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February 7, 2020

Duro-Last vs. EPDM Roofing Systems

In this guide, we will summarize the key differences between Duro-Last and EPDM roofing systems and outline their differences in installation, quality, cost, and more.

What are Duro-Last Roofs?

Duro-Last is a company based in Saginaw, Michigan and they are one of the leading manufacturers of PVC commercial roofing systems. So when you are comparing Duro-Last to EPDM, you are also comparing PVC to EPDM.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofing systems in general are durable and highly resistant to the elements. With higher quality comes a higher upfront cost. However this may be offset by lower ongoing maintenance costs and a reduced risk of costly water damage to your building.

Duro-Last as a company is known for producing PVC roofing systems of exceptional quality and offer great ongoing customer support and maintenance services.

What are EPDM Roofs?

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer and EPDM roofs are often referred to as rubber membrane roofs. They have historically been a popular type of flat roofing material as the materials used are cheap and repairs can be made at a low cost. They are also lighter in weight than older roofing systems like Modified Bitumen and BUR.

The biggest disadvantage to EPDM roofs is their durability. They simply do not hold up as well to punctures when compared to modern PVC membrane roofing systems.

In addition, EPDM roofs often see a higher energy and utility bill over time. EPDM roofs are usually black in color, which absorbs significantly more heat than lighter colors.

Installation

EPDM roofs can be mechanically attached (also known as mechanically fastened) or fully adhered to your roof. Some EPDM roofs are mechanically attached, in which the membrane roll is screwed into the insulation and metal deck of the roof. Mechanically attached EPDM roofs can be installed faster and at a lower cost.

Fully adhered EPDM roofs have the membrane glued to the insulation layer. This requires more materials, labor, and time, which results in a higher overall cost.

Deciding between a fully adhered or mechanically attached EPDM roof largely depends on your specific building and current roofing system. Talk with your roofing contractor to determine which of the two options makes the most sense for your specific situation. Often your contractor may recommend an alternative to EPDM such as Duro-Last PVC.

The difference with Duro-Last roofs compared to other PVC roofing manufacturers is that their roofing systems are prefabricated, meaning a contractor takes the exact measurements of your roof and the roofing system is manufactured in a controlled factory environment.

Leaks are often caused by installation errors, and often originate at seams. EPDM roofs have more linear feet of field seams compared to Duro-Last roofs because of Duro-Last’s prefabricated nature. This significantly reduces the amount of field welding that contractors must perform on the rooftop, and reduces the likelihood of leaks from improper installation.

Price

While prices vary based on the manufacturer of the EPDM roofing system and the specific type of EPDM roof, EPDM generally has a lower installation cost compared to Duro-Last. However, Duro-Last has lower long-term costs due to its higher durability and heat rejection. Depending on the frequency and severity of damage from leaks, the overall long-term costs for building maintenance could be significantly higher for EPDM.

Which is ideal for me?

This largely depends on your building type, the size of your roof, your location, and your current roofing system. You should also compare specific EPDM roofing systems to equivalent Duro-Last systems and warranties offered by each manufacturer.

Need help deciding? Superior Services is a Michigan Duro Last contractor and for the past 45 years, we have helped Michigan area businesses find the right roofing solution for their industrial and commercial buildings. Call us at (517) 321-8222.