Epdm Rubber Roofing - The Year Round Roofing Solution
Most people replace their old flat roofs in the summer as the chance of getting rained on mid-way through the job is less. Unfortunately, it tends to be the winter months that people experience a sudden failure in their flat roofs and end up with water pouring through. This is usually due to water finding its way into small cracks in the existing brittle bitumen surface, freezing and expanding, which finishes them off once and for all.
If this happens, there are only a few domestic flat roofing systems that can be effectively installed year round. There are many reasons for this so let’s take a closer look:
Torch on felt
Torch on felt can be installed all year round but bear in mind these major points:
- Felt seams rely heavily on achieving the correct temperature to melt the bitumen and create a water tight seal. In lower temperatures, the sheet will require heating for much longer to achieve the correct level of melted bitumen to correctly bond to the next sheet. It is very easy to damage the seam by overheating or not heating the seam up enough and a satisfactory seam not being achieved. The working time in cold weather is vastly reduced so it is imperative any areas heated are instantly brought together to achieve a decent bond.
- Frost, snow or ice can be picked up on the contractor’s boots and trodden on to the felt. Once this is melted with the heat of the torch it can become trapped between the layers of felt causing the seam to fail prematurely.
GRP (Fibre Glass)
If this system is to be attempted at any time of the year, make sure you employ a serious pro!
- There are systems which now include cold weather catalysts, but the general rule with most GRP systems is don't install it below 5 degrees. If it is installed in temperatures lower than 5 degrees then premature failure of the GRP can occur or simply the GRP won’t set!
- If the weather conditions and temperature aren’t perfect then you could experience de-lamination or setting issues. There are also other liquid GRP systems but most are also affected by temperature.
EPDM Rubber Roofing
EPDM Rubber Roofing is one of the most versatile flat roofing systems on the market. It can be installed all year round but bear in mind these points:
- Of all the EPDM Rubber Roofing systems available, fleece reinforced EPDM is the best to use in the winter months. This is because it is compatible with a PU deck adhesive which can be used in temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. Before installation, you must ensure that the roof deck is dry, dirt and ice free.
- Things to bear in mind with EPDM in the cold are working temperatures of the tapes used to join the roof sheets and to seal around roof details. The initial bond strength and pliability of the tapes drops in the cold so insure that they are lightly warmed using a hair dryer before application and also when seaming in the cold weather.
- The other major point to watch out for is condensation forming on the contact glues in cold temperatures. Allow the glues to fully dry and if there is still a layer of moisture on the dried glue, lightly warm with a hair dryer. Never heat up wet glue as there is a chance that sparks from the hair dryer could ignite the glue, not to mention the toxic fumes given off and potentially inhaled by force drying.