A Brief History of Roofing Materials

A complete history of roofing materials would start in the Stone Age. Popular modern material has not been around quite that long but even clay roof tiles have been in use for thousands of years.

Of course the manufacturing processes have changed and improved. People are no longer limited by the location of the material. That was a major factor to consider before present-day shipping methods were introduced.

Clay tiles are popular in some areas and for some architectural designs. The tiles are more expensive than other options but they are long-lasting. Shingles are a far more popular choice.

The history of modern shingles is not nearly as long as that of clay. Wood shingles or shakers were used until insurance companies started refusing to insure homes and businesses with roofs covered by them.

The first composite roof material was used in the 1840s. They are referred to as composites because they are composed of two or more substances, rather than a single material. Modern shingles are composites but the first composite roofs bore little resemblance to the ones we use today. Also there are lots of roofing materials like Liquid EPDM Coatings, liquid roof and liquid rubber coatings are available in the market for fixing roof leaks.

The substances used in the earliest composites were felt or woven fabric, pine tar and sand. Improvements were made by saturating the fabric with asphalt and substances such as sand, crushed limestone or talc. Coal tar came next in the history of roofing materials.

Coal tar is a byproduct of coal manufacturing processes. It was not until the introduction of gas lighting for city sidewalks that enough of the byproduct was generated to find an application in the roof industry.

The coal tar was mixed with fine gravel and rolls of felt were saturated with it. The rolled material was then attached to roofs. Asphalt shingles soon replaced the rolled material.

Henry M. Reynolds made a significant contribution to the history of roofing materials. He came up with the concept of shaping the earlier asphalt-coated roof fabrics into individual shingles in 1903. Reynolds was a roofer and manufacturer. The first shingles he produced were hand cut with a sharp knife.

In 1914, F.C. Overby began adding crushed granules of slate to add weight to the shingles and keep them from blowing off the roof. Roller-die cutting machines were perfected the following year making the mass-production of shingles more practical. Most of the changes that have occurred since that time have been decorative, except for the use of fiber glass to reinforce the felt fabric, which occurred in the 1970s.

That is a very brief history of roofing materials that are very helpful for repairing roof leaks. Liquid EPDM Rubber and Liquid Roof coatings are the best roofing products that will give you cost effective solution for your roofing problems. Although there are other choices, composite shingles are still the most popular for homes.

For product information or ordering visit EPDM Coatings or call them at 855-281-0940855-281-0940.

Liquid EPDM Coatings are aftermarket roof sealants

A number of aftermarket roof sealants are available, including urethanes, acrylics and liquid rubber. Liquid EPDM rubber is by far the most durable of the sealants available and has the widest range of applications.

It is more water resistant than other rubbers, including neoprene. It is more resistant to swelling and has a wider range of acceptable temperatures. It can be applied directly to practically any roofing material other than asphalt and can even be used on wood that has been primed.

Liquids have an obvious advantage over sheets. Sheets have seams. Seam sealers eventually deteriorate and water gets through the seams and under the sheeting.

Liquid EPDM can be used on top of neoprene, although some pre-treatment of the surface is required. Just knowing that the liquid rubber is recommended for use on top of the other type of rubber should be an indication that the material is more durable.

Liquid EPDM can also be used on top of polyurethane after a light sanding. It is somewhat surprising that urethanes are still used as aftermarket roof sealants. It is known that the structure is damaged by UV light and that discoloration occurs relatively quickly. Anyone who has made the mistake of using urethane as a roof sealant should consider applying liquid EPDM to truly protect the roof.

The liquids can also be used to seal existing leaks. They are self-adhering and fill up tiny fractures that let water through. It is a good idea to use a thick coat and cover the entire surface instead of attempting to only cover the leaky area.

When covering the entire roof, the liquid rubber reduces heat buildup. Not only does the roof stay cooler, but the interior of the building or the vehicle will also stay cooler. This benefit may reduce heating costs and keep the occupants more comfortable.

Liquid EPDM has become the most popular choice for RV roofs, because of all the above-mentioned advantages. It extends the lifespan of the roof and requires less maintenance. It lasts up to three times longer than any other aftermarket RV camper rubber roof sealant and also reduces noise from rain.

As far as price goes, most sealants are similar in price. Depending on where you buy, EPDM may be a little more expensive, but because primers and additional coats are not usually necessary, and because it lasts so much longer, owners who choose this aftermarket roof sealant save money in the long run.

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN USING LIQUID RUBBER

1) Catalyst must be added prior to use. Scrape sides of container with a Liquid rubber spatula to ensure catalyst distribution.
2) Xylene or Mineral Spirits Solvents may be added to adjust viscosity or for clean-up.
3) Easiest way to spread the rubber on a flat surface is to broadcast material with a rubber squeegee then roll using a short nap roller. Product is self leveling. A flat spatula can be used for small areas.
4) Product has a long pot life after catalyst has been added; 4-6 hrs. depending on temperature.
5) Only temperature affects the rate of cure. Relative humidity has no influence.
6) Product is hydrophobic (sheds water) so substrate to be coated must be dry initially. The uncured rubber can get wet or even have ponding water, with only a cosmetic effect after application, and will still cure.
7) The rubber will penetrate into porous substrates such as wood and poured concrete. A primer/sealer should precede application of liquid rubber.
8) The chemical reaction of the catalyzed rubber can be arrested by freezing the material. This can keep material usable for weeks or months. To use again simply allow it to reach room temperature and apply.

Liquid EPDM and its benefits

The EPDM roofing association which started in 2002 has always focused on educating contractors and the roofing community on the characteristics and benefits of EPDM membranes. Their studies have concluded that EPDM’s service live is over 20 years. Arguably the most important benefit of an EPDM system is the membrane’s flexibility. A growing number of contractors are specializing in EPDM installation, due to its low callbacks and insurance premiums. EPDM roofing systems also feature low maintenance, easy repair options and low annualized costs.

With Liquid EPDM there is No cutting, No gluing and No Seaming! EPDM Liquid Rubber® totally eliminates the problems encountered with single ply materials because it produces a seamless membrane which is all of the same chemistry. So what do we gain by using EPDM Liquid Rubber®? It eliminates seam failures and eliminates shrinkage of the single ply rubber. It also prevents further chalking particularly with white EPDM and it extends the life of a roof. Liquid Rubber®, available through Epdmcoatings.com is the only EPDM in Liquid form. This product is a high solids solution of sheet EPDM Rubber. It converts from liquid to solid elastomer via a unique free radical cure mechanism which works at temperatures of 55° F and higher. EPDM Liquid Rubber® can be applied directly on many types of substrates that have solid, stable, non-porous and uniform surfaces such as flat roofs. For most substrates, primers are not necessary. As an example, some types of substrates that can be coated with EPDM Liquid Rubber® without a primer are:

• EPDM Rubber Membrane on flat or sloped Roofs
• Weathered Steel Siding
• Outstanding barrier for salt-water environments
• Weathered Fiberglass
• Weathered standing seam and corrugated metal roofs
• Weathered Vinyl, PVC and Polycarbonate plastic
• Foam insulation for pipe
• Cast Concrete foundations

Liquid Rubber® may be applied at any temperature that permits it being spread onto the surface. It will waterproof immediately upon application. The solvent will evaporate at a rate governed by temperature but will not be affected by relative humidity. Exposure to freezing temperatures before cure has taken place will not damage the film. The time necessary to reach cure should not be a concern as this process will occur automatically. Exposure to sunlight will accelerate the curing process. The final film properties of the cured membrane will be the same regardless of the time required to achieve cure.

EPDM Liquid Rubber® will provide long term protection even under extreme exposure conditions. It is resistant to temps of 300 degrees F and minus 62 F. Liquid rubber is water resistant even in an uncured state. An unexpected rain shower shortly after application will not wash it off. The slow cure and non-polar nature of EPDM Liquid Rubber® gives it outstanding surface wetting properties. The product does not fill cracks and crevices but will produce an even film penetrating even the smallest surface irregularities. When EPDM Liquid Rubber® is applied over porous surfaces such as poured concrete, pinholes will appear on the surface as the material slowly displaces the air in the pores. This surface wetting feature enables the product to be applied in a SINGLE COAT and the still results in complete film integrity. EPDM Liquid Rubber® can be applied to hot surfaces encountered during the summer. The solvent in the system will flash off rapidly but the polymer will remain soft long enough to permit overlapping even after 1-2 hours. The cure rate is still controlled even at temps up to 120 degrees. The product can, therefore, be applied on the hottest day.

The controlled cure rate also results in a longer pot life, giving the applicator more than adequate length of time (4-6 hours depending on temperatures) to use the mixed quantity of material. Adhesion will increase over time. Polar surfaces such as metal, concrete and wood result in stronger adhesion than non-polar surfaces such as asphalts. Most weathered surfaces including single ply and thermoplastic membranes will have enough of a surface profile to anchor the EPDM Liquid Rubber®

By itself, the EPDM Liquid Rubber® membrane will exhibit the characteristics of its EPDM chemistry i.e. U.V. ozone stability, excellent ponding water resistance and long-term retention of flexibility. EPDM Liquid Rubber® applied over generally sound singly ply EPDM can extend its life another 20 years. The useful life of metal roofs will also benefit greatly when EPDM Liquid Rubber® is applied. It is recommended that a corrosion inhibitive primer first be applied to areas where severe rusting has occurred. EPDM Liquid Rubber® does not contain any corrosion inhibiting pigments but it is such an effective moisture barrier that it can be applied directly over light rust without a primer. For more information contact EPDM Coatings or call at 855-281-0940. They also have a blog filled with discussions from customers as well as valuable information on the product at http://liquidroof.blogspot.com/

Application of liquid rubber coatings

Application of Liquid Rubber Coatings Starts with Preparing the Surface

The application of liquid rubber coatings is easiest when the surface is flat, clean and smooth. As is the case with all painting jobs, the most time-consuming part could be cleaning and repairing the surface.

How to clean the surface depends on the material. For metal roofs, sweeping and/or washing may be all that is necessary. You should make sure there is no debris on the surface, because any debris will show through the coating.

Concrete floors should be as smooth as possible. If cracks or holes are present in any material, fill them with a non-silicone based caulking. The rubber would fill the hole, but a dent would still be visible. Depending on the depth of the hole, this could cause a variety of problems in the future.

For some older roofing materials, it is a good idea to reinforce the surface with butyl tape and polyester fabric. For example, if there are gaps, tears or other defects, you would want to correct those problems. Although the coating does not adhere to all materials, it does adhere to fabric.

Rubber Liquid

Depending on the surface to be covered, a catalyst coating may be needed. For example, the application of liquid rubber coatings to existing asphalt-based roofs requires a pre-coating with an elastomeric catalyst. Follow the manufacturer’s directions concerning what type of pre-coating to use.

Generally speaking, latex house paint is not an acceptable solution.

You will need a squeegee, a roller and a paint brush to apply the coating, once the surface has been prepared. The thickness usually recommended for the coating is 20-mil. It may be necessary to do a spreading rate calculation to get an idea of how that thickness can be achieved. A good estimate for a flat smooth surface is 40 feet per gallon. The application of liquid rubber coatings to uneven surfaces will require more.

The product needs to be spread as evenly as possible. You want to avoid making it thicker in some spots and thinner in other areas. The squeegee is used initially to spread the material. It is recommended to follow the use of the squeegee with a roller to promote more even distribution and get rid of any air bubbles that may be trapped within the liquid.

The first 2 gallons usually take one or two hours to apply. If you have already determined how many gallons you need, this should give you an idea of how long the application of liquid rubber coatings will take. You should be able to get the job done in a day.