Rubber Roofing is often referred to as Single Ply PVC membrane roofing or EPDM rubber roofing.


EPDM roofing is ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, where the two main ingredients are ethylene and propylene.  It is a popular choice for flat roof systems because its affordable and durable and can be laid in one continuous sheet, voiding the need for joins.  

Its waterproof property also incurs a long lasting protection against wet weather. 

These systems tend to come in two colours, black (dark grey)  or white with black being the most popular. As with all single ply membrane you can choose to install your single membrane in a number of ways.

Our most popular and adhered option is to fully adhere the membrane.  It can also be kept on the roof by weighing it down with ballast or using fixing plates to screw the membrane to the frame.

How Rubber Roofing is installed

by Kent Roofing Services.

There are four key stages involved in installing an EPDM rubber roof which, when followed, will ensure a smooth and fault-free finish on top of your decking.

The rubber roofing must be laid down on a solid and clean surface without defects or burrs or debris that could prevent effective adhesion.  The roof substrate must be repaired if it has significant gaps before attaching the membrane to it. The substrate must be dry.

When we are satisfied that the substrate is fully prepared the rubber roofing membrane is rolled out (sometimes referred to as the field sheet), measured and positioned, and left to give it time to lose any folds and then further brushed flat with a broom to ensure a perfectly smooth surface to ensure it’s completely smooth and flat.

When we are satisfied we then apply the adhesive in sections at a time.  Fixing plates are then used to lay over the edges to ensure the membrane is fixed in place.  A flashing (a length of membrane that lays over the field sheet and end laps to a perimeter detail is then applied with a strong contact adhesive to cover the fixings)

Side and end laps are heat welded with a hot air gun when installing particular single-ply membranes.

How do you look after your Rubber Roofing System?

Rubber roofing is very long-lasting but to extend its life as much as possible it will require cleaning and maintenance from time to time.  

Regularly inspect and remove debris on the roof such as leaves or stones need to be swept away and gutters must be cleared.  If you see any fixed debris such as moss, warm soapy water will be enough to clean this off.  Aim to do a quick inspection and clean, if necessary, each season of the year. If you are vigilant and notice any small bits of damage, this can be dealt with quickly.

Another alternative to rubber roofing is felt roofing.  Rubber roofing is more durable, felt roofing is more vulnerable to cracking and blistering but its advantages are the cheaper initial cost and in Kent Roofing Services experience is more readily available “off the shelf” with less lead time from order to delivery, although longer-term felt roofing can be more expensive as it can need to be repaired and replaced more regularly.  Felt roofing has a more difficult installation process and requires more skill in the use of torch-on felt roofing with bitumen rather than the adhesive used in single-ply rubber roofing. 

Our rubber roofing systems come with a 20-year product guarantee but if looked after carefully and inspected and cleaned regularly it can last over 40 years.

We install rubber roofing at an approximate cost of £75 per square meter but it varies depending on the accessibility of the roof, the type of roof, requirement of insulation, type of substrate, the edging finish required, and preparation required for the roof laying underneath.

How to Install a Rubber Roof on a Garage or Shed 

1 Remove Fascias

If timber fascias or nails are holding down the roof membrane, remove these first.

2 Remove the old Roof

Remove all of the old roof covering including any staples or nails free from sharp edges, burrs or debris

3 Repair Timbers

Repair any roof timbers that are damaged or are rotten.

4 Lay out the New Roof

Lay the new membrane over the roof and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes until all folds and creases have been removed for EPDM and if PVC single ply the membrane rolls out tight on its own.

5 Roll the Membrane Back

Roll the membrane back and use an adhesive to coat the surface of the wooden roof.  You can use a roller or a brush to apply the adhesive.  

6 Repeat steps 4 & 5

Apply the other half of the roof

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