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How To Fix Epdm Roof

Tracing The Life & Performance & Repair History Of An Epdm Rubber Roof With Installation Mistakes

EPDM Rubber Roof Repair

In general we like rubber roofing material. Modern EPDM is very reliable, tolerates sunlight, temperature variations, and properly installed, we have found it leakproof.

But the performance of an EPDM roof can be very different if the installer is not familiar with or does not follow good roofing practices.

Here we provide photos and comments following study of the performance of an EPDM roof during the first 15 years of its life, assaying the effects of mistakes and poor workmanship in the original installation.

At EPDM, RUBBER, PVC ROOFING we define EPDM, describe its properties, and discuss its typical life and warranty periods.

Article Contents

  • EPDM ROOF COATING REPAIRS – separate article
  • The Lifespan Of Rubber Roofing

    How often you perform checks and maintenance your EPDM roof will play a large role in how long it lasts. It’s also important to find a reputable company with the required experience and skill to complete the job satisfactorily.

    In most cases, rubber roofing systems will come with a 15 to 20-year guarantee. However, if it’s properly installed and not exposed to excessive levels of foot traffic, it can last 30+ years.

    How To Install Epdm Roofing

    February 19, 2019|summit|Commercial Roofing, Roofing Systems

    At Summit Commercial Roofing, we love EPDM for its ability to stand up to virtually any climatic conditions and its ease of maintenance. We can show you how to install EPDM roofing in no time, but first, what does EPDM roofing installation drip edge involve?

    Surface Preparation

    The key to knowing how to install EPDM roofing lies in starting with a clean surface. This means removing all dirt, debris, grease, and other contaminants. The surface also needs to be completely dry. Any existing coverings, such as asphalt layers, need to be removed completely.

    In the case of commercial roofs with drainage or ponding problems, its always best to call a professional for assistance. Installing new EPDM on faulty, incorrectly leveled or damaged roofing wont improve matters. Experts can replace or re-level the roof surface using high-grade moisture-resistant OSB panels.

    Pre-Installation Tasks

    In order to keep sheets perfectly straight, and minimize the chances of bubbles or creases, the next step is to measure and mark the project area using chalk or a pencil. A roof requires enough EPDM membrane to cover it completely, along with a thick overhang for the adjacent walls and roof edge. During this stage, youll also want to install the drip batten and drip back trim at the roofs edge to direct rainwater over the gutter.

    EPDM Sheet Preparation

    EPDM Sheet Application


    Repeating the Procedure

    Finishing Touches

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    Epdm Roof Membrane Shrinkage

    While EPDM roofs are easy to install, the installation MUST be carried out by someone who is trained in installing EPDM roofing. Otherwise, it is all to easy to fall victim to problems caused by incorrect installation, such as shrinkage, for example.

    Some common reasons for shrinkage are:

    • failure to fully adhere perimeters and angle changes
    • not allowing the EPDM sheeting enough time to relax before installing
    • not allowing for sheet expansion in warmer weather before applying

    Left untreated, problems can develop until theyre much bigger than the original issue. They can lead to potential damage to not just the membrane and the roofing seams, but also to the underlying structure of the roof, drainage outlets and flashing.

    A skilled EPDM roofing professional will take into account weather conditions when installing the EPDM membrane and allow it to relax/contract as required. In addition, they will not just cut the EPDM membrane to fit but will ensure that the roof is fully sealed, taking into account upstands and roofing features, and leaving sufficient overlap between the membranes to discourage further breaches .

    Unfortunately, its likely that if your EPDM roof has been incorrectly installed, and has led to shrinkage, to the extent where you are seeing some of these problems, the only solution is to have it correctly installed by a trained professional roofer.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Epdm Roofs

    EPDM Roof System Field Repair Seam

    Still have questions about EPDM roofing? Youve come to the right place! In this section, weve answered some of the questions were most frequently asked about this material. Take a look and see if we answered your question. If you have any more questions, please feel free to schedule a free consultation with one of our roofing experts!

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    The Importance Of Regular Roof Inspections

    One of the best ways to ensure you get the maximum lifespan from your rubber roof is to have it regularly inspected. This should cover everything from a visual check for tears and punctures to a more thorough inspection of the drains and gutters. A good time to carry out an inspection is during the mild weather of spring and autumn, although its best practice to check a flat roof after a period of adverse weather too.

    Apply The Patch To A Flat Area

    If you are applying a patch to a flat area , this process should be very easy. Make your patch so that it sticks about 2-3 beyond the hole in the roof, and round off the corners with scissors. Once you confirm that the primer is dry, remove the film / paper off the back of your patch and slowly apply the patch to the roof surface, making sure you do not trap any air, so that you dont create any bubbles / air pockets between the patch and rubber membrane. Work your way out from one edge of the patch to the other. Once the patch has been placed down, roll it in with the silicone roller, with moderate pressure. Make sure you roll in the edges of the patch especially well.

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    Leaking Epdm Roof Repair

    Leaks in EPDM roofs can happen for several reasons, including:

    • punctures in, or damage to, the membrane
    • shrinkage
    • incorrectly installed or improper flashing
    • wrinkles extending into roof seams

    The best way to deal with roof leaks is through prevention, rather than cure, as usually, once youve noticed a leak, the chances are its already done some damage . This is where regular roof inspections and clearing debris away from the roof come in.

    Remember that the source of the leak may not be directly above where the damp patch has come through. Water can run in any number of directions, so its important to thoroughly inspect the roof space.

    When youve found the source of the leak, its important to determine the full scope of the problem, as if moisture has already got through your EPDM membrane, and it gets trapped, it can cause bubbling and blistering as well as potentially lead to rot. So, its more than just fixing the original leak!

    Fixes may include re-laying the entire roof, or part of the membrane, applying a patch or re-installing the flashing. It will depend on the issue at hand. If you think you might have a leak, consult a trained roofer to determine the best course of action for your EPDM roof.

    Install The Protective Coating And Granules

    How to EPDM Rubber roof repair – patch

    Unprotected spray foam will degrade by UV rays within 72 hours. Thats why every spray foam roof is protected with a type of coating. The coating is usually installed in two separate coats, a base coat, and a topcoat. The combined thickness of the protective coating is what determines the length of the warranty.

    For example, a 10-year warranty needs 20 mils of coating. A 20-year warranty needs 30 mils of coating.

    Granules are then broadcasted into the topcoat of the coating.

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    Should You Install An Epdm Roof

    There are a number of factors to consider when deciding upon your roofing material, whether its EPDM or another type.

    For now, lets focus on EPDM. Should you install it?

    If you have anything other than a flat or low slope roof, EPDM probably wouldnt be the right choice. If you do have one of the two, lets continue!

    EPDM is one of the leading choices when it comes to rubber roofing membranes for flat or low slope roofs. We cover the pros and cons of EPDM in a section above. If the pros outweigh the cons for you, then it may be time to schedule an appointment. Our team at Legacy Service can provide you with a free estimate for roofing replacement.

    They Help You Keep Your Cool

    Finally, roof repair coatings help you keep your cool. They reflect heat and UV rays back into the atmosphere, lowering the ambient temperature within your RV and reducing the need to use the AC. They also help to reduce the effect of heat on the substructure of your roof, prolonging its life and saving you money over time, as well.

    As you can see, there are quite a few interesting things about EPDM RV roof sealant. Easily applied on your own, completely waterproof, incredibly durable, these coatings embody next generation technology and ensure that youre able to protect your investment.

    Have you been troubled recently with RV roof leaks? Many RV owners will eventually find that they have a leak in their roof that has the potential to cause quite a bit of damage to the RV if they do not take care of it sooner rather than later. It is also important that you understand some of the most common reasons that RV roof leaks happen in the first place. Understanding why and how they happen can often give you a better idea of how to prevent them from happening or repair them if they do occur.

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    Cost To Replace An Epdm Roof

    Replacing may cost a little bit more than just applying EPDM rubber roofing to your home. If you need to remove the old roof, youll probably have to add about $1 to $2 more per square foot. Codes will vary from area to area, but if theres only one layer, you most likely wont need to remove the old roof. Two or more layers will typically require removal, though.

    New Roof Or Replacement Cost

    The Pros and Cons of EPDM Rubber Roofing: A Guide for ...

    Whether youre looking to install a new roof or replace an old one can affect the overall cost of your project. For EPDM roofing details, you can continue reading this article for general information or contact your local roofing specialists for more personalized info. At Legacy Service, we provide roofing installation and replacement services to homeowners throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Lets take a look at the average costs you may be facing:

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    What Should You Do Now

    Your first step is to have a discovery call with a commercial roofing contractor. They will ask you questions, such as:

    • Whats been going on with your roof?
    • How old is your existing roof system?
    • What are you expecting with your new roof?
    • Where is the roof located?

    They will schedule a time to come out to your EPDM roof and take a look. Once they do an inspection, they will give you advice on what you should do next.

    West Roofing Systems has been in business since 1979. In that time, weve installed silicone roof coatings or spray foam roofs over hundreds of EPDM roofs. Most of them we still service today!

    If youd like to start a conversation with West Roofing Systems, please fill out a request for quote form and well contact you as soon as possible.

    If youd like to learn more about silicone roof coatings, or spray foam roofing, please click on one of the links below.

    How To Install Rubber Roofing

    There are four key stages involved in installing an EPDM rubber roof which, when followed will ensure a smooth a fault-free finish on top of your decking.

    EPDM Step by Step

  • Clean the Roof: Although this seems like an obvious first step, its important to ensure that it’s done thoroughly. This is to prevent lumps or areas that are not able to bond with the adhesive once the material has been laid. Remove any debris that may already be on the roof . If there are any gaps in the roof, fill these in with wood strips. The rubber material will not hold to any gaps more than a quarter of an inch in size.
  • Position the EPDM Membrane: The material can now be rolled out and laid into the required position across the surface of the roof. Leave the material for the next 20-30 minutes to let any folds or creases fall out. Next, locate the bottom half of the rubber strip on top of the higher section, before sweeping a broom over the exposed rubber to ensure it’s completely smooth and flat.
  • Trimming the Material: While the main trimming will happen closer to the end of the job, it’s likely you will have to remove excess parts of the membrane that are making it difficult to work with. This takes a steady hand to prevent going off course and removing more than is needed.
  • Always consult with a professional roofer before embarking on a DIY flat roofing project such as installing EPDM.

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    Choosing The Right Roof Deck Timber For Epdm

    If youre fitting a single piece EPDM roof, the chances are itll have to be glued in place. Plywood or OSB sterling board offer the best bases for this type of rubber roofing. So consider purchasing a new roof deck timber before installation gets underway.

    Its important to note that bitumen has a negative impact on the performance of an EPDM rubber membrane. So any residue should be removed or over boarded prior to installation.

    Wrinkles In The Rubber Roof Invite Future Seam Failures

    Flat Roof Repair using Super Silicone Seal | EPDM Rubber roof repair | Easy DIY in 5 min

    Shown during its 1998 installation above and at left, this rubber EPDM roof was installed on a New York home by a very large and busy Kingston New York roofing company. We followed the life of this roof and its leak and repair history for the ensuing 14 years and describe the results here.

    The roofer also may have been in a bit of a rush. EPDM needs to be opened and allowed to relax before it is installed, and care should be taken to minimize the number and size of wrinkles in the roof during the bonding process.

    A few small wrinkles in the center of a section of rubber probably won’t cause much trouble, but wrinkles near EPDM roof seams are an other story, as we explain here.

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    Preparing An Epdm Roof For Repair

    Galow’s crew cut and removed the EPDM and ugly gravel stop from the entire lower roof edge, cleaning and blowing off all loose fragments of debris and peeling back a 6-inch section of the original roof that we would glue-lap over a new EPDM section of roofing along the roof’s now exposed surface.

    Eric also installed the proper drip edging, of adequate width to nail to the roof deck back from the edge, with a flat profile – no more raised edge gravel stop to cause roof edge ponding. .

    The new sections of EPDM were opened flat and allowed to relax in the incredibly hot sun .

    The new material was fully adhered in place gluing half of the length of rubber at a time then gluing and smoothing into place the second half, working with care to avoid wrinkles.

    What Is Bubbling And Why Does It Happen

    RV roof bubbling is just want it sounds like, bubbles form under your RV roof. You see them as bumps.

    They start small and if they stay small then you can leave them. But if they get bigger then youll want to fix them as fast as you can.

    If you want to track their size you can take pictures and record the day/year the pictures were taken. Over time take more pictures to see if the size changes.

    You can also use a sharpie to draw an outline around the bubble today. Then look again in a few months to see if the bubbles have grown.

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    How Much Does Epdm Rubber Roofing Cost

    The most up to date pricing for our products is available by following the links in the section below.

    Although EPDM rubber roofing systems can be a little more expensive than its alternatives, the return on your investment is significantly higher. The cost for professional installation will depend on the total square footage of the job. The complexity of the roof itself will also factor in. Smaller, straightforward jobs can be completed quickly and easily at a more affordable rate. Larger, bespoke projects will be reflected in the cost.

    Fix-R EPDM Membrane

    As a rough guideline, we would estimate that a professional company would charge between £60-£80 per square metre. This is not factoring in the VAT, labour costs, disposal and any scaffolding required to complete the job.

    If you have the experience to install the rubber membrane yourself or wish to purchase the materials for someone else to install, it helps to know the costs involved. A high-quality membrane is essential and Fix-R EPDM Membrane provides just that.

    Youll also need an adhesive, which Fix-R EPDM Water Based Acrylic Deck Adhesive offers the perfect solution for. Fix-R EPDM Bonding Adhesive is ideal to use around the edges of the roof, or in more complex areas where bonding may prove to be an issue.


  • As low as£27.20£22.67
  • As low as£49.85£41.54
  • Rubber Roofing Repair Kit

    How to repair Flat EPDM Roof in Wimbledon  Professional ...

    I designed this kit based on years of experience with EPDM membrane repairs. I figured out that 95% of all repairs took me 2 hours or less, and the materials I include should work for most repairs.

    The kit costs $259 for a standard package, or $279 for a larger package, needed for bigger jobs. The larger one is currently sold only on our website, but will be soon available through Amazon.

    You can purchase on You can also get it directly from our website

    It comes with FREE shipping in continental US, and is shipped on the same or next business day.

    What is included:

  • 10 ft. of 6 Peel and Stick Tape
  • 2 ft. of 9 Peel and Stick Tape
  • FOUR 6×9 Peel and Stick Patches
  • 16 OZ can of EPDM Cleaner
  • 16 OZ can of EPDM Primer
  • 1 tube of EPDM Lap Sealant
  • Heavy Duty Silicone Roller
  • Cleaning Rags
  • Pair of Nitrile Gloves
  • I also offer a Big Boss kit, which has 15 feet of 6 flashing and 5 feet of 12 flashing, and is designed for bigger repair jobs. Everything else is the same as in the standard one. The Big Boss costs $279

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