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How To Repair Epdm Roofing

Keep Your Rv In Great Shape

EPDM Rubber Roof Repair

Naturally, you want to make sure that you are doing your best to keep your RV in excellent condition, and that means you need to take care of those RV roof leaks as soon as you find them. Add fiberglass patches to the roof to take care of the larger leaks, and then make sure you cover the roof with Liquid Roof. This is a liquid EPDM that can provide a waterproof barrier on the top of your roof to ensure you do not have to worry about leaks in the future. It is a fast, simple, and effective solution that is a good option for any RV owner to consider.

How To Repair A Epdm Rubber Roof

EPDM Rubber Roofs can be easily repaired with the right material and some know how. Follow the steps below to make quality and lastly repairs to your rubber roof.

Here are the following items you will need:


  • Rubber Roof Cleaner Splice Wash
  • Rubber Roof Primer
  • Rubber Roof uncured peel & stick flashing
  • Rubber Roofing Lap sealant
  • Clean cotton rags or towel
  • small bucket
  • Brush to apply primer
  • Step 1

    Thoroughly clean the area to be repaired. Begin by sweeping up dirt and other debris. If the roof is ballasted, move the rock away from the area carefully so not to make any punctures or tears in the rubber material. Once area is free of any debris or dirt, use the rubber roofing splice wash or approved rubber roofing cleaner with cotton rags or sponge to whip down area. Allow 1-30 minutes for the cleaner to completely dry.

    Step 2

    Apply the rubber roofing primer to area that is to receive the patch. Use the brush to apply the primer. You dont want to apply so much that the primer puddles but you do want the area completely covered. The rubber roofing will turn dark black when covered with the primer. While the rubber roof primer is drying the primer will brome tacky to apply the patch cut the patch for the size that you need while the primer dries.

    Step 3

    Step 4

    Once the uncured flashing is applied to the EPDM rubber, cover the edge of the flashing with a thick bead of rubber roofing lap sealant.

    Epdm Wrinkles Extend Into Roof Membrane Seams Aggravated By Gravel

    Our photos below illustrate what happens when an EPDM wrinkle extends into a roof seam, and as you can see by the water stains, the gravel stop caused excessive ponding that gave frost extra time to work on and push open the seam tape near the roof edge. These seam failures began appearing in the rubber roof in less than five years. The photos below show the roof edge at 14 years of age.

    Interim Roof Repairs Avoided a Leak Catastrophe in this EPDM Rubber Roof

    We made some interim EPDM roof repairs by cutting out the worst wrinkles and gluing down new sections of EPDM roofing material over the cutout. But as more of the original work deteriorated, by the end of a decade and after discovering carpenter ant infestations traced to leaks near the roof edges, we just didn’t trust this roof further.

    We inspected this roof every year, sealing suspect seam edges by cleaning the plies and applying rubber roof seam sealer.

    But as our photo at below left illustrates, it was an endless task, exacerbated by that damnable gravel stop. At below right shows another of the original roofer’s ideas for roof-wall flashing: “run it up the wall and glue the top edge of the rubber to the wood siding” – not a reliable installation and one that required constant attention.

    Pounding the gravel stop “flat” to allow the roof to drain provided emergency relief to slow the frost working away at seams near the roof edge, but it left a horrible, ugly, and equally stupid roof edge flashing installation.

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    Roofing Terms Midwest Roofing Supply

    Factory Seam: A splice/seam made in the roofing material by the manufacturer. It is preferable during installation to cut these splices out of the membrane.Details: Learning how to repair rolled roofing means you can do it yourself if you wish. How to Repair an Asphalt Shingle Roof With Tar Paper.This easy to follow three step guide will help teach you how to repair that broken seam in your leather furniture. Leather chairs and furniture sometimes lose thier luster.Does every adult know how to repair a button or a fallen hem? Do any Home Ec 101 readers ownlet alone Is it common knowledge to check new clothes for loose threads before the first washing (to avoid So, were going to start at the beginning, in this case, fixing a pillow with a hole on the seam.

    Diy Epdm Roof Installation Vs Hiring A Pro

    Rubber Roof Repair Southlake, TX

    It can be tempting for some homeowners to install the roof themselves, but unless you have the necessary tools and proper experience, its best to hire professionals to do it for you. Roughly 95% of EPDM roof failures are due to poor installation. Hiring a team of experts will ensure the job is done right, helping to maximize its lifespan.

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    Unprofessional Contractors = Poor Roof Installation

    Many contractors praise and install the EPDM roofing system, because manufacturers that make this material do not require roofers to be certified or trained in order to purchase and install it.

    Furthermore, rubber roofs are CHEAP. There are no special tools, or equipment required for installation. Some $1 paint brushes and a $15 hand-roller is all that you or a roofer would really need to get going.

    EPDM is also easily accessible. Anybody can get all materials and accessories at a local home improvement store. You also dont need to purchase very large quantities, .

    All of the above factors combined with eager cooperation on the part of distributors, promoting this roof at special seminars, creates a situation where poorly trained contractors put up a rubber roofing sticker on their trucks, and set out to get some business.

    Homeowners, who are unaware of this situation, usually believe that they are dealing with qualified professional contractors. Although, these roofers may know how to shingle a roof and may even have good references, chances are that their expertise with a single ply membrane is limited, or non existent.

    It is important to realize that a flat roof is a completely different animal and not every contractor can properly install, or repair a single ply membrane. Furthermore, there are many fly-by-night roofers who will do the install dirt cheap, and when the roof leaks you will never find them.

    Now That You Know You Have An Epdm Roof How Can You Repair It

    The first thing that needs to be determined is the current condition of the roof.

    If your EPDM roof is in fair condition, you can renew it by installing a silicone coating system over the field of the roof.

    If your EPDM roof is in poor condition, youll most likely need to remove the entire roof and install a new roofing system.

    Heres a photo of an EPDM roof thats been repaired by installing a silicone coating system:

    But its not as simple as just laying down some silicone and calling it a day.

    More importantly, is the preparation that happens before silicone is installed. Heres how that goes:

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    Epdm Rubber Roof Vs Roofing Felt

    EPDM rubber and torch-on felt roofing systems are the most commonly used materials for residential homes in the UK. If you’re still considering your options as to which one to use on your flat roof, here’s a short overview comparing the two materials.

    Key Factors

    There are pros and cons to both materials. It’s crucial that you take the time weigh up your options thoroughly before making a choice that could affect your home or commercial property.

    Fix The Side Fascia On First

    How to EPDM Rubber roof repair – patch

    The side fascia was made of two timber sections screwed together and painted. The fascia is fixed using wood screws to the end of the purlins that project through the wall. The screws pass through the epdm membrane clamping it between the end of the purlin and the fascia. These are the only holes that are made in the membrane. As the holes are limited in number, outside of the main roof and on a vertical surface, they are extremely unlikely to contribute to any future roof leak.

    View of roof with timber side fascia fixed. Ready to start fixing front trim

    The front trim was fixed after both sides had been secured.

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    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.

    Repairing Punctures In Or Damage To The Epdm Membrane

    Even though EPDM is incredibly durable and hard wearing, it can still suffer from punctures, caused by weather damage, objects such as tree branches falling onto the roof, animals, or other trades. However, one of the main advantages to EPDM is that it can be very easily repaired using a patch. There are also puncture-resistant single-ply membranes available .

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    Rubber Roof Repair How To Fix A Leaking Roof

    Repairing rubber roofing is a fairly easy DIY job, if you have the right tools and materials.

    I have been working with EPDM rubber membranes for over 15 years, and in this guide, I will teach you how to fix a leaking roof in just one weekend, all by yourself, for less than $230-280!

    I will also discuss the benefits of doing a DIY repair vs. hiring a roofing contractor, and how much you will be saving.

    Note:I will also showcase EPDM Rubber Roofing Repair Kit, which is a set of tools and materials designed specifically for DIY flat roof repair. I am the seller and I have put this kit together based on my extensive experience in the flat roofing field.

    In this post:

  • Benefits of DIY repair what you will gain from fixing leaks yourself over hiring a roofer.
  • Professional roof repair cost find out how much a pro will charge to fix various rubber roofing problems
  • Materials and tools complete list of all the supplies you will need.
  • Where to buy roofing supplies find out where you can purchase materials, tools and accessories needed for the repair online and local.
  • Rubber roofing repair kit a complete set of materials and tools needed for the job. Costs $259 for a small one or $279 for large. It is shipped to your door for free.
  • How to patch a rubber roof step by step guide with pictures
  • Before You Start To Install Epdm Roofing Make Sure That Your Roof Is Clean And Dry

    Rubber Roof Systems. EPDM vs Torch Down

    Also that the temperature is likely to remain above 5 degrees C for the next 24 hrs. . In addition, check that all nails and screws have been driven below the surface of the roof deck, for obvious reasons.

    Roofing membrane laid out on clean and dry roof deck

    Side note: I completed the featured job in the middle of December in the UK. It was raining as I finished nailing on the last roofing boards. It then froze that night. I spent the next couple of days getting the roof to dry out in the weak, mid-winter sun. I was lucky that I then hit a dry spell. The weather warmed up enough for me to dry out the roof and to bond the roof with the expectation that the temperature would remain above 7 degrees for that night.

    Laying the membrane out flat on the roof is a double check that you calculated the size correctly. I found it interesting to handle this material and see how tough and flexible it really is.

    Membrane on roof prior to bonding. The membrane overhangs the roof on all edges.

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    Seams Failure = Leaks

    Here is an industry fact that most homeowners dont know even when a rubber roof is installed correctly, it will most likely still leak. This is because it is designed to have seams that are glued together, effectively keeping it watertight.

    Over time, even the best glue dries up and fails in 7-10 years or sooner, allowing the seams to come apart. At that point, the roof is left completely vulnerable to water infiltration.

    The worst part this is an unavoidable systemic problem with the design of this roof. The best you can do is prolong the period before the seams fail. But, they will eventually fail, nonetheless.

    This is why if you want to avoid recurring leaks, it is best to install a seamless single-ply membrane, such as PVC or TPO.

    One Piece Rubber Roof Fully Adhered

    This is the type of system I like to install best, one of the key strengths of a rubber roof is the lack of joints and therefore potential leaks, EPDM rubber membrane can be cut to virtually any size from one piece without joins up to 15m x 30m. Typically its a Firestone type branded rubber membrane in 1.2mm domestic grade or 1.5mm commercial thickness. The least joins you can have in the roof the better, and if you get caught by a shower whilst fitting, simply spread the rubber over the roof to keep it dry.

    This video shows you the basic steps involved in a fully adhered EPDM roof, sometimes known as the classic bond.

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    How To Install An Epdm Rubber Roof

    How to fit a rubber roof The devil is in the detail, this separates a nice roof from a horrible one. A few extra pennies on some click together trims, a little bit of planning, will result in a roof that will last you up to 50 years. Ill take you through the steps from start to finish as always.

    In this article I will be picking the best videos made by rubber roof suppliers so that you can read my advice and see what they suggest also. This is purely because they have already made very clear good quality video instructions, and for me to remake their videos would be silly. What I will be adding is my 30+ years of flat roofing knowledge, put them in order and add things either not covered, or make suggestions I think will help you fit them in a professional manner.

    Roof deck timber choice for EPDM

    If you are fitting a one piece EPDM roof then you will need to glue it down, unless its ballasted or mechanically fixed . The trouble with this is that the glues used in rubber roofs do not like the presence of contaminants such as bitumen or asphalt. For good adhesion your roof decking will need to be clean Plywood or OSB sterling board, and that will almost certainly mean a brand new roof deck.

    OSB 3 These days this is fast becoming the roofers first choice. Engineered to specific tolerances, designed for the building trade, load bearing, and resistant to moisture. Allow 3mm gaps between all edges of the board.

    Full replacement or over boarding of a roof deck

    The Lifespan Of Rubber Roofing

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

    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.

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    Prepare The Roof Surface

    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.


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