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Video Transcription - Problems with EPDM Rubber Roofs

Flat Roof Problems with EPDM Rubber Membranes

Hi, my name is Andre and today we are looking at an EPDM Rubber roof, one of the most popular roofs um to ever be installed. They say there are fewer seams, but there are a lot of seams.

Some of them are factory seams like this one where you could almost not see it and there’s also this one that the contractor installs or the roofer installs, and these are glued down together with a primer and an adhesive. Um, this a little bit of an older style roof. I mean this one has probably put down maybe ten years ago, maybe eight years ago.

EPDM Roofing Techniques Changed often

The reason why I say this is because the roofing has changed so much in the last five years they don’t even put this roof down like this anymore. I mean it’s like you’re learning a new game every five years. Uh, there’s no cover tape which is a tape that goes over seams and uh, it’s supposed to last longer now that’s what the typical standard is. It is just glued to itself, which it works for five years, maybe six-seven years, but in the end,

if it’s not a factory seam, well, it’s not going to last. Let me show you an example over here, and it may help you better understand what’s going on. This is the reason why this roof is failing because the glue is going bad. You see the yellow paste is just coming right off.

5 Reasons Contractors Choose to Install EPDM Rubber Roofing:

  • EPDM Rubber install by someone who has had very little training.
  • The process for installation can be done relatively quickly, saving labor costs.
  • Although there is a more durable, two-ply system available, roofing contractors will install the EPDM, single-ply system because they know it well.
  • The sales appeal of EPDM is that it is flexible and it comes in 8′ to 20′ wide rolls which means fewer seams.
  • EPDM does not require expensive tools for installation.

Although contractors choose to install an EPDM Rubber Roofing system, there is a more durable, two-ply system at a comparable cost. However, this method involves more skilled technicians and tools but doubles the life expectancy of the roof.

EPDM Rubber need maintenance 3-10 Years After Installation

It has been our experience when contracted to repair a roof, which some leaks begin as soon as 3-10 years after first being installed. Some of these EPDM roofs had signs of wear and tear due to foot traffic. Others had areas that had become brittle from harmful UV ray exposure. Most showed. However, that seems failed when the EPDM adhesives lost bonding properties, which has been addressed by manufacturers at least five times over the last 40 years.

EPDM: Repair or Replace 

An EPDM rubber roof repairs are possible if the surface preparation is done carefully by experienced roofing technicians. Beware of suggestions that a replacement is needed, instead, find the qualified professional, who has the know-how, for finding the source of leaks and making the necessary repairs. Otherwise, you may incline to accept the sale of another, new EPDM single-ply rubber roofing system.

When should an EPDM roof be repaired or replaced?

The rule of thumb is two-fold: If the EPDM rubber roof was installed correctly and is less than ten years old, and when the cost of the repairs are less than 15% than the cost of replacement, a fix, rather than an alternative is the appropriate solution.

If you happen to have an EPDM single-ply rubber roof system that is leaking, we can evaluate whether it should be repaired or replaced.

Finding a Roofing Contractor

Finding a roofing contractor should begin with knowing what type of roof you have and what type you need. If your roof needs repairs, it is in your best interests to find the contractor that specializes in the system you currently have.

If you are considering replacing your roof, research different types of roofing systems and the life expectancy of each. Then locate a reputable contractor who specializes in the system that interests you. Develop a working relationship with the contractor, based on the information and advice you need, to make the best decision for your roofing needs.

Random Estimates

Whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, locating random roofing contractors to provide estimates, is not in your best interests. You may tend to compare the estimates and decide on the contractor who provides the “best” one. The “best” estimate may not take into consideration the reputation of the roofing company, the experience of the crew, but most importantly, the type of roofing system, in which they specialize.

EPDM Rubber Roof seams need patching

The image is about us repairing an EPDM Rubber roof in Westport Connecticut. This is a common thing to do. Once the seams starting to separate on an EPDM Rubber Roof, then there is no end to the repairs.

EPDM Rubber Repair on a commercial roof in Westport Connecticut

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