How to Install a Roof Rubber Membrane

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Flat roofing methods are susceptible to leaks caused by inflexibility, weathering, and failing joints. Ethylene propylene diene Monomer (EPDM) rubber roofing is the most effective solution for low slope and flat roofing surfaces. It is durable, UV resistant and doesn't require an additional layer of surfacing like tar, gravel, or asphalt. Rubber roofing is also very lightweight, minimizing the effort required for installation. The minimal joints and seams eliminate the overall maintenance of a flat roof by maximizing insulation. Installing a rubber roof membrane can be done without professional service as long as the proper tools and precautions are applied.

Things You'll Need

  • Roll of EPDM rubber
  • Rubber adhesive
  • Small paintbrush
  • Roof cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Roller
  • Seam tape
  • Prepare the surface of the roof by cleaning it before the rubber is laid. The best cleaning product to use is the one recommended by the manufacturer of the roofing shingles. You may need to lay down thin layers of plywood instead if the existing rooftop's surface is too difficult to clean, like gravel.

  • Measure the surface area of the roof and use a pair of scissors to cut sections of EPDM rubber to size. Set each piece over the roof before applying the adhesive to ensure that you haven't cut too much or too little rubber.

  • Prepare the provided adhesive by stirring it for at least five minutes. Fold back each sheet of rubber and thoroughly apply adhesive with the hand brush, but avoid too much near the edges so that the adhesive doesn't seep through the seams later on.

  • Apply adhesive to the plywood or roof as well before you flatten the rubber. This is necessary to create the strongest bond possible to prevent leaks. Permanently set the rubber and use a roller to eliminate any wrinkles from air bubbles.

  • Use the same prescribed product to clean the seams between each section of rubber. Then apply the seam tape that came with the purchase to seal the rubber together. Allow the rubber to set for at least a half hour before installing anything in addition to it.

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