How to Repair a Rubber Roof


The durability of a rubber roof is undeniable, especially to those who own them. There are times, as with anything, that they need repair due to leaks or damage. Keep extra rubber roofing materials on hand for times that repairs need to be done. A little bit of rubber, adhesive and careful measurements will have your rubber roof back in top form.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Probe tool
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gloves
  • EPDM rubber adhesive and seam tape
  • Silicone hand rolling tool
  • Replacement substrate
  • Sharp utility knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Rubber-to-rubber cement
  • Sealant caulk
  • Caulking gun

Repairing Leaks in a Rubber Roof

  • Sweep the roof clear of debris and rocks using a broom. Use the probe tool to check that all the seams are secure. Check around pipes, vents, chimneys or skylights. Mark any areas that have no adhesive left holding them together. Mark any areas that have no adhesive with a bright piece of chalk or tape.

  • Clean the leaking area using warm water and allow it to air dry. Rub the top and bottom of the rubber seams with rubbing alcohol.

  • Clean the leaking areas with warm water and let dry. Break the seams apart approximately 1 foot from the location of the water leak. Clean the seams of all remnants of the adhesive using rubbing alcohol.

  • Apply the EPDM rubber adhesive to both top and bottom seam surfaces; press down and run the silicone roller over the now joined seam. Roll over the surface repeatedly until the adhesive begins to set.

  • Check the seams around the leaking area(s) with the probe tool 24 hours after the repair. Cover the seams with the seam tape to prevent future leaks.

Repairing a Hole in a Rubber Roof

  • Cut away the portion of the rubber roof lining that has the hole. Check the substrate material in the roof to see if it is intact. Purchase a replacement piece at a home improvement center and cut to fit, using a sharp utility knife. Screw the new piece into place using a screwdriver.

  • Measure and cut a length of the rubber roofing material. Clean both the area directly around the piece removed from the roof and the underside of the replacement rubber material.

  • Paint the complete underside of the replacement rubber material with rubber-to-rubber cement. Let the cement dry, turn it over and apply it to the opening on the roof. Press it firmly to the roof until it begins to set. Caulk around the rubber patch with a rubber sealant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some of these supplies are only available through outlets that handle roofing supplies. To fix rubber-roofing leaks, use products for this type of roofing. Be aware how close you are to the roof edge as you work on this project.

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  • Photo Credit RegencySquare2008/
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