Most homeowners are vaguely familiar with the term ‘rubber roofing’ but most don’t know much about it or how it compares to other flat or low incline roofing materials like fibreglass or felt.
We know rubber (or EPDM) roofing well and champion it is a fantastic material for many home roofs. We’ve been installing EPDM roofing in homes across Liverpool for years.
Americans know all about rubber roofing, it’s been in use for over 40 years there. Today it’s the No.1 flat roofing material in the U.S.A from California to Colorado mountains. Today there are a range of EPDM type materials available for homes across the U.K with features designed for all kinds of roofing requirements.
Properties of rubber roofing
- High elasticity, it tends to handle impacts well and keep its shape
- Stays flexible in cold weather where other materials become brittle and crack
- Extremely hardwearing resisting water, wind, heat and cold for decades
This adds up to a formidable roofing material that when used properly forms a perfect barrier between the elements and your home. When properly installed it’s extremely easy to live with making it one of our favourite materials for a home flat roof.
Reasons we love rubber roofing
- It’s completely maintenance free, you can give it a spray clean every now and again but it will simply last without any special treatment
- With matching edging and drainage systems it looks great. Sleek black or grey membrane sealed tight into straight edges gives the roof a sharp clean look.
- You can apply an EPDM roof overlay over virtually any old flat roof without the need for extensive building works.
- All the materials we use come with extensive manufacturers warranties and yet we never need to claim one!
Installing rubber roofing in a domestic situation takes training and care, the material is only as effective as the way it’s installed. There are all kinds of EPDM membranes for different purposes and a range of bonding systems, edging systems and adhesives available. You can attempt a D.I.Y rubber roof installation but it’s easy to get it wrong.
Typical issues with D.I.Y rubber roofing
- Choosing the wrong stuff. Not all adhesives, membranes and systems work well together, it’s hard to know what’s right for your roof and which materials to buy.
- Buckling or wrinkling. Laying perfect sheets of rubber is harder than it looks, in addition to getting it perfectly flat allowances are made for temperature change, failure to do so can cause a roof that looked perfect as it was finished to wrinkle up later.
- Bad drainage. There’s an element of strategy to installing any flat roof, you must ensure water will drain off nicely and avoid standing pools. If left unchecked these can become home to moss and weeds which will put one part of your roof under constant attack. Even super resilient EPDM can be worn out too quickly leading to early replacement of the roof
- Fastener problems. Depending on the system you use there are pitfalls to avoid in the joints and bonding . These include from inflexible seams, pinch points and snagging
Because a home flat roof is a large investment that only pays off if it does a great job for years its usually best to work with trained and experienced roofers rather than going it alone. That way you invest in getting the job done right and save yourself concerns and costs for decades.
Stewart and Sons are a leading Liverpool roofing contractor, we specialise in modern flat roofing systems including EPDM. If you’ve a flat roof and are considering replacing or upgrading it, why not contact us for some expert advice. For more about EPDM and how we deploy it for home flat roofing, see our rubber roofing