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Old 04-22-2014, 09:12 PM   #1
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { } There is a 3 seasons room addition to the home which has EPDM roofing. The house was vacant for a long time, and a spot on the EPDM roof was damaged remained unchecked from a long time and from that point on things only got worse (rafter board partially rotten, fascia board partially rotter, sheathing damaged) .problems gone unchecked for a long time.


The basic plan of action is the following: cut the rotten portion of the rafters and fascia board, then use sister rafters and another fascia board with a reciprocating saw. Cut and remove the part of upper (facing the EPDM membrane) and lower sheathing (facing ceiling) which is damaged, then install OSB sheathing in its place.


It seems difficult to find the EPDM rubber membrane upfront in a hardware store (special order required), besides I never dealt with EPDM before (but the use seems simply enough). It is a flat roof, and part of the EPDM was torn apart but I believe it could be patched if a reliable patching kit is available.So, my questions would be: 1) Is it ok to remove the whole membrane ( remove and reinstalle, or better off install new one throughout), then repair the rafters, sheathing, and fascia board and subsequently reinstall and patch the EPDM. Below are some pics that depict the problem at hand:











thanks for any input

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Old 04-22-2014, 10:45 PM   #2
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


Hold in there, there's a few flat roofers on here that will see your post at some point.
Red flag for me is your going to a hardware store to the roofing.
#1, Please go back and add your location to your profile, just got to quick links to edit.
Look up ABC supply to see if there's one close by. If not look for a commercial roofing company.
There going to have the EPDM and can sell it by the foot.
Your looking at replacing that whole roof in my option.

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Old 04-22-2014, 11:25 PM   #3
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Hold in there, there's a few flat roofers on here that will see your post at some point.
Red flag for me is your going to a hardware store to the roofing.
#1, Please go back and add your location to your profile, just got to quick links to edit.
Look up ABC supply to see if there's one close by. If not look for a commercial roofing company.
There going to have the EPDM and can sell it by the foot.
Your looking at replacing that whole roof in my option.
Not necessary a hardware store, but a home improvement/supply store (aka homedepot, lowes, menards, that sell shingles, gutters, etc). I just added the location. I will check out ABC supply.

While parts on the edge have rotted into oblivion, most parts are perfect and intact (but I would have to take a closer look).

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:16 AM   #4
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


For that small a surface (from the pictures) it is time for a full tear off and put back.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #5
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


I wouldn't even attempt to "patch" that roof, in fact on something that small it may cost more to patch it.

1. tear off what ever is left of the membrane.
2. fix the wood structure.
3. remove enough shingles to achieve at least 18" of tie in with the shingles. Fix felt, Shingles installed to 8" of angle change.
3. Install 1/2 woodfiber coverboard. (this keeps any nails from popping up and a good surface to glue to.
4. Glue down new EPDM I'd use 60mil. Install metal flashing around edge and strip in with EPDM cover tape.

Find a commercial roofer, take them in the size of the roof and a material list and most will set you up with a kit. Menards sells EPDM by the roll, but then you are buying a full roll, then a full roll of cover strip, and full buckets of glue, ect. You will have extras. expensive extras.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:39 AM   #6
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985gt View Post
I wouldn't even attempt to "patch" that roof, in fact on something that small it may cost more to patch it.

1. tear off what ever is left of the membrane.
2. fix the wood structure.
3. remove enough shingles to achieve at least 18" of tie in with the shingles. Fix felt, Shingles installed to 8" of angle change.
3. Install 1/2 woodfiber coverboard. (this keeps any nails from popping up and a good surface to glue to.
4. Glue down new EPDM I'd use 60mil. Install metal flashing around edge and strip in with EPDM cover tape.

Find a commercial roofer, take them in the size of the roof and a material list and most will set you up with a kit. Menards sells EPDM by the roll, but then you are buying a full roll, then a full roll of cover strip, and full buckets of glue, ect. You will have extras. expensive extras.
I fear the "have extras, expensive extras" part of it. I found out the EPDM at menards, and at first I was planing on reusing the current EPDM membrane (given that the EPDM rubber membrane is more expensive that what I would antecipated) and then using EPDM Quick Roof Seam Tape given that the current EPDM is mostly intact and in good shape.

I would try to remove the whole EPDM membrane without damaging it, then cut the bad rafters in its entire together with upper/lower sheathings. Subsequently I would install new rafters with galvanized joist hangers and screws, install new sheathing throughout, and then try to reuse most of the EPDM + EPDM Quick Roof Seam Repair Tape. It was not a patch per say given that I would replace everything that was rotted, bad, weak, etc; but I still would like to reuse whatever is reusable (mostly the EPDM rubber membrane)

Snow accumulation and load in the last winter probably contribute a lot for demise of flat roof section.
Thanks

Last edited by tk3000; 04-26-2014 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:34 PM   #7
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


Most of the time a EPDM roofing is not the best choice for a residential home.
Especially when trees are in the area. It's not very puncture resistant.

A better option is a 2-Layer Self Adhered Membrane.
(Some brand names - Mulehide or Gaf Liberty)

More Puncture resistant. (you'll have 2 layers that have sticky asphalt on the back. The top side is protected by granules like on a shingle.

You can get a color that matches close to the shingles.

Rubber Roofs began as a cheaper alternative to Coal Tar Pitch / Built Up Roofs on commercial / industrial roof applications.

It's great for large commercial buildings because a they make rolls of EPDM that are 20'x100'. It's a quick install and the system ends up not having very many seams.

Rubber roofs on residential homes has become popular over the years because it's rumored to be easy to install. Well, the truth is it's very easy to install if you aren't installing it to manufacturer specifications. There are a lot of details. It's not as easy as a shingle roof.

A common shortcut/mistake is using hardboard/fiberboard, but not installing nailer board around the perimeter of the roof. At least a 6" strip equal to the height of the hardboard. 1/2 inch. This creates a solid area around the perimeter that the rubber adheres to, and the drip edge has something solid to nail to. Then the drip edge gets stripped in with cover strip.(called other things, depends on the brand). Residential drip edge shouldn't be used either. It should be a bigger more solid drip edge.

Rubber roofs are black - They heat up really quick. Not as big of an issue on a commercial building of course, but on a residential it can make your A.C. costs higher.

The self adhered modified has the same ceramic granules that are on the shingles. They reflect the sunlight/U.V. rays. The E.P.D.M material actually isn't compatible with petroleum products (tar,shingles).

The perimeter detail is crucial, the valley transition, and I imagine you may have some wall flashing?, but I can't see the whole roof. There are a lot of roof challenges with a project like this.

Last edited by Roofers Advice; 04-26-2014 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:22 AM   #8
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
Most of the time a EPDM roofing is not the best choice for a residential home.
Especially when trees are in the area. It's not very puncture resistant.

A better option is a 2-Layer Self Adhered Membrane.
(Some brand names - Mulehide or Gaf Liberty)

More Puncture resistant. (you'll have 2 layers that have sticky asphalt on the back. The top side is protected by granules like on a shingle.

You can get a color that matches close to the shingles.

Rubber Roofs began as a cheaper alternative to Coal Tar Pitch / Built Up Roofs on commercial / industrial roof applications.

It's great for large commercial buildings because a they make rolls of EPDM that are 20'x100'. It's a quick install and the system ends up not having very many seams.

Rubber roofs on residential homes has become popular over the years because it's rumored to be easy to install. Well, the truth is it's very easy to install if you aren't installing it to manufacturer specifications. There are a lot of details. It's not as easy as a shingle roof.

A common shortcut/mistake is using hardboard/fiberboard, but not installing nailer board around the perimeter of the roof. At least a 6" strip equal to the height of the hardboard. 1/2 inch. This creates a solid area around the perimeter that the rubber adheres to, and the drip edge has something solid to nail to. Then the drip edge gets stripped in with cover strip.(called other things, depends on the brand). Residential drip edge shouldn't be used either. It should be a bigger more solid drip edge.

Rubber roofs are black - They heat up really quick. Not as big of an issue on a commercial building of course, but on a residential it can make your A.C. costs higher.

The self adhered modified has the same ceramic granules that are on the shingles. They reflect the sunlight/U.V. rays. The E.P.D.M material actually isn't compatible with petroleum products (tar,shingles).

The perimeter detail is crucial, the valley transition, and I imagine you may have some wall flashing?, but I can't see the whole roof. There are a lot of roof challenges with a project like this.
Thanks for you insights!

I understand that EPDM is mostly used on flat roofs. But it seems that having a slope or pitch is a necessary thing in a roof. So I was wondering if one could create a slight slope with and still apply the EPDM rubber membrane.

As far as sheathing goes, would you use fiberboard instead of OSB?

Is the drip edge/roof edge/ flashing metal at the edge used during EPDM install interchangeable with a regular drip edge ? The metal tends to corrode, so I was wondering if an aluminum one be available.

Yeah, I look into the "2-Layer Self Adhered Membrane" option too. Looks promising.

The whole house roof is great and relatively new, the problem is that addition (3 seasons room) purporting a flat black roof with EPDM. That addition was not even original with the house, it was an after thought type of thing (and if it is up to me, I would simply remove the 3 season altogether with its roof, walls, and everything.)
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:49 AM   #9
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


Self Adhered Modified - 1/2" Per foot Incline…min.
Backnail when the slope is greater than 1" per foot.

Other DIY Factors:

Weight: (getting the material up to the roof
-Self Adhered modified weight per roll is about aprox. 100lbs.
-EPDM 10x50 Roll 0.60 aprox. 200lbs.


ADHESIVE -

SAM already has the adhesive on the back.

EPDM does not. The glue application is similar to contact cement. You need
to coat the hardboard and the back of the flopped over rubber. When it feels tacky (experience helps to know when it's ready) ...you roll the sheet together. If it gets too dry..then it doesn't work. Multiple people applying the adhesive is best so that it isn't too dry by the time you are done applying the adhesive.
You must not get any wrinkles or bubbles. Rolling in the sheet is not a 1 man job. You must flutter the rubber a little bit so that it puffs up and rolls in easily with no wrinkles.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:52 AM   #10
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Flat EPDM Roof problems


Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3000 View Post
I fear the "have extras, expensive extras" part of it. I found out the EPDM at menards, and at first I was planing on reusing the current EPDM membrane (given that the EPDM rubber membrane is more expensive that what I would antecipated) and then using EPDM Quick Roof Seam Tape given that the current EPDM is mostly intact and in good shape.

I would try to remove the whole EPDM membrane without damaging it, then cut the bad rafters in its entire together with upper/lower sheathings. Subsequently I would install new rafters with galvanized joist hangers and screws, install new sheathing throughout, and then try to reuse most of the EPDM + EPDM Quick Roof Seam Repair Tape. It was not a patch per say given that I would replace everything that was rotted, bad, weak, etc; but I still would like to reuse whatever is reusable (mostly the EPDM rubber membrane)

Snow accumulation and load in the last winter probably contribute a lot for demise of flat roof section.
Thanks
The EPDM I assume was glued down at some point otherwise it would have something on top holding it down. So when it is peeled up from the wood, part of the plywood will come with it. In other words it can't be reused. I guess one could reuse some of the sections of EPDM, but from the looks of it, it needs to be redone. It's always a good idea to have a coverboard over the plywood. To protect the EPDM from nails popping up and through, plus if it is glued down properly the parts of the plywood will come up with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
Most of the time a EPDM roofing is not the best choice for a residential home.
Especially when trees are in the area. It's not very puncture resistant.
Not true, EPDM is a great product to use on homes. The flexibility of the sheet alone makes it a good choice. It may not be as puncture resistant as say a BUR roof, but it works fine. FYI you can get EPDM with a 2" hail warranty on commercial applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
A better option is a 2-Layer Self Adhered Membrane.
(Some brand names - Mulehide or Gaf Liberty)

More Puncture resistant. (you'll have 2 layers that have sticky asphalt on the back. The top side is protected by granules like on a shingle.

You can get a color that matches close to the shingles.
Completely disagree, when you do a system like you describe applying the base sheet directly to the plywood will be bad news in the 10 years when the roof needs to come off. S/A Products have their place, but it's not a long term product like EPDM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
Rubber Roofs began as a cheaper alternative to Coal Tar Pitch / Built Up Roofs on commercial / industrial roof applications.

It's great for large commercial buildings because a they make rolls of EPDM that are 20'x100'. It's a quick install and the system ends up not having very many seams.
This part has some truth to it. The only parts that is not completely correct is, there is a better systems depending on the amount of foot traffic on the roof. Also you can get it in bigger rolls the 20X100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
Rubber roofs on residential homes has become popular over the years because it's rumored to be easy to install. Well, the truth is it's very easy to install if you aren't installing it to manufacturer specifications. There are a lot of details. It's not as easy as a shingle roof.
Again, EPDM is probably the easiest low slope roof system to install. Any product will have similar details. It's not that complicated at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
A common shortcut/mistake is using hardboard/fiberboard, but not installing nailer board around the perimeter of the roof. At least a 6" strip equal to the height of the hardboard. 1/2 inch. This creates a solid area around the perimeter that the rubber adheres to, and the drip edge has something solid to nail to. Then the drip edge gets stripped in with cover strip.(called other things, depends on the brand). Residential drip edge shouldn't be used either. It should be a bigger more solid drip edge.
Technically you don't need a nailer at the edges. But we always put one. Generally 2x4's Commercial sheet metal flanges are 3". So unless you have nailers that are higher on the edges anything larger then 2x4 is not needed. Residential drip edge shouldn't be used, you are correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
Rubber roofs are black - They heat up really quick. Not as big of an issue on a commercial building of course, but on a residential it can make your A.C. costs higher.
EPDM roofs can be white also...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
The self adhered modified has the same ceramic granules that are on the shingles. They reflect the sunlight/U.V. rays. The E.P.D.M material actually isn't compatible with petroleum products (tar,shingles).
That's odd, wonder why they have this slope, low slope tie in detail then..

http://www.versico.com/view.aspx?mod...&contentID=324

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
The perimeter detail is crucial, the valley transition, and I imagine you may have some wall flashing?, but I can't see the whole roof. There are a lot of roof challenges with a project like this.
Yes it could be challenging. Your description is exactly why I wouldn't use a S/a membrane. Walls, slope tie in and if there is a valley can be even more difficult then with EPDM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3000 View Post
Thanks for you insights!

I understand that EPDM is mostly used on flat roofs. But it seems that having a slope or pitch is a necessary thing in a roof. So I was wondering if one could create a slight slope with and still apply the EPDM rubber membrane.

As far as sheathing goes, would you use fiberboard instead of OSB?
Adding the slop can be done with in the structure or by using tappered ISO insulation.

You need plywood or OSB down first. The fiberboard he was referring to is a coverboard. Not structural at all. It protects the deck and EPDM.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3000 View Post
Is the drip edge/roof edge/ flashing metal at the edge used during EPDM install interchangeable with a regular drip edge ? The metal tends to corrode, so I was wondering if an aluminum one be available.
24ga prefinished steel is better to use in my opinion. Aluminum is more expensive to get it in the thickness you need for this type of roof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3000 View Post
The whole house roof is great and relatively new, the problem is that addition (3 seasons room) purporting a flat black roof with EPDM. That addition was not even original with the house, it was an after thought type of thing (and if it is up to me, I would simply remove the 3 season altogether with its roof, walls, and everything.)

The roof was not done properly to begin with or severely neglected. EPDM will stand up to ponding water, even with seams. From the looks of it you could do your roof in one piece. S/A will not stand up to ponding water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
Self Adhered Modified - 1/2" Per foot Incline…min.
Backnail when the slope is greater than 1" per foot.

Other DIY Factors:

Weight: (getting the material up to the roof
-Self Adhered modified weight per roll is about aprox. 100lbs.
-EPDM 10x50 Roll 0.60 aprox. 200lbs.
For a 2 ply system that is approximately 1.5 lbs per sq foot. with no coverboards.

EPDM is .416 per square foot.

So if you have a 10x25 roof thats 104 lbs you have to get to the roof compared to 375.

I don't know about you but I don't enjoy lugging 100 pound rolls up a ladder that's 5 trips btw. two rolls of base and 3 rolls of cap, then you will have a 1/2 roll of each to get down.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofers Advice View Post
EPDM does not. The glue application is similar to contact cement. You need
to coat the hardboard and the back of the flopped over rubber. When it feels tacky (experience helps to know when it's ready) ...you roll the sheet together. If it gets too dry..then it doesn't work. Multiple people applying the adhesive is best so that it isn't too dry by the time you are done applying the adhesive.
You must not get any wrinkles or bubbles. Rolling in the sheet is not a 1 man job. You must flutter the rubber a little bit so that it puffs up and rolls in easily with no wrinkles.
Small roofs can be done by one person, but it's also likely the OP will have help.

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