Top Rated EPDM Rubber Roofing Systems
Manufacturer Compliant Installation Best Practice.
Commercial Roof Rubber Roofing Materials.
Commercial Roofing Service Across The Capital Region.
EPDM Roofing Systems are an economical install without disturbing day to day business.
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When it comes to an EPDM flat roof installation, there are quite a number of things to consider. An EPDM roofing membrane is a single-ply rubber roofing system that is used as an option for many small jobs and larger commercial buildings across Albany and the Capital District. One of the reasons EPDM systems are so prevalent across the country is because EPDM membrane cost is so low. When compared to other commercial rubber roofing systems, EPDM installation costs are the lowest of any other commercial flat roofing solution by a significant margin.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Installing An EPDM Rubber Roof
Probably the biggest advantage an EPDM roofing system has over TPO roofing and other flat roofing systems would be its cost. It is without doubt the cheapest roofing option for any flat commercial roof. The EPDM membrane is flexible and will stretch without tearing. Self-adhesive rolls have a peel and stick release liner for fast and easy installation. The EPDM roof membrane can remain flexible at extreme temperatures and resists deterioration from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. You do not require any commercial roof coatings to protect it, as would be the case with some torch-down roofing systems.
It is applied with an EPDM roofing adhesive, meaning no electrical power source is needed for heat welding and because there are few seams, leaks are quite rare. EPDM roofing comes in both black and white variations. Black EPDM rubber roofing material does not reflect sunlight. Ordinarily this would not be an advantage, as roof reflectivity can improve your building’s energy efficiency. However, if you have solar panels, EPDM roofing could be favored over TPO roofing since the non-reflective roofing surface will not interfere with the solar panels’ absorption of sunlight. TPO roofing systems reflect sunlight back off the surface and into the solar panels, which might well cause them to fail during operation.
The main drawback to EPDM roofing is its appearance. As a rubber roofing material, EPDM resembles a stretched out rubber innertube when it is unrolled on a roof. If you are looking for a roofing material for a warehouse, garage, shed or a building where you do not see the roof, this may not be a major drawback, but it can significantly detract from curb appeal when used on a main structure. EPDM most commonly comes in a black roll, which easily absorbs heat and can lead to superheating of the structure below. You can find it in lighter colors to help reflect heat in warmer climates, but this will add around 30% more to the overall cost of the roofing material per square foot.
EPDM roofing will require a lot of ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the roof. While the EPDM membrane itself is incredibly resistant to the sun’s UV rays, these UV rays are known to break down the adhesives used to bond the rubber membrane’s seams. This means that these rubber roof seams will fail and require resealing from time to time. The more exposed the rooftop is to sunlight, the more often this roof maintenance will be required. EPDM roofing is a single-ply roofing material and so can puncture quite easily. Falling branches, or a workman wearing the wrong type of boots could easily tear a hole in the roof. While this is easily repaired, it is an inconvenience. Any membrane penetrations or water infiltration into the structure can cause additional problems which are best avoided if at all possible. Roof membrane penetration and patching is very common for most commercial EPDM roof installations.
The 3 Different Types Of EPDM Installations
The EPDM membrane typically lies on top of the roof insulation, which has been physically attached to the roof deck using ballast, mechanical fasteners, stress plates and/or adhesives. Read more about ballasted, fully-adhered or manually fastened EPDM systems below.
1. Loose-Laid Ballasted EPDM Systems
Ballasted EPDM systems are perhaps the most simple EPDM systems to install. They require no adhesives or fasteners but they do require a roof that can support a lot more weight. The EPDM roof panels are laid over the insulation and simply held in place by smooth, river-washed stones or concrete pavers.
2. Mechanically Attached EPDM Systems
Mechanically attached EPDM is attached using seam plates and roof fasteners dispersed across the surface area of the roof. These fasteners are screwed into the EPDM membrane in order to secure it to the roof. Fasteners are penetrations in the roof membrane which can sometimes be a cause of water issues and leaks if they are left exposed. However, many mechanically fastened EPDM roofing systems account for this and include a way to cover these potential penetration points.
3. Fully-Adhered EPDM Systems
Fully-adhered uses an EPDM adhesive across the whole roof surface in order to hold the roll of EPDM rubber membrane in place. Fully-adhered typically gives you greater protection from wind and severe weather conditions.
EPDM Roof Installation: Step By Step
First comes the step of having the EPDM roof materials delivered to the job site. Your local roofing contractor will drop off all the required roofing materials at the job site before installation. For most commercial property owners, it is extremely important to keep their business operating during a commercial flat roof installation. Infinite Roofing and Construction follows an extensive safety plan and have years of experience in performing a commercial roofing installation with minimum impact to the operations of the business. We know the best way of preventing accidents is to identify all possible sources that may cause them on the job site before any work begins. Any potential hazards will be highlighted and eliminated as an issue so you can rest assured that your business is in safe hands.
Construction processes are very fluid, and conditions change on a job site from minute to minute. Many workers from different trades can be on site. Therefore, the potential for issues grows exponentially depending on the size and scope of the job. For this reason, it is important for all workers to be alert to situations that may cause accidents and take corrective action. A clean job site should always be maintained throughout the roof installation. Poorly organized materials and scrap can be a potential source of fires and injuries to workers on the site, so every worker must know it is their responsibility to maintain good housekeeping in their own work area. Some general housekeeping practices are listed below.
All our professional roofers are trained to constantly assess and clear away any waste material and clutter in their respective areas. A roofer has various methods to help achieve this, including brooms, metal detectors and magnetic devices to pick up stray screws and nails. It’s worth the little bit of extra time it takes to keep the job flowing smoothly. Many roofing scraps could be dangerous or cause damage to the roof if you stepped on them. If not cleared away, someone could fall over an obstruction or it could just be in the way and slow the whole process down. We know exactly what needs to be done to maintain a fast, yet safe and efficient EPDM installation, from start to finish.
Refer To The Manufacturer’s Field Guide
The EPDM roof installation process has a number of considerations. Every EPDM manufacturer provides a “field guide”, or “spec book”, for EPDM application. This guide will lay out very detailed instructions on how to install their specific EPDM roofing system. There will be detailed EPDM instructions for all the different parts of a roof and additional installation guidelines to follow in order to qualify for the manufacturer’s extended warranty. The EPDM roof should be mapped out to have as few seams as possible because the seams are often the first things to fail. You must think twice before making any cut in the EPDM membrane material. EPDM cost may be very low per square foot but you don’t want to ruin a significant amount of the roll or make a mistake that will compromise the integrity of the roof.
The manufacturer’s field guide should always your main reference for the correct installation of the EPDM materials you are working with, but the basic overall EPDM application process is as follows:
- Ensure the roof deck is clean and clear of debris
- Apply EPDM roof adhesive if applicable. EPDM is available in self-adhesive rolls or non-adhesive rolls which require you to manually spread a roof adhesive across the roof’s surface in order to attach the rubber membrane. EPDM can also be mechanically fastened.
- Unroll the EPDM rubber membrane over the roof surface. If using a manually applied EPDM adhesive, this must be done while the adhesive is still wet.
- Sweep or run a roller along the surface of the EPDM membrane to remove trapped air and improve bonding to the roof substrate.
- If applicable, the perimeter of the roof and all roof penetrations should then be flashed according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
In a fully-adhered EPDM roofing system, the EPDM seam application process has its own set of guidelines to follow in order to ensure the roof membrane is applied correctly and no leaks will occur. EPDM membrane seams cannot be adhered by a solvent or by heat welding. Proper EPDM seam application is achieved by following these 6 steps:
- Clean the seam surface with a damp cloth.
- Apply seam primer over the seam area.
- Apply EPDM seam adhesive or seam tape to the area, in accordance with the manufacturer guidelines. Leave a while to cure if adhesive requires.
- Attach the EPDM seams and ensure layers are pressed down firmly.
- Apply lap sealant at the edge of the attached seam.
Having an EPDM flat roof installation may only take a single day for a top rated commercial roofing company, depending on the size of the building. If it is a large commercial building though, it could take a few days or require several crews to be out on the job site, working together to get the flat roof installation completed in a good timeframe.
For a free roofing estimate or roofing advice on the best commercial rubber roofing system to install on your commercial roof, please do not hesitate to contact us at 518-444-ROOF or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to assist you.