EPDM is one of the most authentic synthetic rubber roof membranes that has become synonymous with most commercial properties in the US and worldwide. The rubber roof is highly durable, lightweight, and inexpensive to install and repair.
Despite having all these benefits, EPDM rubber roofs may degrade and puncture due to the continued exposure to harsh weather conditions. So, property owners and contractors may be required to perform various repairs to extend the life span of the EPDM roofing systems. However, for long-lasting repairs, you need to use suitable materials and follow the proper steps.
A STEP-BY-STEP EPDM RUBBER ROOF REPAIR PROCESS
WHAT YOU NEED
- Cleaning Brush
- Cleaning Rugs
- Weathered Membrane Cleaner
- EPDM Rubber Membrane, at least 0.060″ thick
- EPDM Roofing Primer
- Paint Roller/Paintbrush
- Rubber Gloves
- Rubber Roof Cleaner Splice Wash
- Lap Sealant
- Seam Roller
- Splice Adhesive
PREPARE THE EPDM FOR REPAIR
The first step is to prepare the EPDM roof surface that needs to be repaired. You need to make sure that the temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the surface is completely dry if you want to make quality repairs that will last longer.
Then clean any debris on the roof and then clear off the carbon film that develops on the sheet’s surface. Many manufacturers recommend that you use a weathered membrane cleaner and use a rag to rub the surface to get rid of the oxidation. Thorough cleaning of the EPDM ensures that the patch you use adheres directly to the EPDM membrane.
SIZE AND CUT THE ROOF REPAIR PATCH
Once you’re done cleaning the punctured or torn part, now it’s time to cut a patching material that will fit the punctured area perfectly. First, you need to place the material on top of the area being patched and make sure that it slightly extends out of the punctured area by a few inches. It’s recommended that you leave an allowance of at least two inches on either side of the puncture. Now that you have the perfect patch, the last thing is to cut it out in readiness for patching.
APPLY THE PRIMER
Now that everything is set, the next step is to carefully apply a thin film of roofing primer on the thoroughly cleaned surface. You need to use a paint roller or paintbrush to make sure that the primer extends slightly beyond the edges of your patch and not further. You should make sure that you don’t apply too much primer that it forms puddles. However, you need to ensure that the primer completely covers all the edges of the patch.
PATCH THE ROOF
How you approach this roof repair step will depend on whether you’re using pressure-sensitive materials with an adhesive applied on the underside or standard membrane materials requiring separate adhesive.
For the former, peel the paper backing from the patch and place it on the surface of the EPDM roof system. Then using a roller, apply the pressure on the patch to ensure that all air in between the patch and the roof system escapes allowing the patching material to stick in place firmly.
If you are using the latter, apply an adhesive to the underside of the patching material and the surface of the EPDM roof system being repaired. Give the adhesive time to flash off until it’s not tacky to touch. Once you’re sure that it has flashed off, carefully place the patch over the punctured part until the torn part is completely sealed. Using a roller, press the patch to make sure that it has wholly mated the EPDM roof system.
APPLY AN EPDM LAP SEALANT
Lastly, you need to protect the repaired area against water infiltration. This is achieved by applying a bead of EPDM lap sealant around all the edges of the patch. The sealant is flattened with an old credit card or a similar tool to ensure that the roof’s allure is not affected.
Overall, this is how you repair your EPDM rubber roof system. The most crucial thing to remember is that any repairs on the EPDM membrane should be done when temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and when the roof is clean and dry. Additionally, it’s prudent to note that since this roofing system is made with synthetic rubber, it’s not compatible with all kinds of asphalt products. Once you factor in these essential aspects and follow the steps detailed in this article, you’ll be good to go.