Long Life Of An EPDM Roof

“The first field studies of EPDM were done in the late 1980s, and we are finding a pattern,” says Thomas W. Hutchinson AIA, FRCI, RRC and Principal, Hutchinson Design Group, Ltd., Barrington, Ill. “The pattern is that these roofs can really last a long time. By using today’s advanced design techniques and proper roof maintenance, it is reasonable to expect that an EPDM roof will approach or exceed 40 years of service.”

Roofing Life-Cycle Costs

According to a 2005 Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress survey of building owners, the three most important considerations for selecting a new roof are, in order of priority: 1) installed cost, 2) the quality of installation, and 3) life-cycle costs (LCCs). Of those three, the only surprise is the high ranking of LCCs, which is a relatively new concept. One reason for the emergence of LCC roofing analysis is the growing sustainable building movement, which endorses energy-efficient and long-lasting roofs. Both of these characteristics can contribute to lower roofing life-cycle costs.

Unlike installation costs, which have the precision and immediacy of a payable invoice, LCC estimates include future considerations like longevity, maintenance and repair, and potential savings from energy efficiency. LCC estimates are inherently less precise, but they are a useful guide to value over time.… –  Drew Ballensky

Roofing LCC Checklist
At a minimum, building owners requesting a life-cycle cost estimate should expect it to include:

  • The cost of the roofing system.
  • The cost of installation (labor + overhead).
  • Tear-off/disposal costs (not necessary for all roofing systems).
  • Estimated maintenance costs.
  • Estimated repairs (based on experience and type of roof).
  • Potential energy savings.