Rubber roofing is a popular choice for commercial buildings since it is durable, and it can tolerate foot traffic on your roof. However, damage is always possible due to workers on the roof, storms, or UV damage. You know how important regular inspections are for commercial roofing, and timely repairs are essential, too. Here are some important steps in repairing a hole, tear, or loose seam on a rubber roof.
Clean The Membrane First
EPDM roofing is repaired with patches. The surface of the rubber material has to be cleaned well before the patch is applied or the patch might not stick. Rubber roofing develops a film as it ages, and this has to be cleaned off. In addition, dirt, pollution, and dust have to be removed.
The roofer can use a cleaner made specifically for rubber roofing to cut through the film and grime. Once the area is clean, the roofing has to dry completely before repairs can proceed.
Apply The Primer
Primer is painted over the loose seam or hole before the patch is put down. The roofer uses primer made for patching rubber roofs that is tacky so the patch fuses to it. Since the roofer works with primer and sealants, they need to choose a dry day that's above freezing so the patching material goes on and cures properly.
Press The Patch Down
A patch that goes over a hole or tear in a rubber roof membrane is cut from a piece of rubber roofing or a compatible material. The patch is cut larger than the hole so there is plenty of patch around the edges to form a tight seal. The corner edges are also rounded off when the patch is cut out to eliminate points that can get caught and cause the patch to lift.
A patch for a roof seam is different, and it is applied differently. The patch material comes in long, wide strips on a roll that can be cut to size. Both seam and hole patches have backing that peels off so the patch gets a good seal.
Seal The Patch
After a patch is applied over a hole or tear, lap sealant is put around the edges so rain can't get under the patch. Seam patches are sealed in a different way using silicone. Membrane commercial roofing is vulnerable to leaking at the seams. For that reason, seam repairs have to be done so the patches won't come loose.
After the first strip patch is put over the gap in a seam, silicone is spread over the patch. Silicone is a common coating on commercial roofing since it is waterproof and resists UV damage. It's a good material for repairing loose seams.
After the first coating of silicone is put down, another strip of patch material is embedded in the silicone and then the patch is topped with a second layer of silicone. Making repairs like these to holes and seams allows your commercial roofing membrane to have a longer life, and the repairs also protect your building from water damage.
Reach out to a commercial roofer in your area to learn more.