Flat roofs are extremely popular on top of businesses, and EPDM roofs are popular when it comes to membrane style roofs. Membranes protect roofs from leaks and they move water away from the roof's surface so it can drain. EPDM roofs are made out of a synthetic rubber, and sheets that are as wide as 50 feet can be used to create a roof. The membranes are typically either 45 or 60 mils thick. This thickness assists with durability, but holes and rips may still develop in the surface of the membrane. Patches are typically used to make repairs, and you can secure a patch on your own. You will need to make sure the patch is added properly though if you want to prevent a leak. The tips below can help you with this.
Make Sure To Prepare And Clean The Area Properly
Most EPDM roofs are fully adhered roofs where the rubber membrane is glued over the surface of the roofing deck. To make sure you have a fully adhered roof instead of a mechanically adhered or fastened roof, run your finger down the length of one of the membrane seams to see if you feel any bumps. The bumps will be fasteners. If the seam is smooth, then it is a fully adhered variety and you fill want to secure a glued patch to the roof to make your repair. This will help you to retain wind resistance and strength as you add the patch.
Before you place a patch, you will need to make sure that the damaged area is fully prepared. This means removing the ripped roofing material and cleaning the area thoroughly. Measure one to two inches on either side of the damaged membrane and use a piece of chalk to draw a square around the hole or rip. Use a utility knife or blade to cut out the membrane using the chalk lines as a guide. Use the blade to gently pull up one corner of the square. Remove the rest of the damaged membrane afterwards.
You will see old adhesive underneath the membrane. The adhesive should be removed so new glue can be added. Purchase a citric based adhesive remover to soften the glue, and use a paint scraper to remove the adhesive once it starts to loosen. If large amounts of adhesive are left behind, then try a solvent based removal product. If there is only a small bit of glue on the deck, use a piece of medium grit sandpaper to work it off.
Once the adhesive is removed, you will need to clean the roof decking along the deck and also around the EPDM that sits close to the repair area. Use soap and water to clean the area first and then use a solvent like acetone or an EPDM cleaner to prepare the area for new adhesive.
Apply The Adhesive And Patch Correctly
After the area is fully prepared, purchase a piece of EPDM membrane from your local home store. You should buy a patch that is about two inches wider and taller than the membrane you have removed. This will allow the new membrane to bond to the existing roofing material around the perimeter of the damaged area. You should also buy some EPDM bonding adhesive and a small roller. When you are ready, use a broom handle or a paint stirrer to stir the adhesive. Use the roller to spread a generous amount of adhesive on the underside of the patch, along the decking, and a few inches over the existing roof membrane.
The adhesive will need to sit for several minutes until it becomes tacky. This will help the surfaces bond correctly, and it will keep adhesive from pooling underneath the patch. Use your finger to test the adhesive to make sure it is tacky. Press down on the adhesive with a clean finger and pull it off the decking. If strings of adhesive pull up from the roof surface, then wait a few more minutes. When the glue is ready, set the patch over the roof deck and use a clean roller to firmly press the patch down into place.
For help, contact a professional roofing company like Allen Roofing & Construction Inc.