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Building resiliency starts on the roof

Resilience is in general defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”. Today, the discussion about the need for resilience is taking place in various settings, from “Resilient Country” to “Resilient Economy” to “Resilient Design” to “Resilient Building” and many others. Since the roof of a building is its first line of defense, any discussion on resilience must include the careful consideration of the roofing system. It is not just about offering protection against cataclysmic weather, but also the ability to withstand extreme UV, heat or cold and the capacity to recover quickly from disruption and fatigue resistance, among others.

The impact of extreme weather is becoming one of the major business risks of today and finding solutions to mitigate these risks is of the highest importance. An appropriate roofing system is therefore essential to achieve building resiliency. If the roof fails, everything under it is subject to failure and will require a longer time to bring the building back to service.

A resilient roofing system embraces the use of durable materials together with robust design and performance. In a nutshell, a resilient roof offers:  

  • Outstanding weathering characteristics in all climates - UV resistance and the ability to withstand extreme heat and cold
  • Excellent impact and hail resistance
  • Ability to withstand fatigue due to building movements
  • Ease of maintenance and repair in case of damage

Firestone’s RubberGard EPDM roofing membrane is a uniquely valuable component of a resilient roofing system. It is made of a synthetic rubber compound, designed in such a way that each polymer is dosed in the ideal proportions to increase the mechanical and weathering properties of the membrane. It is also inert, remains stable over time and its mechanical properties stay unchanged even after many years of service. It is essentially immune to various factors that speed up wear and tear over time – factors such as UV, heat, hail and building movements. RubberGard EPDM also possesses the inherent ability to recover and return to its original shape and performance after a severe weather event.

Another great attribute of the RubberGard EPDM roofing membrane is that contractors can easily repair it – even decades after its application. In the event of damage after severe weather conditions or other situations such as vandalism, the membrane can be easily repaired and restored following simple procedures and using simple tools. This ease of repair makes the whole roofing system more durable, reducing the burden to the environment throughout its complete life cycle – from raw material, to production, to disposal.

Since its introduction in the market in 1980, RubberGard EPDM has been used in countless projects in various geographic areas and climatic conditions, from the ice-cold Alaska to the extremely hot Arabian Gulf, and is consistently performing well. Studies suggest that a properly formulated EPDM roofing membrane can last for over 50 years*. One of the oldest RubberGard EPDM roofs, installed in Wisconsin (USA) in 1980, is a living proof of this durability, standing strong even after 40 summers and winters and extreme weather conditions – A true example of a resilient roof.

*“Evaluation of the useful life of EPDM roofing membranes”, SKZ (Süddeutsche Kunststoff-Zentrum).