EPDM roof systems provide one of the most popular options for residential flat roof and low-slope applications. Comprised of synthetic rubber, an ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing membrane offers superior weather resistance while remaining a cost-effective option. PVC, on the other hand, delivers exceptional seam strength; in fact, heat-welded PVC seams are stronger than the PVC roofing membrane itself. TPO roofing membranes were designed specifically to combine the best of PVC and EPDM membranes. A TPO membrane delivers the advantages of an EPDM roof paired with the durability of heat-welded seams of a PVC roof. Now that we’ve established the fundamental differences between these three roofing options, let’s get into how much you can expect to pay for each.
The Cost of an EPDM Roof
If you decide to go with an EPDM roof installation, you should expect to pay somewhere between $4 to $8 per square foot which works out to be about $6,000 to $12,000 for 1,500 square feet of roof. However, depending on your existing roofing infrastructure, market conditions, and geographic location, these costs may be slightly higher or lower.
However, beyond initial upfront installation costs, EPDM roofs come with long-term cost considerations as well. The most frequent problem with EPDM membranes over time is the failure of glued seams due to freezing water or drying out. Depending on your climate, expect that your EPDM roof will need to be repaired within five to ten years of initial installation.
EPDM roofs have been on the market longer than PVC and TPO roofs. They remain popular because they offer a long service life, do not require special equipment for installation, and because rubber remains cheap to produce. EPDM is resistant to UV rays, fire, and cracking because it remains pliable even as temperatures fluctuate. At the same time, they require very little maintenance other than seam repairs.
The Cost of PVC and TPO Roofs
On average, PVC and TPO roofs cost about $5.50 to $9.50, so if you end up choosing a PVC or TPO roof, expect to pay a higher upfront cost when compared to an EPDM roof. PVC and TPO roof require specialized equipment for installation. While PVC membranes offer exceptional durability and extended warranties, they’re also the most expensive of the three. TPO roofs combine the best of both options but since TPO is a new technology, not all TPO roofs are made equal. Roofing companies are still experimenting and figuring out the technology, so make sure you choose an experienced roofing contractor like Rainville Carlson if you decide on TPO.
When weighing cost, another critical factor to consider is the expected lifespan of a new installation or roof replacement. Here’s what you can expect from these three options:
- PVC – A PVC roof will typically last 15 to 30 years with proactive maintenance.
- EPDM – EPDM roofs last 10 to 15 years on average depending on climate and maintenance.
- TPO – TPO membranes last about 7 to 20 years depending on who installed them.
If your business wants to learn more about whether an EPDM, TPO, or PVC membrane can provide the roofing solution you need, contact the experts at Rainville Carlson today.