Tips to Getting the Most Out of EPDM Rubber

Whether you’re reroofing your business or your home, or you’re trying to find a way to create a unique fish pond without using a plastic liner, EPDM rubber should be your material of choice. It’s easy to apply, is watertight when fully cured, and offers a wide range of benefits. Unlike other types of rubber, it’s even safe for fish. However, there are things you’ll need to know in order to get the most out of this material. We’ll cover some important tips below.

EPDM Rubber Installation Tips

We’ll start with installation tips to help ensure that you get a good, even coating of EPDM rubber and that it goes on smooth and easy.

Use the Right Tools: You can use a wide range of tools to apply EPDM rubber, but two of the most commonly used and most helpful are paint rollers and sprayers. Rollers allow you to apply an even coating across a roof (or other surface) with ease. We recommend longer handles for easier application, too. Sprayers are also very convenient, particularly for very large roofs and hard to reach areas where a roller or brush might not fit very easily.

One Coat Is Enough: If you’ve spent much time painting, then you’re probably thinking that EPDM rubber will need more than one coat in order to withstand weathering and to look good. That’s usually not the case. In most situations, a single coat will be more than enough. Too many coats will add excess weight to your roof and will also adversely affect curing time.

Waterproof: While many products require curing time before they are waterproof, that is not the case with EPDM rubber. It’s actually waterproof after just a few minutes. However, don’t equate waterproof with fully cured. It will take roughly a week for the coating to completely cure in optimal temperatures and humidity ranges.

Extend the Lifespan

Once applied, you need to ensure that your EPDM rubber coating will stand the test of time. A few basic tips will help you extend its lifespan.

Maintain It: There’s very little that you need to do in the way of maintenance for EPDM rubber, but there are a few things that will help ensure you get the best longevity possible. Twice per year, you should inspect the area. Look for signs of damage or possible leaks. In most cases, minor repairs can be made by simply applying another coat of rubber over the damage. In addition to your visual inspection, you’ll need to remove debris from the area, as well. These can form dams that cause water to back up, and can even help foster mold and mildew growth.

Flashing and Edging: During your inspections, pay close attention to any flashing or edging. If these come loose or are damaged, it could lead to damage of the rubber coating. If you’re required to replace edging or flashing, make sure that the membrane is turned down over the fascia with the metal cover installed over the top.

In Conclusion

EPDM rubber is highly durable and can be used in a very wide range of situations, from commercial roofs to waterproofing in basements. It’s economical, incredibly durable, and readily available. However, like any other product, there are things you need to know to get the most out of it. The information above will help you maximize the lifespan of your rubber application, enjoy ease of installation, and prevent leaks that might damage the substrate under the rubber coating.

5 Tips to Help You Identify and Repair Roof Leaks in Rubber Roof Coatings

Your roof is a vital component of your home. It protects your interior from the elements, from harsh sunlight, and from temperature extremes. It also helps hold the entire structure together. If you have an EPDM rubber roof, you enjoy significant benefits over other types of roofing systems, such as asphalt shingles. However, you are still subject to leaks, and those can be challenging to locate. In this post, we want to address several tips to help you identify and then repair roof leaks in rubber roof coatings.

Start from the Inside

Finding a leak can be hard, unless it’s so bad that water is visibly dripping from the ceiling of your home, which usually isn’t the case. Often, it is easiest to spot signs of a roof leak from the inside of your home, rather than from the outside. Look at ceilings throughout your home, as well as the walls. You’re looking for darker discolorations, often red or brown. These are signs that water has made it to the sheetrock, penetrated the material, and then dried. If you see any of these markings, you certainly have a leak. However, it might not be directly above the area where the discoloration appears, as water can enter through the roof, run down the underlayment, and then drip down far from where it originally entered the home.

Get Up in the Attic

To find leaks in rubber roof coatings, you will eventually need to get up in your attic or crawl space. This gets you one step closer to the source of the leak and will allow you to further investigate the situation. Once in the attic, go to where you saw the water stains on the ceiling or wall. Use a flashlight to locate water stains on wood or to find wet insulation (which can be challenging to spot on its own).

Follow the Trail

Once you have found where the water is coming from, it’s time to follow the trail. In some instances, you may find that there’s a puncture in the roof and underlayment directly above the space where you noticed the water damage in your home’s interior, but this is not usually the case. You’ll often have to follow the trail from that point to where the water actually entered the home. Remember that water always runs downhill, and it always follows the path of least resistance. With that in mind, try to trace its path back to the point of origin.

Inspect the Top for Damage

In some cases, this may lead you to obvious damage. If you spot a hole in your roof, that’s more than likely going to be the source of your leak. However, you may not find any large gap in the roof. Instead, you’ll find a point between two pieces of roofing underlayment where water entered. To find out what’s really going on, you’ll need to get on top of the roof.

Getting up on the roof of your home is always a dangerous proposition, so be careful. Make sure to have a helper handy in case you fall and need help. Using a ladder, climb up on your roof and go to the area where you believe the water entered the structure. Check for punctures through the rubber, or areas where caulking might be missing. Damaged flashing can also allow water into your home.

Use Liquid Rubber for Repairs

Once the source of the leak is located, rubber roof coatings can be repaired with Liquid Rubber. A single layer of Liquid Rubber gives you a waterproof seal immediately, preventing further water incursion into your home.

EPDM vs PVC: What’s Right for Your Roofing Needs?

If you are the owner of a flat-roofed or low-slope roof structure, you already know that your roofing needs are far different from those with buildings featuring traditional, more steeply sloped rooftops. Your roofing has to be resistant to everything from extremes of temperatures and the risks of pooling water, snow and ice to structural movement. This is why the issue of EPDM vs PVC so frequently emerges.

Why the EPDM vs. PVC Issue?

You will see a lot of EPDM vs PVC comparisons when you start to search for roofing because these are the two most commonly chosen materials for flat roofs. EPDM is a rubber material made mostly with oil based ingredients. PVC is a vinyl-like material made of chlorine and ethylene.

Are there pros and cons to each? Absolutely, and it is imperative to run that EPDM vs PVC comparison as you narrow down your choices for your new or replacement roof on a flat-top or low slope building. Let’s start with the EPDM and its many pros and cons.

EPDM vs. PVC: The Pros and Cons of EPDM

Ethylene propylene diene monomer or EPDM is a synthetic rubber and is treated with a range of chemicals to help stabilize the material and make it long-lasting, flexible and durable. Typically, EPDM is UV stable, meaning that it can be exposed for many years to the intense powers of sunlight without degrading or breaking down. It is also able to withstand extremes in weather such as incredibly hot summers and intensely cold winters without turning brittle or breaking down.

EPDM is able to flex enough to support structural movement, too. And perhaps one of the most important “pros” for the EPDM roofing is the fact that there is no special equipment or skill needed to install it. It does ask for a great deal of prep in terms of cleaning and/or installing a new roof decking on which the material is applied. However, with good brushes, rollers and patience even a novice can do a good job.

Lastly, it is the most affordable type of single-ply membrane-style roofing and has been in use for decades.

EPDM vs. PVC: The Pros and Cons of PVC

A more recent innovation in single-ply, membrane-style roofing is PVC roofing. However, one of the major “pros” of the PVC roofing is that it is actually made of three layers of material that feature PVC material reinforced with polyester “scrim” between. It is, however, described as a single-ply membrane. This means it is considered a bit more flexible and stable with high break and tear resistance. It is identical to EPDM in that it has UV resistance and can remain stable under extremes of heat or cold. PVC is also quite resistant to fire and chemicals, and typically inhibits the growth of any fungi or plant materials.

And also just like EPDM, the PVC materials are designed to be watertight and leak free for many decades after installation. This material also requires attention to prep when it is installed, and it requires “hot air welded seams” rather than an adhesive to bond together properly. This is why the PVC roofing is also a job for professionals who know how to handle the machines and materials properly.

This tends to boost the price of a installation, making EPDM the lower priced option with the added benefit of a DIY installation if desired.

In the debate of EPDM vs. PVC we now know that PVC is just as durable but requires experts to install the material properly. If you are looking for a long-lasting, easy to install and affordable roofing material for a flat roof, the EPDM materials may be the ideal choice.

Worth It or Not: Rubber Roof Coatings

The roof of a building, commercial or residential, can be troublesome in terms of needing expensive repairs. There are things you can do though that will help to bring down the number of times you’ll have to be look at repairs.

When you invest in a building, it’s likely the largest investment you’ll ever make. Buildings do require some work for the upkeep and longevity of your investment. Something you spent so much money to get should be cared for as much as possible so it continues to serve its purpose for a long time.

The Trouble Usually Starts at the Top

If you’ve owned any kind of building before, you know that rooftops can take a beating. You might also know that when there’s trouble that brings on the need for repair, it usually starts at the top, where you’ll find—the roof.

Issues that you’ll find with a structure’s roof are gaps in the seams, water leaking in from somewhere, drafts coming in, or dents, dings, and scratches caused by flying debris or hail. You could also see water ponding, meaning your roof doesn’t have good drainage, or drying that leads to cracks.

There is a solution that will help stave off all of these things that cause so much damage to a roof and, in turn, the interior of the building.

Rubber Roof Coatings

You can fix or prevent most or all of what we just mentioned by applying one of the rubber roof coatings that’s on the market today. A coating like this will help keep your roof in the best shape possible and it will extend the life of it for what could be decades.

Liquid EPDM Rubber

This is an easy-to-apply solution to most of the problems that building owners are faced with when it comes to their roofs. These coatings come in liquid form that simply has to be painted on and allowed to dry so it cures and creates an airtight, watertight, and UV resistant seal over the entire surface of the top of the building.

Is It Worth It?

Our answer to the question of whether it’s worth it or not to put rubber roof coatings on rooftops is a resounding yes it is. The number one factor that causes damage to a home or commercial space is water that comes in through the roof.

The roof of a building is exposed to rain, snow, ice, wind, dirt, debris, UV rays, hail, and so much more. All of those elements can cause damage to the roof and open up the interior of the structure to even more damage. When the roof of gets compromised, it allows the outside elements to come inside and creates more problems in the interior.

You could potentially prevent thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements by applying one of the rubber roof coatings to a building’s rooftop.

How Much Do Rubber Roof Coatings Cost?

Obviously, we’re talking about saving money in the long-run, so you’re likely wondering how much it will cost you up front. Some of the price will be determined by how big the surface of your roof is. You’ll need to measure the length and width of the roof to get the coverage area. You’ll then purchase the amount of product needed to cover that surface.

One thing you can look for is an all-in-one product that doesn’t need a primer put on first and gives you total coverage in one coat. You can save time, money, and energy by using a product that gives you total coverage and protection in just a single coat.

TPO vs. EPDM Roofing for RVs: Which is the Best RV Roof Material?

Choosing the best RV roof material is largely a matter of personal preference. Still, there are some factors that are involved in your decision that you should be aware of before you begin shopping for a new roof. Two of the most popular options on the market for today’s RVs are TPO and EPDM. Both of these are synthetic polymers that are designed specifically for use on RVs and mobile homes. They offer low maintenance roofing solutions, but each has its own pros and cons to consider.

Before you can compare the two, you really have to understand a little more about what they are:

EPDM: This synthetic rubber is designed specifically for roofing, and is available in both liquid and sheet form. When used as a liquid, it will dry to a semi-solid finish, offering a flexible watertight seal. EPDM sheets are dried out and cured, which offers less flexibility but a slightly sturdier finish. This material is usually black, although many liquid products dry to a white finish to offer better UV protection and other benefits.

TPO: This synthetic material is a laminated membrane that is relatively cheap. This roofing material can be attached by mechanical screws or adhesion with glue or other roofing adhesives. Details and seams can be heat welded, or they can simply be glued and sealed. This material can also be combined with fiber reinforcements for added strength, but this can also cause more rigidity, leading to difficulty with installation in some cases.

The Best RV Roof Material is Affordable

Since roofing material selection is more about personal preference, what you can afford matters. The costs involved in TPO roofing are higher because the materials are more difficult to manufacture. Additionally, TPO may require additional products like sealants and the fiber reinforcements mentioned above, so you have more to consider than just the cost of the roofing material itself.

EPDM is an economical solution, and in its liquid form it is even more affordable and easy to install. Why does ease of installation matter to cost? If the process is simple, you can replace your own RV roof and save hundreds, if not thousands, on shop or dealership labor costs.

Another factor to consider when it comes down to cost is the thickness. A thicker membrane is going to perform better and provide longer protection, so you should always choose that option if it is within your budget. After all, spending a little more on a better quality roof now, regardless of whether it is TPO or EPDM, is going to save you from more frequent repairs and replacements in the future.

Installation and Maintenance

TPO roofing typically requires hot air welding for the seams, which is a more complex process. Plus, it is going to be more expensive to install because of the need for specialty tools or a skilled welder to complete the work. On the other hand, EPDM can usually be installed even by the most average handy person. Liquid rubber EPDM products are even easier to install, making them a popular choice among DIYers for their ease of installation and lack of maintenance required.

Speaking of maintenance, this is another area where EPDM rubber roofing does the job better. Rubber roofs, when properly installed, will not require much maintenance in the early years. In fact, with regular cleaning and care, a rubber roof can last a long time with minimal or no need for repairs.

A TPO roof, on the other hand, requires regular resealing for the best protection. Like fiberglass, the seams have no other protectant or adhesive like they do on a rubber roof, and therefore rely solely on the protection of a sealant. Applying and reapplying certain products over the years may also cause unnecessary deterioration and damage.