How To Replace A Flat Roof (Part 2)

Learn everything you need to know on how to replace a flat roof

Over time, a flat roof undergoes a lot of wear and tear. But fortunately, flat roofs are the easiest to repair and replace. Once the old worn-out roof is removed, a new one can be installed with minimal effort using ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber. Here is your guide to installing an EPDM roof.

Attaching An EPDM Roof

  • Attaching an EPDM roof is quite simple and can be done without any professional experience. However, if you are not confident call in a trusted roofing specialist to install your new EPDM roof for you. In either case, the basic procedure is the same.

Step 1

  • Select an accurately-sized EPDM membrane by measuring your roof. The length and width of the flat roof should be measured by using a measuring tape. Standard EPDM membranes come with a thickness of 1.2 millimeters. However, if you are looking for something more durable and thick go for commercial membranes which are typically 1.52 millimeters thick.

To allow the membrane to overhang the edges of the roof add a little more to the overall length and width of the membrane. EPDM membranes can be conveniently bought from online suppliers or nearby hardware stores.

Step 2

  • how to replace a flat roofBegin the process of installing the EPDM membrane by laying the square folded EPDM material in the middle of the flat roof. Next roll over the uppermost piece of the EPDM material downwards across the length of the roof. Align it parallel to the bottom length of the roof. The next topmost piece needs to be flipped upwards and aligned parallel to the top edge of the roof.

An important point to consider here is temperature. When the temperature is consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s the best time to install an EPDM roof. Before starting, be sure to clean and dry the roof surface.

Step 3

  • The next step is to spread the EPDM membrane horizontally along the entire width of the roof. Drag the EPDM membrane where needed to meet the width of the roof. Allow about 3 inches of EPDM membrane to hang off the edge of your flat roof.

After you are done, give the membrane 30 minutes to relax and fit the roof properly before you move on to the next step.

Step 4

  • Once the EPDM membrane has settled properly, draw it back from the left and fold it to the right edge of the roof. Now you have 2 layers of the EPDM piece that are covering the right half of the roof.

At this point, the vertical edge of the crease needs to be aligned with the center of the roof. If needed, use a measuring tape to ensure that the crease of the EPDM membrane and the center of the roof are aligned.

Step 5

  • Take a water-based adhesive and apply it horizontally from the EPDM crease by using an adhesive roller. Continue moving outwards until you can’t see the roof underneath. Make sure that there are no puddles and all the spots are filled properly.

Step 6

  • While the adhesive is still wet, lay the membrane gently. It is important to ensure that the adhesive transfers to the underside of the membrane while you continue to roll it to the left edge of the roof.

Step 7

  • Use a broom to press the membrane adequately to remove the trapped air. Adhesive will take about 15 to 30 minutes to dry depending on the humidity and temperature of the area.

Step 8

  • In the final step roll over the unattached side of EPDM to the adhered side. Again apply the adhesive to the remaining side and roll the remaining half of the EPDM matric over the adhesive.

Press down the EPDM membrane to remove air bubbles. This is it you have successfully installed your EPDM roof in 8 simple steps.

If you are looking for repair and construction of flat roofs, call us at (202) 629-3692. Our team at Infinity Design Solutions has decades of experience in the repair of flat roof systems. We are located in Washington, DC.