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How To Fix Bubbles In Rubber Roof

Flat Roof Repair: A Guide On What To Do

How to Prevent Bubbles When Using Contact Adhesive During an EPDM Rubber Roof Installation (2021)

by BarrettM | Aug 25, 2020 | Blog |

Dealing with a flat leaky roof can be extremely frustrating, not to mention that if things are not done properly, the leaky roof can be extremely detrimental to your propertys overall integrity and value.

While all roof leaks are problematic, a leak in a flat roof is particularly complicated.

Flat roof repair or commercial flat roof repair can range from somewhat simple to incredibly complex fixes or even reconstruction that involves complicated roof insurance claims and experienced professional support.

Fixing Bubbles And Blisters In An Epdm Roof

One problem you might come across is bubbles or blistering in your EPDM roof. This can occur for two main reasons:

Vapour from bonding adhesive

Bonding adhesives are used to attach EPDM membranes to upstands and around the roof perimeter. When these are solvent-based, if they are not allowed to become touch dry before the membrane is applied, bubbles of gas can form, caused by the trapped vapour from the adhesive.

As EPDM is partially breathable, these bubbles are not a huge problem long-term, and will gradually settle down over time. However, in severe cases, it could mean that the membrane has not bonded correctly, and the membrane may need to be peeled back and re-applied.

Expanding or trapped air within the roof structure

If there is water trapped within the roofing structure, or the timber isnt completely dry when the membrane is applied, this can also cause bubbles and blistering to form. This happens when the roof heats up, the water evaporates, and the vapour has nowhere to go.

Bubbles and blisters wont necessarily cause the EPDM membrane to fail, however they can be unsightly. Unless the bubble is over a seam, is in a high-traffic area or you can see that the EPDM membrane on or around the blister is damaged or degraded, it might be better to leave it alone. If one or more of those applies, speak to a roofing contractor.

Rolling The Flashing Tape To Seal

As I said, the corners are where it is the most critical! Thats where Im going to start rolling it is in those corners and get that to form right in there. Get it nice and tight, let it hold in there before I roll the rest. We want to make sure we get all of it seated in there really well so its going to stick.

Anywhere that it might start to pull up, once it starts pulling up then it will keep pulling up over time. But, this tape will last a really long time. Good application on a good roof, this tape will last a good 20-30 years. Its still good to keep an eye on it. Come up and check every year just to make sure youre good and that everything was done properly to begin with, especially if there was any severe weather that could have affected it make sure it all stays sealed.

We are going to roll it in there really good pay close attention to the edges because thats where its going to want to peel up. Im going to hit this corner again just to make sure we stay solid in there. And there ya go!

This type of repair can be done pretty much anywhere. If you have a hole in the membrane, you can put a piece of flashing tape on there, as well. Any type of curb or penetration, there is a flashing tape for it. It doesnt mean the roof is bad, it can be repaired!

Read Also: How To Repair A Leaking Roof From The Inside

Patching Outside Corners Skylights Chimneys Curbs Etc

Outside corners are much more difficult to patch correctly, if youve never done it. You will have to apply a patch on 2 different surfaces, there is an angle change , and you will have to carefully stretch the UNCURED flashing to give it the correct shape.

Often, there is old flashing in the way, which you will have to remove without causing any further damages. I suggest a practice run, if this is your first time:

Cut a 6×6 piece of flashing from a 10 roll that I provide with the kit, fold back 1/2 of the release paper, position it at the corner of a dresser and try to stretch the exposed material so that it molds to the horizontal part .

Here is a short video on how to flash an outside corner:

Now, this video makes it look easy, but it demonstrates a new roof install. When it comes to a repair, you have to deal with OLD flashing that is already in place. Often, you also have 2 or more roof layers, which makes the roof to chimney angle more than 90 degrees. This can both simplify and complicate a repair.

If the old patch is small 6×6 or so, you can use a 12×12 patch to go over it. If the existing patch is bigger than 6×6 or you have multiple old patches, you will need to remove old flashing completely, if you want your repair to work and to last long.

It is always best to install patches over the original membrane and to make sure there are no additional layers in between, because that complicates installation and poses risk of leaks.

What Should I Do Next

Liquid Roof Rv Roof Coating &  Repair 4 Gallon Pail

We want to help you with a thorough inspection of your roof so you can feel safe and comfortable knowing your roof is leak free. Its a quick and easy way to know that you wont have to worry about the safety of your home.

  • Schedule a consultation today – it’s easy and free! Just click the button below.

  • Well complete a thorough inspection of your roof and will provide detailed and honest feedback on what we find.

  • We’ll educate and guide you to make the smartest, most cost-effective decision for your personal situation.

  • We’ll complete the job – with quality and efficiency, guaranteed. Our flat roofs come with a 10 to 15 year warranty and can be installed quickly and quietly in only a few days.

  • PS. Were glad that you care about your home and would consider working with us. If youre not sure if your home really needs a new roof, please give us a call for a quick talk about your situation. If money is an issue, we offer financing and will work to make sure keeping your home safe wont break the bank.

    We never use high pressure sales tactics and aim to be the most honest and ethical roofing company out there. That means helping you make a smart decision for your situation – even if it means you wont need a new roof.

    Our phone number is 301-6173. We hope to hear from you soon.


    Read Also: How To Calculate Roof Squares

    How Do I Price My Epdm Roof

    EPDM material prices range from $3 to $12 per square foot but are often between $4 and $6.50. EPDM installation costs an additional $1.50 to $3 per square foot. Expect to pay between $8,000 and $22,000 for a 1,500-square-foot roof.

    Finding an experienced contractor and checking references is important, as EPDM material is easy to tear.

    How To Repair The Rubber Roof On Rv

    EPDM roofs are the preferred type of RV roof by most RVers because they last longer compared to other roofs. You can use Dicor coating to cover the spot on your RV roof. However, because the EPDM roof features low maintenance, washing with soap is enough to clean off the roof.If your roof begins to deteriorate and degrade, then its time for you to repair the roof of your RV. Sealant products will not do the job if your RV roof takes too much beating to such weather conditions. The only way to revive these kinds of RV roof is by stripping off the cover and then installing a new coat.Thats why we listed the procedures on how to repair the rubber roof on RV so that you can follow the steps easily.

    Let the sealant dry for some time to hug the adhesive into the rubber roof coating firmly.

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    Fix A Rubber Roof Leak Using Epdm Rubber Roof Seam Tape

    This rubber roof on a New York home was installed in 2011. Most of the work has proven durable but five years after initial work a couple of roof seams had failed, particularly where the new EPDM roof had been seamed against older EPDM sections by gluing down the EPDM to the paper surface of older insulating roof panels below.

    You can see, stuck to the under-side of the peeled-up EPDM, the wet paper coating that formed the skin of the insulating panels under the EPDM.

    That paper contamination on the new EPDM under-side means that simply gluing down this seam again wont be a reliable repair.

    Instead its necessary to clean and seal the seam using a surface-applied strip of repair material.

    Also Check: How To Figure Square Feet Of A Roof

    Install The Repair Patch

    What to do about bubbles on a rubber RV roof

    Methods for installing the patch vary depending on what type of repair kit you have:

    Using a pressure-sensitive patch: Remove the paper or film backing from the patch, apply the patch to the roof membrane, and press it down firmly. Roll the patch in multiple directions with a roller to remove any air bubbles and fully bond the patch.

    Using a glue-down patch: Apply a single-ply EPDM adhesive to the back of the patch and the roof surface in the patch area, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the adhesive to flash off until it is no longer tacky to the touch. Press the patch onto the roof, then roll it with a steel roller, moving back and forth in multiple directions to remove air bubbles and bond the patch.

    Note: The adhesive must be designed for sealing EPDM to EPDM. Do not use yellow glue designed for sealing EPDM to substrates or insulation boards.

    Recommended Reading: What Should A Roof Estimate Include

    How Do You Fix Bubbles On A Rubber Roof

    There are a few ways to fix bubbles on a rubber roof. One way is to puncture the bubble with a sharp object and then use a caulk or sealant to fill in the hole. Another way is to use a heat gun or hair dryer to heat up the area around the bubble. This will cause the bubble to pop and the area to flatten out. Once the area is flat, you can then apply a caulk or sealant to fill in any holes or cracks.

    Vapor From Bonding Adhesive

    Installers use contact bonding adhesive to affix the EPDM membrane on upstands and all around the roof deck perimeter. Because the adhesive has a solvent base, it should be allowed to gas off until it is dry to the touch. If the membrane is bonded into position too early, bubbles or blisters will develop beneath the membrane due to trapped vapor from the adhesive.

    These bubbles usually arent particularly severe and will dissipate over a relatively brief period of time, since EPDM membranes are partially breathable. You can accelerate the process by adding an even amount of weight to the affected area. In severe instances where the adhesive hasnt been allowed to adequately dry, the membrane might need to be peeled away and re-bonded.

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    Use A Tarp To Cover The Leaking Area Of The Roof

    Using a tarp is a quick and easy temporary fix for an emergency roof leak repair. Once youve located the area in the roof where the water is entering, you can now go on the roof and cover the area with a tarp.

    What is a tarp? A tarp or tarpaulin is a large, strong and flexible waterproof material. It is often a cloth polyester that is coated in polyurethane. Most tarps have grommets that make it easy to tie down or secure it.

    A tarp will protect the affected area by keeping moisture out. In order to effectively do this, youll want to make sure that you drape the top part of the tarp over the point of your roof. This way, no water will be able to run under the tarp.

    Once youve fitted the tarp over the area, nail the edges of the tarp down. This will keep the tarp from blowing away in the wind. This is an emergency repair that can be completed in minutes, so always make sure you have a tarp handy that you could use in a situation like this.

    Heavy Duty Roofing Tarp

    Also Check: Can You Put A Skylight On A Flat Roof

    Inspect Your Flat Roof

    Butyl Waterproof Tape for Pipe Leakage Roof Crack Window Seal Leak RV ...

    There are often problems with flat roofs, including bubbles. Bubbles will show up when the original roof was not put in properly or there were problems with the installation. A small problem with your flat roof can become a much larger problem when left alone. For this reason it is a good idea to inspect your flat roof from time to time, preferably twice a year. This will allow you to catch any problems before they become a more serious problem.

    Also Check: How To Find Out How Old My Roof Is

    Causes Of Flat Roof Blistering

    Blisters can form on your flat roofs membrane for a number of reasons. Blisters on the membrane can result from leaks or even just the suns heat. Whatever the cause, these unsightly and potentially hazardous blisters are a serious problem as it can also shorten the lifespan of your roof.

    Its no surprise that the membrane has a hard time staying sealed if there is moisture between it and the roof deck. This can happen for a number of reasons: leaks, freeze/thaw cycles, or improper ventilation for instance. The result is a wind-blown look with ups and downs in the surface and blisters that resemble flat roof bubbling beneath the surface.

    Why Are There Bubbles Or Blisters On My Epdm Rubber Roof

    Whilst bubbles or blisters on a one-piece EPDM roof can be unsightly they will not cause the rubber membrane to fail. These bubbles of trapped air/moisture can be caused by a variety of issues which are all avoidable if the roof design is correct and the membrane is correctly installed.

    Full Answer

    Whilst bubbles or blisters on a one-piece EPDM roof can be unsightly they will not cause the rubber membrane to fail. These bubbles of trapped air/moisture can be caused by a variety of issues which are all avoidable if the roof design is correct and the membrane is correctly installed.

    This article explains the causes of the most common bubbles and blisters that could appear on EPDM.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Least Expensive Metal Roof

    What Happens If I Dont Fix Roof Bubbling

    When the roof bubbles are small and if they stay small then nothing happens. You just have some small bubbles.

    But if you have small bubbles that you dont fix, they may become bigger and bigger. Your rubber roof is exposed to a lot of windsheer when youre doing high speeds for extended periods of time. Those little bubbles will catch the wind zipping over the top of your roof.

    Over time that windsheer can cause the bubbles to expand or even shred. Once the shredding starts you need to act quickly to repair your roof. If the shredding is too severe then youll probably need to get your roof replaced.

    Sometimes, if you have large bubbles on your roof, they become larger when youre driving fast because of pressure differences between the air in the bubble and the air rushing over the roof. It is the same principle that allows airplanes to fly. In this case, it makes the roof bubbles expand. Since rubber is elastic, the bubble can become a LOT larger when youre driving fast.

    When you slow down the bubble will go back to the size it was before, so you, the driver or passenger in the RV, dont know it happened. But the people driving beside you on the freeway will be able to see it.

    Prepare The Roof Surface

    How to Repair an RV Roof Bubble in the membrane| Season 1: Episode 30

    The first step in repairing an EPDM roof is to prepare the roof surface to receive the patch. EPDM has carbon contained within the membrane, and as the membrane ages, the sheet develops a carbon film that can be seen if you rub a hand across the sheet. This carbon film, as well as dirt and other oxidation, must be cleaned from the surface to ensure that the patch will stick and perform well over the long-term.

    To clean the roof surface, use a cleaner that does not leave a residue. Many manufacturers recommend an all-purpose household cleaner, such as Simple Green or Spic-and-Span. Wash the patch area, cleaning well beyond the area where the patch will be applied. Use cloth rags to remove the oxidation from the surface of the EPDM and to remove all traces of moisture.

    Read Also: What’s The Average Cost Of Replacing A Roof

    How To Get Bubbles Out Of Your Rubber Rv Roof

    Most RV dealers will tell you its normal for RV rubber roofs to form bubbles under the rubber. But during my research I found that if the rubber roof is installed correctly, bubbles will not form. I guess that means, according to RV dealers, it is normal for rubber roofs to be installed improperly?

    You have a couple options to get bubbles out of your rubber RV roof. If your RV is under warranty take it to your dealer and ask them to repair it. If they wont repair it, then youll have to take matters into your own hands. You can get repair kits that help you suck the air out of the bubbles with a syringe then fill the tiny syringe hole with rubber roof glue. Or you can cut out the bubbling pieces of the roof and replace them with a patch of EPDM or TPO.

    EPDM and TPO are what RV rubber roofs are made of. To help your rubber roof last as long as possible its important to clean it properly.

    EPDM stands for Ethylene, Propylene, Diene Monomer.

    TPO stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin.


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