Adrian Buttress, managing director of EPDM rubber roofing specialists Permaroof, discusses why EPDM rubber is ideal for the winter season.
Finding practical solutions for carrying on through all the weather conditions that the UK likes to throw at us can be particularly challenging when it comes to roofing, where the trade is faced with braving the elements to quickly and effectively repair issues.
Despite the colder and wetter weather meaning a likely drop in enquiries for external building and maintenance work, when a roof needs repairing it’s usually a job that can’t wait. Incorrectly specified or installed flat roofs can be particularly susceptible to issues. A hot summer, like the one that the UK has just had, can mean sun-scarring on the roofing material, which a drastic drop in temperature then worsens to become cracks that result in leaks.
Why EPDM is made for winter jobs
EPDM is a 100 per cent cured, single-ply roofing membrane made of a synthetic rubber ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer. It’s a long-lasting, simple to install and low maintenance solution that provides a reliable waterproofing system for any type of flat roof – whether domestic or commercial.
The reliability and longevity of using an EPDM rubber roof either in the first instance, or as a replacement material, is ideal for winter projects. It is an incredibly durable material, and homeowners enjoy the peace of mind that such a long-lasting material provides – especially when it comes to garages and sheds that are for the purpose of keeping expensive equipment safe and dry.
The innate nature of the material is behind this durability. EPDM rubber roofs resist UV and ozone, namely due to the material containing a high proportion of carbon black and no plasticisers or antioxidants, giving it a life expectancy of more than 50 years.
Ease of installation
When the weather is bad, you just want to get a job completed before moving on to the next. Plus, a repair to a leaking roof needs to be as swift as possible to prevent further damage to the client’s property. Again, the speed of installation makes EPDM ideal.
The membrane is supplied in large, seamless sheets of up to 15.24m in width and 61m long. This makes it fast and simple to achieve coverage across the whole roof, and removes the need for seams, further improving the longevity of the installation.
We strongly recommend that installers attend our Firestone EPDM training centre to guarantee the best possible finish on a project. An EPDM rubber roofing installation requires no specialist tools and no heat or flame, which means less time on site and an easier application when out in the elements.
As mentioned, when a tradesman hasn’t completed training, it is still possible for an EPDM rubber roof to be installed incorrectly which will cause greater issues down the line. It doesn’t matter how durable a material is – if it isn’t laid correctly, it’s going to cause problems for the clients and ultimately damage the reputation of the installer.
Fortunately, EPDM rubber roofing also offers a quick and reliable repair method through liquid PU. Again, making it simple to create a watertight and weatherproof roof even in the winter.
Liquid PU, or “liquid rubber” as it is often referred to, is ideal for repairing split or cracked flat roofing. It is easy to apply and it cures quickly on a variety of surfaces – ideal characteristics for when you are working within a short and unpredictable gap in cold, wet, or dark conditions.
We advise every roofer to have a tin of liquid rubber in their van for those emergency calls or temporary repairs when the rain will not allow for a full roof refurbishment. It comes in a pre-mixed solution that can be applied straight from the tin using a brush. You only need to apply one coat, which again means it’s a quick and effective job.
Roofing in the winter
There are many construction and maintenance jobs that the winter months just make impossible. Fortunately, the natural attributes of EPDM rubber, and associated products such as Liquid PU, make it ideal for rapid and effective roofing installations or repairs.
With smaller projects, such as adding outdoor buildings, on the rise due to the impact of people spending more time at home, as well as larger extensions being considered due to house moves becoming less likely, flat roofing is certainly a market that offers plenty of opportunities for installers – especially during the winter months.
For more information on Permaroof visit https://www.permaroof.co.uk/
If you want to watch a video of a Liquid PU installation visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSM-fRxCMIQ&feature=emb_title