White EPDM vs black EPDM (Ultimate Guide)

Looking for new roofing solutions? It is common for people to worry about whether they want white EPDM vs. black EPDM.

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a rubber roof. It is a thin rubber that allows you to install it on your roof and allow water to flow off it.

If your roof is flat, near to flat, or not very good at sliding water away, then an EPDM will help. It is used to rubberize the roof material and prevent any water seepage.

People opt for EPDM rubber roofs to layer their roofing with an airtight and watertight seal or a bond that prevents moisture penetration.

Why is EPDM important?

EPDM will extend the life of your roofing materials and the walls supporting the roof, help with water drainage, and prevent water stains from forming on your exterior walls.

The water and moisture barrier it forms protects the roof from mildew, mold, seepage, and other microbial overgrowths.

The color of the EPDM

So, does the color matter? Well, it is a whole debate on whether the color of the roofing rubber matters or not. Some people choose the color based on the aesthetic value.

Others use it to only add to the color properties’ functionality and their utility from the rubber. The decision can also be based on the cost comparison of both items.

Let’s face it: white EPDM will cost more. This is the material used in commercial buildings. It is used in more aesthetic projects and preferred to add to the beauty of the building.

White boundaries will make the building look more open, larger, and wider. This adds to the value of the exterior and allows you to enjoy great views of the house or building from the outside.

Black EPDM is the conventional way to go. It is essential to notice that a black EPDM is always easier to find and always cheaper than a white version.

The white version is harder to find at stores selling goods for residential supplies and construction materials. You can, however, find it at other larger construction supply stores and online.

The white version will be at least 20% more expensive than its black counterpart. If the difference is only the color, then why the price difference?

The answer takes us back to Economics 101: if the demand for the products and the supply are low, then the price will remain high.

Which is the case for the white one. It is not only used for expensive commercial projects, it is also less readily available. All of this contributes to a higher price for the white one than the black one.

So if the main factor for your comparison is price, then the black one is more affordable and will be your decision.

However, if you want to look at other features and are open to the one that suits your building more, keep reading. Let’s look at the functionality and discuss their value to the building at greater length.

Why are EPDMs white?

The white EPDM is a highly reflective and monolithic material. You will need an option that gives you greater puncture resistance and a longer life span.

The sun should not be able to melt your roof into nothingness too soon, or you are just burning money through your roofing.

Investing in a premium EPDM coating is the right way to do this. This should offer you the resistance you need with high durability that lasts long enough.


  • Makes the roof look more open
  • Makes the building look larger
  • Has a greater aesthetic contribution to the look of the house or building
  • Allows cooling effects and has lesser heat retention
  • Sun damage is not as visible on white materials, especially for higher buildings


  • It is expensive compared to the black one
  • It will be a little hard to find in a regular store

Why are EPDMs black?

In most places you will look at, you will only find black roofing EPDM. Looking in some rare architectural places, you will find white EPDMs.

These are rare places. However, you can install a black EPDM and paint it white to cut costs and get the same look at a cheaper rate.

The paint you choose will matter because you don’t want it to lift or chip off.

If you do want to go with the black option and you choose to keep it that way, then that is possible too. Here is a list of pros and cons to get you to decide whether black is your color.


  • Allows more heat retention, which is more valuable for cooler areas
  • Ideal for high-rise buildings where water or sun damage will not be visible
  • Traditional methods so it will give your house or building a more conventional look
  • It is 20% cheaper almost as compared to the white counterpart
  • Readily available everywhere, and it will not be a difficult task to find a good brand that makes this


  • It might make the building look smaller
  • White offers a more contemporary look
  • Dust and sun damage is more visible on heightened buildings

What sets them apart?

Apart from the apparent color difference, there is another chemical composition difference between both.

The main difference is that the black one gets its color and composition from Carbon, whereas the white one is Titanium Dioxide.

If you are not convinced yet, then here is another factor that sets them apart. White will retain less heat.

But black will retain more heat. Now, it is up to you to keep your house or building cool for the summertime or warm for the wintertime.

As mentioned before, other factors are the availability and price of both materials. Either way, remember to invest in a high-quality and puncture-resistant option in both cases.

Painting the roof

Can you paint your EPDM roofing? If you want to, then yes.

You can paint it any color you want with a plastic emulsion weather shield, just a fancy name for weather-friendly, water-resistant acrylic-based paint.

Black EPDM can be painted white; you can find other colors, such as gray, and paint them white. The lighter the color, the easier to paint it to the desired white tone.

Sun science and EPDM roofing

A white layer of paint can add to the life of the coating as well. It will allow you to enjoy your roof for a longer time, protecting the layer underneath and keeping it safe from sun damage as you go.

Sun can slowly melt or wither the layer off, so it is important to get some degree of sun protection through a weather shield to keep you going through years without retching or replacing the roofing.

White roofs are ideal because of how the sun’s heat and light affect construction materials. It is known that darker colors tend to grab and hold more than 80% of solar energy, while white or lighter ones can reflect 75% of it away.

This is common for cars of white color vs. black color as well. You will notice many commercial buildings that are white.

Because white makes a building less hotter than a black top, it takes less energy to air-condition or centrally keep it cool even during hot seasons.

As we approach global warming, it is essential to prepare your homes and buildings for the upcoming weather challenges, and that can mean using any way that offers a cooling effect to your house.

A white coating on top of the EPDM can be a good way if you fully cover it or the base does not show.

Alternatively, you can invest in an EPDM that comes in white to get the maximum benefits.