When you have a new home built from scratch, your builder will usually give you a list of roof material options along with prices. One option that you may see on the list is EPDM. This material tends to be one of the cheaper options, and as such, you're probably wondering whether it is a good choice for your new home. Keep reading to learn the basics about EPDM as a roofing material, including its benefits and main drawbacks.

What is EPDM?

The initials EPDM stand for "ethylene propylene diene terpolymer." This is essentially a type of rubber that is made from petroleum products. EPDM comes in big sheets, which are delivered in rolls. A roofer installs it by unrolling it onto your roof surface and then sealing it down with adhesives and specialized tape. EPDM is black in color. 

What are the benefits of EPDM?

One benefit of EPDM is its price. It tends to be one of the cheaper roofing materials, and since it is relatively easy to install, you pay less for labor, too. 

Another benefit of EPDM is that it is fire-resistant. This makes it a popular choice in areas prone to wildfires. Even if you don't have wildfires, having an EPDM roof will give your home a little extra protection if one of the neighboring homes catches fire. 

EPDM is also lighter than most other roofing materials, such as tile or architectural shingles. So, if your builder knows you're going with an EPDM roof, they may not need to build in so many reinforcements.

What are the drawbacks of EPDM roofing?

One major drawback of EPDM roofing is its color. These days, more people are opting for lighter-colored roofing because it reflects more sunlight and keeps their homes cooler in the summer. But EPDM tends to absorb more sunlight and lead to slightly higher AC costs.

You also don't want to install EPDM roofing on a home that is shaded by trees. A tree branch rubbing against it in the wind could cause the membrane to tear, which could lead to leaks and damage to your roof deck.

As long as your home is not shaded by trees and you're not bothered by slightly higher AC costs, EPDM can be a good choice for a roof on a new home. It works well on low-slope roofs, is affordable, and can be installed quite easily by most roofing companies.

Contact a local roofing company to learn more.