How to Glue EPDM Rubber

Rubber roofs are commonly used on flat roof surfaces.
Rubber roofs are commonly used on flat roof surfaces. (Image: on roof image by cherry from

Rubber roofs create waterproof skins over under sheathing. Rolled out in strips over the rooftop, each strip is overlapped and glued together to create one bonded surface. There are two ways to glue EPDM rubber. One is to apply an adhesive designed for EPDM and the other is to use an adhesive tape made for the material. The adhesive tape, however, requires that an adhesive primer be applied to the rubber. Fortunately, the primer is applied in the same manner as the regular adhesive.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber roofing material
  • Chalk line
  • EPDM adhesive (liquid or adhesive primer for EPDM sealant tape)
  • EPDM sealant tape (if desired)
  • Paint brush (or roller)
  • Silicone rubber roller
  • Camping stove (if desired)

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Lay out the rubber roofing material so that each run of material overlaps the next by 3-inches. This overlap is called the seam.

Roll the top layer of the seam back to expose the bottom layer.

Chalk a line on the bottom layer 2-3/4 inches in from the edge of the bottom rubber layer.

Apply the EPDM adhesive or the adhesive primer (if using a tape sealer) to the seam from the edge of the bottom layer up to the chalk line. Paint the adhesive or primer on as if painting with normal paint. Create an even coating on the rubber roof and wait for the adhesive to begin to get tacky before proceeding to create the seam. When the adhesive is tacky, this is known as it having "flashed off."

Apply the seam tape by placing it paper side up over the stripe of adhesive primer. Peel the paper off when the entire seam has been taped.

Roll the top layer of the seam over the adhesive. Smooth the seam to remove any air bubbles or wrinkles by rolling it with a silicone roller. Work the roller toward the edge of the top of the seam. Do not pull the roller backward (onto the rubber sheet) but lift the roller up, reposition it, and roll toward the seam again.


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