How to repair an EPDM Rubber Membrane
Articles/ Videos about EPDM Rubber:
- Main Page: DIY EPDM Rubber Roof Repair instructions
- Other Articles:
- Comparing EPDM Rubber with Torch Down
- Explaining three types of Rubber membranes
- Ultra Violet Degradation of EPDM Rubber
- EPDM Rubber Roof Issues
Warning: Before making flat roof repairs find out:
- The type of roof membrane 2. How old roof is 3. What is causing the leak
EPDM Rubber Roof Repair
It is a common thing to have an EPDM Rubber Roof Repair. These membranes are known to prematurely fail. The adhesives used gluing the seams together does not last and therefore compromise the entire roof.
If you have not seen the article on the Life Expectancy of an EPDM Rubber membrane, you need to click here first. This will help you to determine if it is worth fixing your roof.
How to repair an EPDM Rubber Membrane Roof
These 3D animated videos show you where to look for leaks on an EPDM Rubber Roof
Seams on an EPDM Rubber Roof
The likeliest place for an EPDM roof to leak is at the seams. The number one reason for EPDM Rubber Roofs to start leaking is due to Adhesive failure that bonds the seams together and or where the rubber is attached to metal.
- If you pull up on an overlapping seam, and the two surfaces separate easily, then you know the adhesives has failed. You should not be able to pull a seam apart with considerable force.
- Look for voids under the membrane – this happens when the rubber shrinks over time and pulls away from the edging or flashing. This will cause stress on the seams and cause it to fail.
- look for seam failure around skylights, air conditioner cubs, and vents
If you are a homeowner and there are only a few seams on the roof with a few skylights, then repairing the roof with seam tape is advisable. There is a list of tools and materials below that you can follow to make the necessary repairs.
If you have a commercial roof that’s over 3000 sq ft, then you should be careful spending the money repairing it. Normally a repair can start at 20% of the replacement cost of the roof and will escalate from there in the next few years. When EPDM seams start to fail, that means the roof was exposed to harmful ultraviolet and not only did the adhesive failed, but the rubber is getting brittle and is starting to shrink.
Never, but never ever install EPDM Rubber membrane on a commercial roof – it is a waste of money
Lacquer Thinners, Rags, and gloves
The EPDM Rubber Seam roller
This is an important tool. Once the EPDM Cover tape is placed over the adhesive or primer, then this roller is used to roll the cover tape tight into the rubber membrane as to make a tight seal
EPDM Lap Sealer or Butyl Caulking
Professional Caulking Gun
EPDM Cover Tape Roll
Disposable Paint Brush to apply the primer
Milwaukee Utility Knife – for slicing the cover tape
When using the EPDM Rubber primer, make sure you follow the instructions on the can. The contact cement has to be applied a certain way and there should enough time pass by from the time the primer was applied with a brush, to the time when the cover tape gets placed.
EPDM Cover Tape Primer
First method of making flat roof repairs on an EPDM Rubber Roof
- Clean the area, seam from all debris with a rag and lacquer thinners
- Remove old lap sealer (caulking) from the seams
- Apply a fresh beat of lap sealer (butyl caulking) not silicone, at the seams.
- Smear the beat of butyl caulk with your finger to make sure the seam is properly covered.
Second method of Making Flat Roof repairs on an EPDM
- Buy a roll of cover tape and a gallon of primer at a roofing supply
- Clean the surface thoroughly with a rag and lacquer thinners
- Remove old caulking from the seams – this is important because the caulking cause a bump
- Apply the primer an wait till touch dry
- Cut the correct length of cover tape, peel the paper back off and apply it to the surface where the primer was applied
- Take an edge hand roller, and roll over the cover tape with enough pressure to make it stick. Make sure all the trapped air bubbles are rolled out
- When some air pockets persist, take the sharp point of the utility knife, and pop these bubbles by making a small insition hole into the cover tape where the bubble is
More articles and videos on different flat roof repair issues