Key things you should know about EPDM

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a type of synthetic rubber that is usually utilized outdoors for roofing, door, and window seals. You should note that the EPDM membrane can create a watertight and airtight seal and can be utilized for a wide range of applications like glass protection. 

No doubt, EPDM was created to withstand the test of time. Its resistance to weather elements sets this material apart from other materials, making it the best option for contractors, architects, and homeowners. This article discusses the key things you should know about EPDM.

The advantages of using EPDM rubber flat roofs

You can have a better understanding of EPDM rubber flat roofs by knowing its benefits. EPDM rubber flat roofs are considered to be the most durable roofing materials that most professionals use. The material is also easy to install, waterproof, and can last up to fifty years. With a couple of tools and the right guidance, non-professionals can decide to install EPDM rubber flat roofs themselves. To install EPDM rubber flat roofs, you need the following materials:


This can sound obvious, but regardless of whether you want to start from scratch or replace a current roof, you need to have the proper tools so that you can complete the task. To install an EPDM rubber flat roof, you should have a square nose spade or shovel and a special scraper so that you can remove old roofing material. 

You also need to have a leaf blower or a broom to make sure that the surface of the roof is clean before you start to install your rubber roofing material. A sharp cutting tool like a pair of scissors is also necessary to help you to cut the rubber pieces to size. And, you may need to have a penny roller that you can use to compress the rubber membrane at the angles and corners to make sure that there is a neat finish. You should also have other basic tools, such as a hammer, drill, brushes or rollers, and glue to hold the materials together.

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You should remember that EPDM rubber flat roofing needs precision during installation because even a couple of specks of debris below the membrane can cause faults and may require repairs right away. Any small lumps can be visible when you lay the rubber. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a blower or a soft broom so that you can ensure that the surface is free of wood and clean before you apply the adhesive and place the rubber on the roof. 

Contact adhesive and water-based deck adhesive

To keep in place the synthetic rubber materials to different areas of your roof, you need types of adhesives. The water-based deck adhesive is suitable for the main part of the wooden base. This is where you can attach the rubber roofing to the surface. 

You also need contact adhesive also called bonding adhesive. This is usually solvent-based, which after you flash is flashed off and can make an instant bond to the EPDM rubber. Remember that contact adhesives are often utilized on the roof’s perimeter and vertical surfaces where you can attach the rubber. Water-based adhesives can only be utilized on wooden surfaces while contact adhesives can be utilized on a variety of other surfaces of your property.

Flashing, seam, and cover tapes 

Rubber flashing tape or flashing tape refers to a flashing tape that you can apply on detailed parts and can retain its stretched shape. Flashing tape is usually applied where you need to cut the rubber so that it can go around any obstacle or even detail on rubber flat roofs, such as walls, skylights, and chimneys. On the other hand, seam tape is commonly utilized to join pieces of EPDM rubber in places where you can achieve an overlap. Cover tape is often utilized to cover metal trims, join abutted EPDM sheets, or for small repairs. You need to use all tapes with a tape primer. 

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It’s worth mentioning that there are significant differences between flashing tape and seam tape for EPDM roofs. As mentioned earlier, you can use seam tape to splice two parts of EPDM roofing together so that you can make a waterproof seal. Flashing tape, it’s not specific to EPDM roofs, so you can use it for several things. Flashing tape is made up of an uncured EPDM rubber membrane that is covered with a self-adhering sealant adhesive. It has properties that allow it to be quite malleable and can conform to curves. Because it has tight conformity, it can also be used to keep out water and offers an airtight seal. 

Keep in mind that flashing tape is usually more sealant than seam tape. This means that seam tape can provide a higher risk of letting in water and may cause leaks. This can increase the level of problems that may require fixing. It’s a good idea to use flashing tape when it comes to commercial roof repairs. In this way, you can make sure that the openings in your roof are sealed tightly and properly. This may prevent further problems from arising over time.   

EPDM rubber primer

You need to have a good tape primer before you decide to apply flashing tapes, cover tapes, or seam taped on EPDM. You have to apply the primer to the rubber or any other surface where you want to apply the tapes. 

As mentioned earlier, surfaces need to be dry and free of dirt or dust. The use of a scrub pad can also allow the primer to work well on the surface you intend to apply it. Remember that seam tapes require both surfaces to be primed before making the join. 

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In conclusion, besides the tools you need to have for your EPDM rubber flat roof installation, you should also have a good understanding of the project you want to take. EPDM rubber flat roofing can last for many years, but it can sometimes be hard to achieve this because of the poor installation methods. You can choose to handle the project yourself, but it also makes sense to seek professional guidance before you start the task. In this way, you can avoid making some mistakes that can prove costly in the long run. 

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