing Materials

EPDM membrane is a top choice for any home and environment. According to studies, using it for flat roofs and general roofing has many benefits for homes and the environment. The case is different with the more traditional roofing solutions.

These conventional roofing materials use high energy-intensive production methods. They sometimes depend on harsh chemicals and lead to make them waterproof. Unfortunately, these chemicals are dangerous pollutants that can find their way into landfill.

With many homeowners opting for EPDM roofing, the demand for these conventional roofing solutions is reduced.  

Other Benefits of EPDM Roofing

Several other benefits may not be directly linked to global warming but they have significant effects on homeowners. For instance, EPDM is weather resistant, which means you have nothing to worry about when it comes to extreme weather conditions.

It is also cost-effective. If you consider the durability compared to the money invested in it, you would agree that choosing this roofing product is a good deal in every sense of the word.

Final Thought

EPDM roofing is the best choice for environmentally conscious homeowners. Apart from being the healthiest alternative for the environment, it is also cost-effective, which significantly reduces repairs and replacement costs compared to other options. 

If you are considering roofing your home, we recommend you choose an EPDM membrane to protect our planet against global warming.