This article will provide a step by step guide to rubber roof installation for those who wish to perform this task themselves rather than employ the services of a professional roofer.
What You Will Need
The list of items required for rubber roof installation is a fairly short one. Apart from the roofing material itself, all you will need is a utility knife or scissors, bonding adhesive, a paint roller to apply the adhesive and a broom to sweep away any debris. In addition, it is advisable to wear gloves to protect your hands and some form of eye protection.
If you are installing a rubber roof over top of an existing roof, you will also need some kind of plywood base board to lay underneath the rubber. In order to bond properly with the rubber membrane, the base board should be sanded, thoroughly cleaned and completely dry. If you plan to attach the rubber to vertical surfaces such as walls, you may need some metal strips to affix the rubber properly. You can buy inexpensive aluminum termination bars especially for this purpose.
Rubber Roof Installation Step By Step
If you are installing black rubber roofing, it is best to do so on a cool, dry day with a fair amount of cloud cover. Not too cool, though, since latex bonding adhesive requires an ambient air temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius, for a period of 48 hours after application. One needs to get the temperature just right, because on a bright, sunny day, the rubber roofing membrane can become hot very quickly due to the black rubber absorbing the heat from the sun’s rays. Also, since the rubber is very heavy, it is advisable to have at least one other person to help you with it.
The good news is that rubber roofing material comes in rolls of anything up to 50 feet wide and 100 feet long, so the amount of cutting and shaping that you will need to do is fairly minimal, especially when compared to tile roofing. It should be possible to cover most roofs seamlessly.
You are now ready to begin the installation of your rubber roof. Start by sweeping the roof thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Once the roof is clean, you can begin applying the latex bonding adhesive with the paint roller. Make sure that the adhesive is applied evenly, to prevent air bubbles in the rubber, and be careful not to paint yourself into a corner.
Lay down the rubber roofing and then sweep it again with the broom to make sure that it lies flat against the surface and that there are no wrinkles. Wait half an hour for the adhesive to bond, and then repeat the sweeping, from the center outwards. Use the scissors or utility knife to trim any unwanted rubber from above the termination bars, if applicable, and apply latex tape over any seams that may exist.
Your rubber roof installation should now be complete for a typical flat roof. A more complicated roof, for example one that is an odd shape or has pipes and other fixtures that you need to work around, may require more specialist advice. Home improvement stores should be able to advise you of any special equipment you may need, or whatever else you need to take into consideration when dealing with the hard cases in rubber roof installation.