EPDM Roof Repair

EPDM roofs (ethylene propylene diene terpolyer), M-Class rubber, are a type of synthetic rubber; an elastomer designed for a wide range of applications besides roofing. It does not pollute runoff water. It is a single-ply roof bonded with adhesive. Eastman Roofing is familiar with several EPDM roof repair issues and will quickly and properly repair them for you.

IMG_7743-77755_200x200Ponding Water

When water sits on a roof for more than 48 hours without evaporating or running off naturally, it is called ponding. It is a code violation. Manufacturers exclude ponding areas. Ponding breaks down the asphalt by causing the oil in the asphalt to migrate. A leak in a ponding area can cause a lot of damage.

jpg53-70144_200x200Surface Damage/Deterioration

Deterioration from the UV rays of the sun can damage the membrane. Thermal shock – daily movement from hot and cold temperatures — causes the roof to bind against itself, which can cause damage. Sometimes a tree branch or people walking on the roof can cause damage. The membrane is open and can allow seepage if not repaired.

IMG_87581-86243_200x200Tear in Membrane

The material has broken down or damage from a third party has damaged the roof. Repair the damage with new EPDM material. Clean the surface, apply adhesive. Let new adhesive dry before gluing (it is a contact type of adhesive) or with an EternaBond type material. Monitor the roof for signs of deterioration or damage to determine when replacement or a coating system needs to be applied.

jpg54-98708_200x200Separation at Seams

The separation at the seam was sealed with the wrong material applied on top. Remove the sealant and apply proper material in between seam.

jpg55-76643_200x200Improper Repair

If repairs are made with inferior materials, they may work for the short term, but will fail prematurely. Clean the surface, apply an elastomeric material with a reflective surface and/or apply acrylic coating.

image_coming-26168_200x200Material not Anchored

If the original installer did not use the proper number of fasteners, the roof will pucker and pull at the seams. This can eventually cause separation and seepage. It can be repaired, but a repair may have to be done again before the roof is worn out because of abnormal movement in the membrane.

jpg18-68332_200x200Torn at Seam

The roof has torn at the overlap at the outside edge of the seam. If it was caused by 3rd party damage, repair it with new EPDM material or EternaBond repair material. If the damage is from age, and/or wear and tear, repair it and monitor it. If splits or tears continue, replace the roof or apply a coating system.

jpg19-98969_200x200Failure of Previous Repair

When a new EPDM patch is applied over an existing EPDM roof, the surface must be cleaned. The adhesive must be dry before you apply the new patch (the adhesive is a contact type material). If a sealant is applied, the surface must be cleaned. If you do not apply the materials correctly, they will fail. Often a repair can last the life of the roof.

IMG_76791-104207_200x200Material Not Adhered

The material has lifted and is not adhered. This can eventually cause damage under the membrane. Monitor the roof to see if it gets worse. Hopefully a repair will not be necessary before the roof has to be replaced or a coating system applied.

IMG_0017-77814_200x200Debris on Roof, at Drains, Scuppers

This can cause water to back up and enter through roof penetrations. If too much water collects on the roof, it can cause structure failure. Remove debris as needed to prevent water from backing up into structure. Install a roof screen to prevent water back-up.

image_coming-26168_200x200Plumber’s Boot Not Sealed

The membrane can separate at the Plumber’s boot and need to be resealed.

IMG_7749-105450_200x200Termination Bar Not Sealed

A termination bar is typically used where there is no counterflashing or way to tie the membrane into the structure. It is something that has to be checked and maintained to prevent seepage.

jpg26-63874_200x200Collar at Vent Not Sealed

Sometimes the collar was never installed. If the intersection of the top of the collar and the pipe is not sealed, seepage can result. Seal the intersection of the pipe and collar with a urethane sealant or another long term caulking material.

jpg51-53016_200x200Broken Skylight

The amount of time it takes for the plastic dome to break down depends upon the quality of the plastic used to make the skylight. The dome can sometimes be replaced. It is easier just to replace the whole skylight. Some manufacturers give a lifetime warranty, even for plastic domes. Glass is heavier and more expensive than plastic. Glass has a higher R-value and lasts indefinitely.


jpg37-149496_200x200Chimney Chase Leaks at Top

A chimney chase is usually a wood framed box. The pipe for the fireplace goes through the box and out the top. Typical roof chimney flashings are installed then siding covers the framing and overlaps the chimney flashing. Last a metal top is installed which allows the chimney flue to go through to the outside air. The metal top usually has a metal piece that prevents water from flowing down the opening in the metal top. The flue usually has a collar that overlaps the metal piece on the metal top. The flue usually has a metal top to prevent water from going down the inside of the flue. Any one of these items in this assembly can leak if not done correctly or if it has deteriorated. Inspect all the potential issues and effect a repair.


jpg14-77989_200x200Plastic Gutter

Plastic gutters do not come with a wing. The plastic gutter company makes a plastic diverter to divert the water into the gutter. If it is not installed, the edge of the roof deck will develop dry rot.

IMG_26101-79067_200x200Gutter in Stucco

When the house was built, the sheet metal installer put the gutter too close to the stucco paper. When the stucco was applied, it went around the gutter, not behind it. Over time the gutter joint can deteriorate, allowing seepage in the wall. Remove the gutter, cut the end back, reinstall the gutter end, repair the wall with waterproofing materials, then reinstall the gutter.

jpg85-89888_200x200Skylight/Flashing/No Overlap

The flashing does not go up high enough for the skylight frame to overlap the flashing and the wood curb is exposed. This is open and will allow seepage. Remove the skylight and install a counterflashing on top of the curb that overlaps the flashing on the side.