Good and long-lasting flat roof repairs rely on the choice of materials and preparation of the damaged area. Improper selection of repair materials and poor preparation of the damaged area will likely result in further damage to the roof deck. Failure to make the right decision is simply a waste of time and money.
Engaging a professional flat roofer is a consideration to make, but ensure you hire a roofing business that understands EPDM. You can find an approved local installer and specialist here.
If you installed the roof, or are comfortable with tackling the repair yourself, there are certain conditions that must be met before you begin, especially when there will be the use of a primer:
- The outside temperatures must be above 40 degrees F. This enables the primer to dry and favours effective installation of the rubber sheet.
- The damaged surface must be dry before the application of the primer and the patch.
- The repair surface must also be clean and free from all debris. Cleaning agents can be used to ensure the surface is clean enough and free from gasoline, tar or any oil properties.
EPDM membranes do not generally fail, as they are UV stable, flexible and hard-wearing. However, debris damage, particularly following a storm or period of inclement weather or accidental tearing can occur. It is recommended that you inspect your flat roof installations after storms to ensure it is kept free of debris. EPDM usually only sustains damage in this way, or following poor initial installation.
Ease of repairs
EPDM membrane doesn’t scratch easily, and leaks are rare. In the event of damage, EPDM roofing is easy to repair and doesn’t require specialists to fix minor damages – repair kits can be bought and applied by most capable DIY enthusiasts.
For repairs, a basic knowledge on the use and types of adhesives is necessary as different types of adhesives react differently to harsh weather and seasons.
Steps for roof repair using EPDM rubber membrane
Step 1: Locate the leak on the roof
In most cases the leak is easy to spot. Mostly found on the common spots on a roof. These include the outside corners such as chimneys and pipe flashing, on seams and low spots on the roof.
Step 2: Clean the roof surface
Use a simple cleaning brush, water and detergents to clean the damaged spot. You can use the EPDM cleaner for the final thorough wipe of the affected area. Allow the area to dry completely.
Step 3: Apply the EPDM primer
Use a paint brush to apply the EPDM primer on the surface. It doesn’t have to be a thick coat. Apply the primer at least 3 inches beyond the edge of the hole. Allow the Primer to dry before applying the patch.
Step 4: Apply the patch to a flat area
Cut the rubber patch, big enough to cover up to 3 inches beyond the damaged area. Shape the corners of the patch using a pair of scissors. Carefully remove the film at the back of the rubber patch and slowly apply onto the affected area, try to avoid trapping air. Using a silicone roller and applying moderate pressure, roll the patch. Make sure you roll the edges for it to stick well.