Flat Roof Frequently Asked Questions

In this section you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about flat roof installation, EPDM membrane and more.

Feel free to browse and use the downloads section for further information where required.

 

About EPDM Rubber Membrane

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  • What is EPDM?
  • How long will the membrane last?
  • Is the membrane available in different colours?
  • Can the membrane be used as a pond liner?
  • Can the membrane be ballasted?

Getting Started on Your Flat Roof Project

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  • Does the roofing membrane come in kit form?
  • EDPM for Garage Roofs
  • EPDM for Porch Roofs
  • How to calculate materials for your project

Installing Your EPDM Rubber Flat Roof

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  • Does the EPDM membrane have an up and downside?
  • Does the membrane require a protective top coat?
  • Is the installation of the membrane weather dependent?
  • Why do bubbles or wrinkles form after the membrane is adhered?
  • Are specific tools required for installation?
  • Can the membrane be in contact with a hot pipe penetration (e.g., boiler flue)?
  • Are specific tools required for installation?
  • Are any precautions required during installation?

EPDM Bonding & Adhesives

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  • Is one-sided application of the membrane sufficient?
  • Can the adhesive be left too long to flash off?
  • What are the coverage rates for the adhesives?
  • Which substrates can I adhere the membrane to?
  • Can the membrane be adhered onto a wet surface?
  • Must the roof surface be cleaned before adhesion of the membrane?

EPDM Maintenance & Protection

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  • Is maintenance required?
  • Can certain materials damage the membrane?
  • How can the membrane be repaired in case of damage?

Firestone EPDM & Related Products

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  • What is Firestone RubberCover membrane?
  • Is there a warranty for Firestone RubberCover EPDM membrane?
  • Must the membrane be cleaned before applying Firestone QuickPrime Plus?
  • Which products require application of Firestone Quickprime Plus?
  • Can I walk on a Firestone RubberCover EPDM roof?

EPDM & Green Roofing

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  • What is a green roof?
  • Can the EPDM membrane be combined with a green roof system?
  • Are green roofs environmentally friendly?
  • What structures can support a green roof?
  • Can Green Roof’s benefit planning applications?
  • What is the difference between a green roof and a living roof?
  • What are the key benefits of a green roof?
  • Types of Green Roof – Extensive
  • Types of Green Roof – Intensive
  • Types of Green Roof – Brown/Biodiverse Roof
  • Can the EPDM membrane be combined with a green roof system?
  • Considerations before opting for a green roof
  • Benefits of a Living roof with EPDM

 

About EPDM Rubber Membrane – Quick Answers

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What is EPDM?

EPDM is the acceptable abbreviation for Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Terpolymer, a synthetic rubber compound that gives high-performance waterproofing when laid in a single piece of membrane over a flat roof surface.

How long will the membrane last?

The membranes offer unrivalled resistance to UV radiation, ozone, alkali rains and exceptionally high or low temperatures. Studies have demonstrated that genuine Firestone membrane has an expected lifespan of more than 50 years.

Is the membrane available in different colours?

No, the membrane is only available in slate grey. It can be painted with a suitable acrylic paint in some circumstances.

Can the membrane be used as a pond liner?

No, the membrane is only suitable for roofs and gutters. EPDM pond liners are available, but are manufactured using a different process to the roofing membrane.

Can the membrane be ballasted?

Yes, it is possible to ballast the membrane, but you must take care to cover the membrane with a suitable medium, such as rounded washed bank river gravel and/or pavers placed on protective rubber feet.


Getting Started on Your Flat Roof Project – Quick Answers

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Does the roofing membrane come in kit-form?

Yes. You can buy standard-sized flat roof kits for garage roofs, shed roofs and flat roof extension projects. A flat roof kit includes membrane, adhesive and trims as required, and is the ideal solution for DIY installers.

EDPM for Garage Roofs – Everything you need to know.

Coming soon…

EPDM for Porch Roofs – Everything you need to know.

Coming soon…

How to calculate materials for your project.

Coming soon…

Installing Your EPDM Rubber Flat Roof – Quick Answers

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Does the EPDM membrane have an up and downside?

No, there is no difference between the top and bottom of the standard and premium-grade membrane. Fire-rated (FR grade) membrane does have an up-and downside. There is clear wording stating which side this membrane should be laid.

Does the membrane require a protective top coat?

No, the membrane is resistant to UV rays and ozone and requires no protective top coat.

Is the installation of the membrane weather dependent?

Yes. Although it can be fitted in the rain, the minimum temperature for application of the adhesive is +5ºC and maximum humidity is 80%.

Why do bubbles or wrinkles form after the membrane is adhered?

Not allowing the adhesives enough ‘flashing off’ time can lead to solvents in the adhesives causing bubbles or wrinkling. The wet adhesive distorts the membrane and causes a ripple-effect.

Are specific tools required for installation?

Yes. There are just a few tools required for installation of EPDM rubber roofing systems.

Can the membrane be in contact with a hot pipe penetration (e.g., boiler flue)?

The use of double-skinned penetrations is required.

Are any precautions required during installation?

Yes, we recommend a range of precautions.


EPDM Bonding & Adhesives – Quick Answers

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Is one-sided application of the membrane sufficient?

You should always apply bonding adhesive to both surfaces – roof deck (or board) and membrane.

Can the adhesive be left too long to flash off?

Yes. The surfaces will be ready to be mated together after the adhesive is applied and has flashed off. If the prepared surfaces are left open longer than necessary, debris may contaminate the surface area, or temperature fluctuations may impair application.

What are the coverage rates for the adhesives?

Please follow the link for for the full answers for further information.

Which substrates can I adhere the membrane to?

EPDM membrane can be adhered to different substrates, such as OSB3 sterling board or plywood timber. Smooth concrete and tissue-faced insulation boards are also suitable, but note that new concrete should be fully cured before membrane installation.

Can the membrane be adhered onto a wet surface?

No. The surface of the roof deck must be fully dry and free of ponded water, snow, frost and ice before installation of the membrane can take place.

Must the roof surface be cleaned before adhesion of the membrane?

Yes. The surface of the roof deck must be swept clean, and be free of sharp and/or loose particles, fasteners, debris and/or foreign materials that could puncture the membrane.

EPDM Maintenance & Protection – Quick Answers

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Is maintenance required?

Other than a recommended annual visual inspection of the roof, No. Once installed correctly, no specific maintenance is required for a Firestone RubberCover EPDM roofing system.

Can certain materials damage the membrane?

Other than sharp materials, the membrane is less resistant to oil or oil-based products. Contact with certain oil-based products should be avoided.

How can the membrane be repaired in case of damage?

EPDM membrane is super-tough, yet in the unlikely event of damage, it can be effectively repaired. Different areas of damage will require a different focus for repairs.

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Firestone EPDM & Related Products – Quick Answers

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What is Firestone RubberCover membrane?

Firestone RubberCover EPDM is a 100% cured single-ply roofing membrane manufactured from synthetic rubber compound. Its full name is Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Terpolymer.

Is there a warranty for Firestone RubberCover EPDM membrane?

Permaroof UK provides a 20 materials-only warranty for installations carried out by Permaroof-trained contractors.

Must the membrane be cleaned before applying Firestone QuickPrime Plus?

No. If the membrane is excessively dirty, however, it can be cleaned with ordinary water and a clean rag.

Which products require application of Firestone Quickprime Plus?

Firestone QuickPrime Plus primer must be used with ALL Firestone Quickseam products in order to clean and prime the membrane before application.

Can I walk on a Firestone RubberCover EPDM roof?

Yes, but check the underside of footwear for sharp objects that may puncture the membrane.

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EPDM & Green Roofing – Quick Answers

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What is a green roof?

A green roof is a flat roof that has been prepared in such a way that it can be planted or landscaped.

Can the EPDM membrane be combined with a green roof system?

Yes, a green roof system can be laid using EPDM membrane, provided that a root-resistant geotextile barrier is used between the planting and the membrane.

Are green roofs environmentally friendly?

Yes. Green roofs provide a chance to put natural landscape back into towns and cities. They can be planted as gardens or meadows offering flowers to feed bees, butterflies, and indeed other insects that in turn support the garden bird population.

What structures can support a green roof?

Almost any flat roof can support a basic (extensive) green roof or a brown roof, from small structures such as porches, sheds, and house extensions, to the largest commercial structures.

Can Green Roof’s benefit planning applications?

In some areas planning applications may be treated more favourably by incorporating a green roof.

What is the difference between a green roof and a living roof?

The difference between the two is sometimes just a matter of terminology, but the difference in definition is the deeper structure of a living roof.

What are the key benefits of a green roof?

The benefits are numerous, and some may be specific to the property owner, but the key benefits are to the environment, planning, water run off rates, habitat creation and life expectancy of the roof.

Types of Green Roof – Extensive

Consists of a shallow layer of substrate, typically 50mm – 150mm deep, and a variety of drought tolerant hardy plants / vegetation.

Types of Green Roof – Intensive

Intensive roofs consist of a deep soil layer, typically 150mm – 1500mm. Due to this soil layer, there is a greater scope when it comes to planting.

Types of Green Roof – Brown/Biodiverse Roof

The term Brown Roof is commonly used to refer to a roof where the vegetation is intended to replicate the existing brownfield habitat.

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