Installing EPDM Roof – A Step by Step Guide

EPDM roofing is a great option for homeowners looking for a durable and affordable roofing solution. EPDM roofing is made of rubber, so it is resistant to weathering and pests. It also requires very little maintenance, making it a cost-effective option in the long run. In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of installing EPDM roofing on your home. We will cover everything from preparing the surface to sealing the seams. So if you are considering installing an EPDM roof on your home, keep reading!

Surface Preparation for EPDM Roof

Just like any other roof product, it is very important that the surface you are working with is clean and dry. If there are any cracks in the concrete or if there are peeling shingles on your roof, these will need to be fixed before applying an EPDM rubber roofing membrane. Once the roof surface is clean and dry, you should inspect it for any damage that might need to be repaired. If there are any holes or valleys in the EPDM rubber roofing membrane, these can be repaired with an adhesive repair kit.

Putting up EPDM Roofing Membrane

Once your surface is prepared, it’s time to put up your EPDM roofing membrane. The process of putting on the membrane will take about one day per 100 square feet of surface area. This includes waiting for the adhesive to dry between steps. The first step in applying an EPDM rubber roofing membrane is stapling the bottom edge of the material to the roof deck using a staple gun. The next step is folding each side into itself and stapling it to the roof deck.

Sealing EPDM Roof Seams

Once your membrane is in place, you can seal all of the seams on the surface using rubberized seam tape. Start from one side and work your way to the other, pulling any wrinkles out as you go. Rubberized seam tape comes in a variety of colors so make sure to choose one that matches or complements your existing membrane color.

You should overlap each piece by at least six inches and then seal both ends with heat from a heat gun. Make sure not to touch the non-sticky adhesive backing while sealing seams – this will cause the adhesive to gum up and lose its effectiveness. If you plan on installing ledgers (metal strips that hold the membrane in place), you will need to seal the holes within the ledger strips with rubberized seam tape before installation.

Final Steps for Installing EPDM Rubber Roofing Membrane

Once your seams are sealed, apply a coat of adhesive to the top surface of your EPDM rubber roofing membrane using a spray bottle. This will contribute to the longevity and durability of your roof’s surface. Once this is complete, you can install ledgers on both sides of your roof using screws. The perimeter of the ledgers should be a few inches from the edge of your roof. You can then cross-seam your original seams by folding them up and stapling each side twice to create an overlapping pattern.

The final step is covering any exposed screws with rubberized seam tape. 

Installing EPDM roofing isn’t as difficult as it might seem – there are just a few steps that you need to take care of before and during installation. Once the membrane has been installed, all that remains is maintaining your new roof! You can do this by applying fresh coats of adhesive and rubberized seam tape around any seams or screw heads every few years.

By following these easy steps, you will be able to install an EPDM roof on your home in no time!

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you put under EPDM roofing?

Typically, the material you put under EPDM roofing is foam or rubber insulation, either of which will help to protect your home from extreme heat and noise.

When do I apply adhesive to the top of my membrane?

Typically, you would apply adhesive to your new membrane within 24-72 hours depending on temperatures. For example, if you have cold winters where it gets below freezing then it is recommended not to apply until springtime when it warms up. If you live in an area with high humidity levels this may also be a factor impacting the curing time of adhesives.

Can EPDM be installed on plywood?

Yes. EPDM rubber roofing can be installed on plywood surfaces and will often use a plywood backup for installation if using screws to fasten the membrane down.

Can I walk on my roof while it’s curing?

No. When adhesive is moist and new, your roof should not be walked upon until all steps have been completed and you let the adhesives dry overnight before walking on them or placing objects on top of them.

Do you have to glue down EPDM?

No. EPDM rubber roofing does not need to be glued down if installed properly following the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation

How long can fresh adhesive sit before you apply it?

You typically want the adhesives to sit overnight, however, this may vary depending on your climate and temperatures impacting curing time.

What are ledgers?

Ledgers are metal strips that hold the membrane in place around objects which will help prevent the membrane from lifting over these objects such as chimneys or skylights.

Do I heat seal my seams?

Yes. If installing flashing tape, you will need to heat seal all exposed sides of your flashing tape after applying each piece to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of flashing tape used for sealing seams together.

How do I seal my chimneys?

Sealing your chimneys can be done by applying rubberized seam tape to the top of your membrane around the perimeter of where your chimney lies, then adding caulk or another form of silicone between the flashing tape and the roof’s surface.

How long can I expect my roof to last?

Your roof should have a life expectancy of at least 30 years without any major repairs. It is possible to use the steps in this blog to install your own roof, but it is recommended that you contact a professional like jefferyhandyman if needed.

When do I seal my seams?

The best time to seal seams is after installation, although some manufacturers may require sealing before installation. Make sure to check with your manufacturer’s instructions before applying any adhesive material.

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