EPDM film - Application and installation

How to apply EPDM film

In this episode of Gadero TV, we demonstrate how to apply EPDM film as roof cladding. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) membrane is like a flexible form of rubber cladding. It is a durable material, and comes as a single sheet that covers an entire square or rectangular roof. EPDM is 1 millimetre thick and is available by the square metre. Simply indicate the roof size in m2 when ordering EPDM, and add an additional 30 centimetres on all sides to clad the raised edges. When EPDM is used correctly, there is virtually no chance of leaks. EPDM film should only be used for flat and slightly pent roofs. Want to know more about applying EPDM? Then read on below!

How to install EPDM roofing film

Begin by checking the roof surface for exposed screw heads and splinters, which should be removed. Sweep the roof carefully so that it is free from dust. EPDM film is delivered to your door as a folded sheet or on a roll - the video example shows the latter. The length and width of the sheet are indicated on the roll, which lets you know how the roll should be positioned. When rolling out or unfolding the film, make sure there is enough overhanging material on all sides of the roof surface before pulling the film taut.

EPDM film is the perfect cladding to combine with a living roof for many environmental and financial benefits.

EPDM cladding is easiest to install if you have got some help from a second pair of hands. This lets you pull the sheet smooth more easily, to remove most of the folds. Once the rubber sheet is taut, leave it to rest for half an hour. After that, you can fold half of the film back to apply the adhesive to the central area.

Installing a gutter drop in a flat roof

The hole for the gutter drop must be drilled into the roof before applying the EPDM. In this video, we are going with a round drop, but a square offset gutter outlet would work as well. These offset drops are a popular choice, and are installed in the join between the roof and the verge of your cabin. Note that the raised shape of the frame of this outlet does mean the verge needs to be about 7 centimetres higher (or taller) than normal.

An alternative to EPDM is bituminous membrane, but each product has its own pros and cons. Make sure to read up about bituminous cladding before making your decision.

Tips for applying EPDM film

Apply the contact adhesive to both the roof and the film. Firmly press the EPDM film into the joins. Contact glue ensures a stronger join than EPDM adhesive.

A gutter drop is not included as standard, so make sure to add one to your order. Finish the edges of the roof with roof trim.

Affixing aluminium roof trim

The best way to finish the edges of your roof is by using roof trim. Make sure that there is 2 centimetres of overhang on all sides of your roof. Any excess EPDM can be cut away. For more information about installing roof trim, have a look at “How to install roof trim”.

Advantages of EPDM roofing film

  • Suitable for flat and slightly pent roofs;
  • Uses a single sheet without joins or seams;
  • Minimal risk of leaks;
  • No heat gun needed;
  • For a sleek finish in combination with roof trim;
  • More durable than bituminous membrane and Easyroofing film.

Required tools and materials for installing EPDM roof cladding film

  • EPDM rubber film
  • Contact adhesive
  • Gutter drop/outlet
  • EPDM adhesive
  • Fleece roller with bracket and gloves
  • Roof trim (straight and elbow section)
  • Stanley knife
  • Broom
  • Household brush
  • Cordless drill + hole saw

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