EPDM Rubber Roof Installation: 5 Tips

EPDM rubber roof style is used primarily on flat roofs that need extra strength leak prevention and unusually shaped roofs because it is so versatile. EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber, which is a single-ply membrane that is inexpensive and easier to maintain and repair than the majority of other roof styles. When a roof is flat or has low slopes and additional protection is needed to prevent leaks, EPDM rubber roofing is a great product that is easy to install. No specialized equipment is needed to install EPDM rubber roof materials, but there are several things that are needed to complete the project, which can be found in local hardware stores. EPDM rubber roofs are considered one of the easiest installing roofing materials currently available. Even with an easy installation process, keeping these things in mind help the process go smoother and will lengthen the lifespan of the rubber roof.

Tip 1 - Watch Weather

Watch the weather forecast and do not start this project until there are at least 3 days in a row of no rain.  The adhesive needs a good 48 hours to properly cure. Until then, the material is not completely waterproof, which will allow water to seep into the roof and potentially into the building if there is sufficient rain.

Tip 2 - Fill Gaps

If there are any gaps in the roof that are larger than 1/4 inches wide, fill them in with wooden strips that fit tightly into the openings. Any gaps larger than 1/4 inches will cause the EPDM membrane to fail.

Tip 3 - Allow Overlap

Always allow at least a 6 inch overlap when placing each piece of EPDM. In other words, place at least 6 inches of the second piece of EPDM on top of the first piece. The overlap will allow the pieces to properly adhere so that the water will flow seamlessly down the span of the roof.

Tip 4 - Clean Roof

Always thoroughly clean the roof prior to installing an EPDM rubber roof. Removing all debris will ensure a tight installation. Any residual material left on the roof will ensure that over time, the membrane will fail and it will not keep water out. Or, the roof may not install properly because it will not be completely level.

Tip 5 - Check Roof

Check the roof several times a year. Remove any branches, leaves, and other debris. Look for any tears or other damage to the EPDM rubber roof and any other components.  Fix any issues before they get worse.

EPDM rubber has other positive characteristics, like the fact that it does not pollute run-off water. This is a great way to recycle the water and use it for such purposes as watering the garden. EPDM rubber roofing is fast becoming popular with “green” and eco-friendly projects, not only because of the water conservation aspect, but also because it is one of the environmentally friendly and sustainable materials using in construction today. Those looking to create a rooftop garden can first install EPDM rubber roofing and then place the foliage on top of it.