Whether you are a professional preparing to install rubber roofing for the first time or a DIY enthusiast who is looking to take on a major home improvement project, there are several important steps to take to make sure that your EPDM roofing adheres correctly and guarantee that you get the best outcome possible.
EPDM – or Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer- is a type of rubber which has excellent resistance to the effects of heat, weather and the ozone. As a result, it is widely used in roofing and is considered as the ideal material for this purpose.
This material does have many unique qualities, however, and it is important to take care when applying it. This will make sure that it provides adequate weather resistance for a property and that the material itself does not become damaged.
Most types of EPDM roofing will adhere to wood, wood fibreboard and lightweight concrete. This product, however, generally cannot be applied to polystyrene insulation. The type of surface that you will be bonding the product to will determine the kind of adhesive that you use.
In some cases, it is possible to bond the material to timber roofs using a water based adhesive. On other kinds of surfaces – as well as on roofs with very large surfaces – other bonding materials are often required for long-lasting, durable and effective results.
After the type of adhesive used has been determined, it is necessary to prepare the roof surface for the application of the product. The roof surface must absolutely remain free of dust, dirt and rust, oil, grease and any type of loose material. The presence of any of these will impair the product from properly adhering to the roof.
It is also critical that the roof surface remains absolutely dry. As with the other substances mentioned above, the efficacy of the adhesive can be greatly negatively impaired by the presence of moisture on the roof surface. In addition to this, any trapped moisture may vaporize and negatively affect the performance of the rubber roofing.
Another precaution that must be taken is to ensure that the roof surface has a positive slope of at least 1 in 80. The reason for this is that ponding water must be avoided at all costs. This can result in issues such as damage to the roof surface through the formation of ice, the growth of algae and vegetation, and the accumulation of various contaminants in this particular area.
In addition to these initial preparations, it is critical that certain other precautions are taken when applying rubber roofing to a roof surface. One of these is that it will be necessary to allow the adhesive to dry effectively for a sufficient period of time.
If this does not happen, gas bubbles or blisters can form under the membrane sheet. However, it is possible that these will subside over time.
Another issue that can arise is the formation of condensation on freshly applied adhesive before applying EPDM roofing. In this instance, possible surface contamination can occur and the application of adhesive therefore must be discontinued.
To remedy this situation, allow the surface to dry completely and then when possible apply a thin refresher coat of adhesive at a rate that is approximately half of the normal coverage rate. You will then be able to continue with the application of rubber roofing as normal.
These are just a few of the preparations and precautions that need to be taken when working to apply rubber roofing to a property. It should also be noted that the utmost care should be taken when working at height and when using ladders and other potentially dangerous equipment. With adequate planning and preparation before carrying out the work, best results are assured.