When it comes to repairing your roof, it goes without saying that many jobs are best left to roofing experts. That said, sometimes it helps to have a bit of DIY talent to take care of simple maintenance tasks. Even so, at Absolute Roofing we’ve often found that folks are much more familiar with hanging shingles than they are with commercial roof repair tasks, such as patching a rubber roof. Because of this, we wanted to share the five key components of a successful rubber roof repair to help business owners keep their commercial roof in tiptop shape.
Getting ready for your rubber roof repair
Whether it’s roofing, painting, or any other DIY maintenance task, preparation is one of the most important steps. For a rubber roof repair, that means doing a couple of things. First, size up the damage and determine whether this really is a time for DIY. If your rubber roof has only a few minor cracks and holes, repairing it yourself should be very doable. However, if there is widespread damage throughout the roof, it’s probably time to contact your commercial roofer for an estimate—and possibly a roof replacement.
Next, make sure you have the right materials on hand to repair your roof. Do research on what can and can’t be used to repair a rubber roof. For example, asphalt-based products and roof cement flashing can contaminate an EPDM roofing system and should be avoided. If you’re not sure what to use, your commercial roofer will be happy to help you out.
Sizing and cutting the patch
Once you have your materials, it’s time to get started with your rubber roof repair. Measure the affected area of your roof that you intend to patch. Cut the patching material such that the entire problem area is covered, with room to spare. While you don’t want to waste material, it’s generally better to err on the side of too large a patch rather than two small. Aim to cut a piece large enough to cover the entire crack or hole with at least two or three inches to spare on all sides.
Cleaning the surface
The next step is to prepare the surface where the patch will be applied by cleaning the area. Due to oxidation, rubber roofs develop a carbon film over time, which will interfere with the adhesion of your patch—as will other contaminants such as dust and dirt. Clean the rubber roof where you intend to repair it using a cleaner that won’t leave a residue, then thoroughly dry the area afterward.
Applying the primer
Once this is done, you apply the adhesive primer to your rubber roof to begin the repair. Use a roller or paintbrush to do this, making sure you have a thin, even layer of primer covering an area slightly larger than the patch you cut earlier. This will ensure that all portions of the patch adhere properly.
Placing the patch, pressing, and sealing
With the adhesive in place, it’s time to apply the repair patch to your rubber roof. Many patch materials are pressure-sensitive, meaning they come premade with an adhesive and must be thoroughly pressed down to adhere properly. We recommend a tool such as a steel or silicone roller to apply pressure evenly. For non-pressure sensitive roof patches, apply EPDM adhesive to your patch and place it over the damaged area, then, as before, roll it with a roller. For both pressure sensitive and non-pressure sensitive roof patches, it’s recommended to also apply EPDM adhesive around the edges of the patch, then feather the adhesive to provide additional protection against water. After applying your patch and sealing it accordingly, clean up all of your materials and you’re done!
Absolute Commercial Roofing: Rubber Roof Repair Experts
Proper rubber roof repair and maintenance is a good thing for any business owner with an EPDM roof to know. Understanding how to inspect your roof and fix minor damage will both save you money and extend the life of your commercial roof. And, for major repairs, the experienced professionals at Absolute Commercial Roofing are standing by to help you out! Whether you need a rubber roof repair, a roof coating, or a commercial roof replacement, Absolute has the expertise and experience to get the job done right. Contact us today for a free commercial roof inspection!