Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) is a synthetic rubber most commonly used in single-ply roofing because it is simple to apply. Seaming and detailing has evolved over the years and is fast and simple with many membranes including factory applied tape, resulting in a faster installation.
It is a common low-cost roofing system option, but only when properly applied in appropriate climates. In inclimate climates shrinkage of the membrane is an issue. EPDM roofing can also puncture fairly easily.
There are three installation methods: ballasted, mechanically attached, and fully adhered. Ballasted roofs are held in place by large round stones or slabs. Mechanically attached roof membranes are held in place with fasteners and are suitable in some applications where wind velocities are not usually high. A drawback is that the fasteners penetrate the waterproof membrane; if correctly fastened the membrane is "self-gasketing" and will not leak. Fully adhered installation methods prove to give the longest performance of the three methods.