EPDM Waterproofing Membrane v/s Other Membranes

A Comparative Analysis of Different Types of Geomembrane

Introduction to Geomembranes

A geomembrane is a very low permeability synthetic membrane liner or barrier used with any geotechnical engineering-related material so as to control fluid (or gas) migration in a human-made project, structure, or system. Geomembranes are made from relatively thin continuous polymeric sheets, usually in EPDM, PVC, APP & Bituminous Polymers.
You may feel puzzled when thinking that which geo-membrane or simply put which membrane to choose for your water-proofing application. To make the right choice you can go through a comprehensive analysis of these particular membranes to take your pick for the final order placement!

Picture of EPDM Membrane

EPDM Membranes

EPDM Membranes are known for their durability factor. They are made from Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. They are hugely demanded in numerous industrial and agricultural applications.

Picture of PVC Geomembrane

PVC Geomembranes

PVC Geomembranes are made from geosynthetic materials with a low permeability. They are hugely demanded for civil and even geotechnical applications.

Other Membranes (APP & Bitumen)

Other Membranes (APP & Bitumen)

APP Membranes are waterproofing sheets that deal with multilayer applications. The sheeting act as an intermediate layer.
Bituminous Membranes are asphalt-instilled sheeting. They even have added modifiers that are used in many business applications.

Specifications EPDM MembranesPVC GeomembranesOther Membranes (APP & Bitumen)
Material compositionEPDM membranes are composed of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer.PVC Geomembranes are composed of geosynthetic materials.These membranes are composed of asphalt/bitumen and Atactic Polypropylene polymers.
FlexibilityEPDM membranes have the highest flexibility due to their unique polymer composition and high elasticity. PVC geomembranes have high flexibility and high conformity as it fit into irregular spaces. APP-modified Bitumen has greater flexibility as compared to the traditional bitumen membranes due to the presence of Atactic Polypropylene (APP) polymers.
InstallationInstallation can be done by ballasting, fully adhering, or mechanical fastening.Installation is the same as that of EPDM membranes. It is accompanied by ballasting, fully adhering, or mechanical fastening. Installation of other membranes (APP and bitumen) can be done through Various methods, including heat-welded or torch-applied.
Resistance to environmental factors EPDM membranes are weather-resistant. They have high resistance against UV, ozone, heat, and chemicals. PVC Geomembranes are highly resistant to UV radiations, temperature variation, and chemicals and also prohibt the growth of microbes. APP and bitumen membranes are resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations, ozone, UV radiations, and chemical exposure and are water resistant.
MaintenanceMaintenance of EPDM membranes requires thorough inspections, cleaning, and prompt repairing of damage. Maintenance of PVC Geomembranes include regular inspection, prompt repairing, cleaning of debris, vegetation management, and protection of the geotextile layer. APP and bitumen's maintenance revolves around inspection, cleaning, maintenance of sealant and flashing, and UV protection.
Life spanIt has a long life span and can extend more than 20-30 years depending on the application and considering the external factors. Life span is about 20 to 30 years for residential purposes and up to 30 years for commercial purposes.Bitumen membranes' life span ranges from 10 to 20 years whereas APP memebranes' life span extends to about 20 to 30 years.
Cost considerations EPDM membranes have a mid-range of cost and are considered to be vastly cost-effective as it require very less maintenance. PVC geomembranes have a mid-to-high range of costs. Though installation costs may vary considering factors like complexity, size of the project, or labor costs.Other membranes like bitumen or APP membranes comprise high-range costs. It has greater initial costs than that of EPDM membranes. In contrast to PVC geomembranes, these are afforadable.

Here are the key factors that make EPDM the better roofing material:

  • EPDM waterproofing membranes offer unparalleled durability and flexibility.
  • Heat-weldable seams ensure a watertight seal, providing superior protection against leaks.
  • Versatile application: suitable for flat roofs, green roofs, ponds, and foundations.
  • Minimal maintenance requirements save time and money over the lifespan of the membrane.
  • Environmentally friendly: made from recycled materials and fully recyclable.
  • Ease of installation reduces labor costs and time spent on waterproofing projects.

The Bottomline

Hope this blog gave you insights into the differences in different types of geomembranes. Although they all are waterproof and provide massive service to different applications, they deviate from each other to a great extent in terms of several factors. Each of them has a unique composition and has a separate metric of flexibility, cost, installation, and resistance to external factors. These insights will help you choose the most relevant geomembranes to serve your purpose.

Looking for EPDM Membrane quotes? Reach out to our experts today!

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