EPDM Roofing Kit

Published: 21st March 2012
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Copyright (c) 2012 Dan Garren

EPDM is a very versatile product. Not only can it be used on commercial and residential buildings, but also on recreational vehicles, travel trailers, mobile homes, or modular buildings. Many contractors use EPDM kits for moveable structures.

All kits include EPDM single ply membrane and termination bar with screws. The EPDM is white or black, in 45 or 60 mil thicknesses, and smooth or reinforced membranes. The EPDM membrane is sold in different sizes, some manufacturers will cut the EPDM membrane to your specifications while others are only sold in set sizes. The EPDM membrane is generally sold in one piece so that there are no seams.

Other accessories may include pipe boots or metal collars, lap sealant and caulking applied to exposed edges such as around the base of pipe boot flashings, j-channel used as termination bar and a water diverter, or 90 degree L-metal used at roof edge. If separate pieces of EPDM membrane are needed due to the size of the modular building or recreational vehicle, then you may also need to use the following materials: seam tape, cured cover tape, uncured cover tape, primer, lap sealant, RMS strip, and screw plates. Seam tape is used to seal the seams, cured cover tape is used at the perimeter of roof to cover the termination bar and on other flashing details, uncured cover tape is more flexible and is also used for flashing details, primer is used to prime the area at the seams or areas where EPDM flashings are going to be applied in order to get a good seal. Lap sealant is used at locations where there are going to be exposed or cut areas such as along the seams or around the perimeter of areas being flashed with cover tape. RMS strip is used at locations where there are different roof elevations, one side of the perimeter has adhesive, while the other side is fastened with screws and plates.

EPDM kits do not come with insulation, but it is highly recommended that the EPDM membrane be applied directly over insulation. You can use expanded polystyrene (EPS), polyisocyanurate (ISO), or fiberglass (batt) insulation. You can also use high-density fiber board, however, when high-density board gets wet it completely deteriorates, so if you have a roof leak then the roof renovations could be rather expensive. EPS board has an insulating R-factor of approximately 4, ISO board has an insulating R-factor of 7 per inch, and fiberglass (batt) insulation has an insulating R-factor of approximately 3.5 per inch. If you are installing an EPDM kit on a completely flat roof, then use 4' x 8' sheets of expanded EPS or ISO . One - two layers of EPS or ISO board insulation are applied to the roof deck. Standard in stock thicknesses for expanded EPS or ISO is 1". If you are going to mechanically fasten expanded EPS or ISO board directly to the roof deck, be very cautious, generally there is not very much room. You must make sure you penetrate only the roof trusses and the roof framing, otherwise you will most likely be putting a hole in the interior ceiling. If you are dealing with a mobile structure that is curved to the outside roof perimeter, then it would be in your best interest to install fiberglass (batt) insulation. It is very flexible while 4' x 8' sheets are not. If you try to use EPS or ISO board you will end up with uninsulated spaces around the complete roof perimeter. Fiberglass insulation can be loose laid or fully adhered to the roof deck. Fiberglass (batt) insulation is also less expensive than EPS or ISO, thus you can increase the R-factor of the roofing system. With fiberglass (batt) insulation you can affordably get an R-factor of approximately 20 which is about 6"'s .

Usually there is at least one soil pipe, hot stack pipe, and furnace flue on the roof. Make sure when you are put insulation around these pipes that there are no open spaces. Make sure you remove any (removable) roof vents, fan hoods, or other flashing collars so they do not puncture the EPDM membrane and so that the membrane can lay smoothly over these areas. Reinstall or replace them once the EPDM has been installed. Duct tape should be applied over any cut pipes so that it does not puncture the EPDM membrane.

Next comes the installation of the EPDM membrane. Two types of EPDM membrane installation are loose laid (blanket system) and fully adhered. Both systems are installed exactly how they are described. With a loose laid system, the EPDM membrane is loosely laid down the entire length of the mobile structure and with fully adhered systems, the EPDM membrane is fully adhered with bonding adhesive directly over the insulation. Pay special attention to areas around pipes so you don't puncture the EPDM membrane or damage the pipes. Both systems are terminated around the complete roof perimeter with termination bar or j-channel. Pipe boots or field fabricated flashings are installed around protrusions.

It is strongly recommended that you use an experienced licensed roofing contractor to install an EPDM mobile roofing kit. This report should be used only as a guideline. All manufacturers' specifications should be followed.


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EPDM roofing is a very versatile product. Not only can it be used on commercial and residential buildings, but also on recreational vehicles, travel trailers, mobile homes, or modular buildings. Many contractors use EPDM roofing kits for moveable structures.

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