If you have a flat roof at your property or on your garage, it can be tempting to carry out repairs or even replace the roof yourself.
It can certainly be a more cost-effective option, but you are open to one of the three most common DIY flat roof mistakes, which could end up costing you more!
Choosing the wrong DIY flat roof system
There are many different material types that can be used for flat roofing, from metal to asphalt shingle and various types of rubber membranes. However, not all of these are suitable for DIY installation by homeowners. By not applying the roof correctly, you risk having an incomplete seal, gaps, leaks or tears. These issues may not be immediately obvious and can appear months or years after installation (and usually during extreme weather).
EPDM rubber is a great option for DIY installation. It’s a membrane supplied in one piece so there’s no risk of cracks or tears in the main body. It’s also very easy to repair if you do find any problems, unlike slates or metal roofing.
Failing to correctly prepare the roof substrate
If you do not carry out the right preparation on the roof substrate, you may have problems with both the installation of the new material but also in the overall life expectancy. This can be costly in the long term and outweigh any benefits from going DIY. Common problems seen with poor preparation are bubbles and cracks in felt roofs, bubbles in EPDM membranes, and a failed or patchy adhesion of rubber roofing to the roof deck.
To combat these issues, firstly you need to understand what preparation is required. This will be dependent on the existing roofing material and what you are replacing it with, as well as the condition of the roof substrate.
If you are installing an EPDM rubber surface, make sure that the surface you are applying to is clean and there is no dirt, dust, grease, oil or rust. The surface must be swept clear to make sure nothing is left behind. If there is any bitumen from the previous roofing, this needs to be removed or covered over as this can impact on the performance of the EPDM. There should be no water on the substrate and the temperature must be above 5o when installation takes place. This ensures that moisture doesn’t get trapped underneath and cause ‘blisters’.
There are preparation guidelines available to download in our resource library.
Overbuying of materials
Not many homeowners are experienced at measuring up flat roofs, and it can be easy to buy more than you need ‘just to be sure’. This can lead to wastage and unnecessary costs. This can be one of the most common DIY flat roof mistakes made by homeowners every year.
Due to the nature of the manufacture of EPDM, an accurate-sized piece is easy to produce. This makes installation easier as you won’t have to worry about trimming or cutting. Our EPDM DIY flat roof kits can prove an invaluable way to buy rubber roofing, knowing you have the right amount of materials before you start. Head on over to the online store to find out more about standard EPDM flat roof kits, and let us help you avoid one of the easiest DIY flat roof mistakes to make.
Installing a flat roof yourself can be a good option, but it’s not without potential mistakes. Having a clear plan, including proper preparation, and choosing the right material and system are all key factors in the success or failure of your project.