Rubber soul

EPDM can overlay virtually any flat roof, making it ideal for use in refurbishment and improvement projects - no wonder that this rubber membrane is such a popular choice for both domestic and commercial flat roofing.


The development of products such as EPDM over the last few decades has revolutionised how we approach flat roofing. Today you can confidently expect a flat roof you install to be low-maintenance with a trouble-free life expectancy of anywhere from 15 years to 50 years plus.

Provided the roof structure itself is sound, you can use EPDM practically anywhere, even on boats, which gives some indication of its waterproofing credentials! Its flame-free application also makes it perfect for adding extensions to thatched properties.

Here are five simple steps to help you install EPDM on flat roofs:

1. Make sure the roof deck is 100% clean of dust, chippings, sharp objects or raised fixings – these can show under the membrane and stop the glue bonding properly. Also, ensure all decking is dry and adequately fastened.

2. Unfold the EPDM membrane and lay it into position. Allow the membrane to hang over the roof edge by a minimum of 75mm (3”), and turn up walls 200mm (8”) minimum. Leave to relax for at least 30 minutes to help remove creases.

3. Apply the manufacturer’s high strength, solvent based bonding adhesive specifically designed for EPDM and approved by the EPDM supplier (or an approved WBA deck adhesive). Use an adhesive you can roller on to the substrate or, in the case of the solvent adhesive, to both the substrate and the underside of the sheet. Be sure that the membrane is in position, to size, and smooth out any creases before applying the adhesive. Also, allow the solvent based adhesive to flash off, otherwise it can blister under the membrane.

4. Roll the EPDM back onto the deck where adhesive has been applied. Work slowly and evenly to minimise wrinkles. Incorrectly attaching the EPDM to corners, walls, around drains, pipes and other areas will allow water to get in. Seal corners and penetrations with EPDM primer and pressure sensitive mouldable tapes to seal any openings.

5. Ensure roof perimeter trims are of a high-quality finish to compliment the durable EPDM roof. The trims can be plastic coated metal or PVCu.

Remember, it pays to source high quality, proven products such as FIX-R’s range of EPDM and accessories. FIX-R EPDM allows faster installation, meaning reduced labour costs and giving you a win-win solution to flat roofing.