For commercial or flat roofing systems, EPDM roofs are a contractor’s first choice. They make the best option for business owners due to their durability and strength.
However, the biggest disadvantage of EPDM is that it’s not self-adherent. That means that this roofing material requires additional adhesive to stick to the roofing deck. Hence, to install EPDM, roofers, and homeowners usually have to decide what type of adhesive will work best for the particular EPDM roof they’re installing.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the types of adhesives available for EPDM to help you get a better idea of the type of adhesive that will work best for your roof.
Understanding EPDM Roofing
EPDM is made from ethylene propylene diene monomer, which is a synthetic rubber roofing membrane commonly used on flat and low-slope roofs. It is a highly durable material that is resistant to UV rays, hail, wind, and extreme temperatures which makes it an ideal choice for harsh weather conditions. With proper maintenance and care, these roofs can last more than 30 years.
EPDM comes in two primary forms: Black and white. Black EPDM is used more than its white counterpart as it is cheaper and more widely available. This color also absorbs more heat, which is great if your building is located in a colder climate
White EPDM, on the other hand, is more reflective and better suited for warmer climates where energy efficiency is a greater concern. Regardless of the color EPDM is widely used on both commercial and industrial buildings but is also gaining popularity in residential applications.
Types of Adhesives For EPDM
There are many types of adhesive available for EPDM roofing, and the following are known for the strength they provide.
Contact adhesives are a popular choice for EPDM as they’re easy to apply and require a short time frame to bond to the roofing deck. To apply contact adhesive, you must first spread it onto both the layer of EPDM and the roof deck and allow it to dry for a certain amount of time, in order for the EPDM to bond to the surface of the deck. Contact adhesives create a strong, durable bond, that can withstand extreme weather conditions. However, applying it in colder temperatures is challenging, and it can also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the curing process, which may pose health risks.
Solvent-based adhesives are another common type of adhesive used for EPDM. They are highly effective and create a strong bond that withstands many environmental factors. However, working with solvent-based adhesives can be challenging due to the harsh chemicals used in the product, and proper safety precautions must be taken when using them. Additionally, solvent-based adhesives have a longer curing time than contact adhesives and are not recommended for use in cold temperatures.
Water-based adhesives are becoming increasingly popular for use with EPDM due to their environmental benefits and ease of application. Unlike solvent-based adhesives, they contain water as a primary ingredient, reducing the level of harmful chemicals that are emitted into the atmosphere during the curing process. Additionally, you can apply water-based adhesives using a brush or a roller without the need for specialized equipment, which makes them an ideal option for DIY projects or small-scale roofing applications.
However, while water-based adhesives offer several benefits, they may not be suitable for certain weather conditions or extreme temperatures. In colder climates, water-based adhesives may freeze before they dry, leading to poor durability and possible roof leaks. In general, they are not as strong as solvent-based adhesives.
Two-part adhesives are a type of adhesive that requires two separate components to be mixed together before application, allowing for greater control over the adhesive properties. Once mixed, two-part adhesives create a strong and durable bond that can withstand extreme temperatures and environmental factors, making them a popular choice for use with EPDM.
Two-part adhesives also have a longer curing time than other types of adhesives, requiring more time and patience during the application process.
Despite the challenges associated with two-part adhesives, they offer exceptional strength and durability to ensure the longevity of an EPDM roof. Additionally, they’re an excellent option for roofs exposed to harsh weather conditions or susceptible to a high level of foot traffic.
Why You Need Adhesive For EPDM Roofing
Adhesives for EPDM are used in a similar way as mechanical fasteners for other roofing materials. However, the difference between adhesives and mechanical fasteners is obvious. As mentioned above, unlike mechanical fasters, you can only apply adhesive to a roof deck and the surface of EPDM with a roller or a brush.
The adhesives applied to EPDM keep it intact and prevent it from slipping off in response to an external force. They ensure the EPDM is in direct contact with the roof deck, maintaining the roof’s integrity and longevity. As EPDM is not self-adherent, the adhesives are sandwiched between the roof deck and the EPDM to help with durability. Additionally, it ensures the roof deck is completely covered and isn’t exposed to rain, storms, and sunlight.
Since EPDM adhesives are chemically composed compounds, they keep the synthetic rubber locked with the roof deck in an effort to protect the home or office from natural disasters and debris. They also prevent flat or commercial roofs from leaks and damage.
Best Practices For Using Adhesive With EPDM
The following instructions can help you extend your roof’s lifespan and durability. It will also help you learn how to apply adhesive properly.
Preparing the surface of the roof deck is an essential first step in applying adhesive for EPDM installation. Any dust, debris, and dirt that’s accumulated will weaken the curing process and lead to future damage. Preparing the surface ensures that the EPDM is properly installed on a flat roof.
It is also essential to dry the surface of the roof deck before applying any adhesive.
Applying Adhesive Correctly
When working with EPDM, applying adhesive correctly is also an essential part. Using a brush or roller, the adhesive should be applied in an even layer on the EPDM and the roof decking. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the amount of adhesive to apply and the amount of time required for the adhesive to cure.
Tips For Avoiding Common Mistakes
Following the manufacturer’s guidance will help you avoid simple mistakes. Before starting the process, ensure you follow the guidelines and the tips we’ve provided above. Failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions may lead to weak or inconsistent bonds between the roof deck and roofing material, which can result in leaks or damage to the roof. It is also essential to avoid over-applying the adhesive, as this can result in a thicker layer that takes longer to cure and may not bond as well.
Do You Want To Install A Durable And Long-lasting EPDM Roofing System?
If you want a roof that is long-lasting and durable enough to resist impact, wear and tear, and the weather, contact All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters today at (937) 902-2839. Our team is proficient in handling all roofing projects, including roof replacement, installation, and repair.