Verschil tussen EPDM en Bitumen

When your roof needs to be replaced, you may ask yourself what the difference is between EPDM and bitumen . They are both black/dark in color, are used for flat roofs and are both popular. However, there are different properties and in recent years people have increasingly opted for EPDM roofing.

Difference between EPDM vs bitumen

To properly understand the differences between EPDM and bitumen, it is important to compare a number of things, such as the method of installation, the properties of the product and its lifespan & durability.

Method of mounting
The method of processing varies enormously. Although preferences may differ per person, it is generally accepted that processing EPDM roofing is an easier job. This is mainly because you can glue EPDM and bitumen will have to burn.

Processing bitumen
Bitumen generally consists of narrow rolls (often 1 meter wide) that are melted into strips on the roof. The melting will have to be done with a burner. For this you need a gas tank and, for example, a fire extinguisher for safety. This method of processing requires some level of experience. Bitumen is generally not something that the handy do-it-yourselfer likes to tackle. The top layer that must be melted onto the roof cannot be burned directly onto the substrate (for example wood or insulation ). In addition to a top layer, you will also need an underlayer for bitumen. You will have to screw this to your roof structure and then burn the top layer on it.

Installing EPDM roofing
The difference between bitumen and EPDM is mainly reflected in the way it is applied. You do not use a burner for EPDM roofing, but you can get started easily and quickly with EPDM glue and sealant . There are various adhesives available with which you can glue the EPDM foil directly to the surface. An underlayer is therefore not applicable. Accessories such as roof trims and roof penetrations (for example outlets and vents) can easily be processed with EPDM kit. In contrast to bitumen, this is very easy, because on a bitumen roof you will have to burn in the accessories.

Finally, it is important to mention that EPDM and bitumen differ from each other because you can purchase EPDM roofing in many widths and lengths. Your roof can usually be installed in one piece, so you do not have to deal with seams and different strips. A roof that consists of one piece is less susceptible to leaks.

Properties EPDM and bitumen

In addition to the installation method, EPDM and bitumen also differ in properties. Bitumen is developed from hydrocarbons found in crude oil. Although there are different types of bitumen, it usually resembles a grit-like asphalt structure. During processing you will also be able to smell this due to the melting. People often talk about roofing felt when they mean bitumen.

EPDM roofing consists of different plastics: Ethylene, Propylene, Diene and Monomer. These are various synthetic rubbers and elastomers. In contrast to bitumen (often called roofing felt), this is a plastic roof covering. Due to the differences in the material and properties, EPDM has a higher expected lifespan. Bitumen generally hardens due to weather influences. EPDM is more resistant to this. Because bitumen is based on petroleum, EPDM can be considered a more environmentally friendly material.

EPDM over bitumen

When your old bitumen roof needs to be replaced, you may wonder whether EPDM over bitumen is possible. We have good news.

In most cases this can be done without any problems. There are some snags. Your old bitumen roofing must be completely clean and it is important that it is dry. Especially if cracks are visible in the old roof covering, you will have to wait several days until it is completely dry.

There are exceptions. Insulation must be taken into account when you want to stick EPDM over bitumen. With a cold construction, condensation can form between the EPDM and the bitumen, causing the adhesive between the two layers of roofing to loosen. Even if the bitumen is fairly new, we do not recommend installing EPDM over bitumen. The oils in the roofing felt can cause a reaction, causing blisters under the EPDM.


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