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A Rubber Roofing Starter Guide – Part Three: Rubber Roofing FAQs

In part 1, we found out what an EDPM rubber roof is, what it is made up of, and how it is applied. Part 2 took us through the advantages of installing such a roofing system. Now, let’s tackle a topic that could arguably be the most important of all: how to make the most out of your investment with the right information.

Is a rubber roof hard to install?

EPDM rubber typically requires no special equipment for installation. However, some technical aspects will need to be considered prior to installation. Some of the seemingly simple things shouldn’t be taken for granted. For instance, while EPDM should be bonded over 5/8” plywood and 5/8” OSB board (among other components), you cannot bond it directly over the materials. Plywood and OSB boards must first be sanded to remove sharp edges.

Just how popular is it?

According to the EPDM Roofing Association, EPDM rubber roofs cover over 1 billion square feet of new roofing every year – with a market share of around 35%. That’s just in the United States. In other parts of the world, EPDM rubber roofs are also growing in popularity.

Is it cost-effective?

Generally speaking, ballasted roofing systems have the lowest installation cost per square foot among all low-slope roofing materials. Mechanically-fastened and fully-adhered systems are also cost-efficient options.

Will ponding affect my warranty?

One of the biggest risks inherent in low-slope roofing systems is water ponding. EPDM roof warranties, thankfully, do not get voided should ponding occur within the life of your roof. We recommend, however, that you take every precaution necessary before installation in order to lower the risks of ponding – and the damage that it can do.

What about repairs?

EPDM rubber roofs are considered one of the most easily repairable types of roofs in the market. Even an aged rubber roof can be restored back to its full functionality with the right repair materials.

How do I maintain an EPDM roof?

Avoid low-hanging branches near the rubber roof, and eliminate signs of chalking with a good cleaning solution. Schedule routine inspections, as well, to spot early signs of damage and accordingly correct or prevent them.

How do I make the most out of a rubber roof?

An EPDM rubber roof is a great investment, whether you have a commercial or residential property. But cashing in on this investment also involves carefully choosing your installation team. Go for a licensed contractor who is well-versed in the codes and regulations involved in the application of low-slope roofing systems. Read your contract’s fine print, especially with regard to the warranty coverage, as doing so will likely help you down the road – and just when you need it most.


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