EPDM Rubber Roofing

rubber-roofingRubber membrane roofs are no longer exclusively used for commercial roofs when doing roof repair, with the do it yourself friendly versions on the market now, they are an excellent choice for nearly flat to flat roofs.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) or otherwise known as rubber roofing is installed in wide sheets using adhesive instead of being nailed in place.

Rubber roofing provides the best protection against leaks on a low pitched roof due to being seamless and easy to install.

The rubber membrane is available at most home centers in standard 10×20 or 20×100 foot rolls. When possible, buy a large enough sheet to cover your entire roof, it decreases the likelihood of leaks by eliminating seams. EPDM adheres with a liquid adhesive instead of being applied with a torch like other membrane systems.

Prepare the Roof Deck

To install the rubber membrane, prepare the deck by removing the previous roofing material and any flashings or protrusions to get it down the bare roof decking. Your roof deck must be clean and in good repair before you apply the EPDM. If your roof deck shows signs of minor wear or the surface is not smooth, you can apply a layer of high density fiberboard or insulated board. Avoid using products with a waterproof film or layer as the glue will not penetrate and adhere properly.

After the roof deck is ready, lay the sheets of rubber membrane out so they overlap the edges of the roof by 3 inches. Overlap additional sheets by 3 inches, make any cutouts so the membrane will lay flat and relax. If you need to go up any walls, allow the membrane to cover12 inches up so it can be adhered and sealed to the wall. Roll the membrane back and apply a liquid bonding adhesive to the roof deck. Next, press the membrane back into place and smooth out any air pockets. When the rubber sheets are glued into place, you can seal the overlapping seams with strips of soft seaming tape and a liquid primer. Reinstall any flashings, trim the rubber roof membrane around the roof edges and add any termination bars if needed.

EPDM usually carries a 20 year warranty against the weathering process and factory defects. One possible drawback is rubber roofing will be hot on your roof; the black color absorbs the heat instead of reflecting it away.

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