How to do a flat rubber roof

Written by mona culberson
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How to do a flat rubber roof
Rolled rubber roofing, common on RVs, can be installed quickly and easily. (coach, trailer image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Flat roof rolled rubber sheeting is a popular choice for roofing projects. The rubber sheets can be purchased in widths as large as 100 feet making it possible to cover some roofs with one sheet. The added benefit of a seamless application protects against leaks. Rubber roofing is durable, requires low maintenance and is environmentally friendly, making it a smart choice for RV, mobile home and other flat roofs.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Push broom
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Extension roller
  • Roller cover
  • Latex bonding adhesive
  • Rolled rubber sheets
  • Termination bars
  • Paintbrush
  • Seam primer
  • Seam roller
  • Self-adhesive roof tape
  • Caulking gun
  • Self-levelling roof caulk

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sweep all dirt and debris from the roof with the push broom.

  2. 2

    Unroll the rubber roofing sheeting starting in the centre of the roof. Overhang the edges of the roof by 3 inches. If more than one piece is required, allow a 4-inch overlap at the seam area for glue. Leave the rubber material to relax for 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Measure all pipes, vents, skylights and other protrusions. Mark the measurements on the rubber sheeting. Trim the sheeting around the protrusions with the scissors, leaving enough rubber material for flashing around the base of the protrusion.

  4. 4

    Roll half of the first sheet back over onto the roof deck. Apply an even layer of adhesive to the deck of the roof and to the back of the sheet with the extension roller. Fold the sheet back over onto the roof deck. Smooth the sheet down with the push broom. Remove all wrinkles and air pockets.

  5. 5

    Roll the other half of the sheet up to the previously glued half and repeat step 4.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the roof has been covered with rolled rubber sheeting.

  7. 7

    Apply a bead of self-levelling roof caulk to the edges of the rubber flashing material around protrusions with the caulking gun. Apply self-adhesive roof tape to seal the edge of the rubber flashing.

  8. 8

    Allow 12 inches of rubber for flashing when the roof meets a vertical surface such as a wall. Smooth the rubber up the wall and adhere it with bonding adhesive. Attach termination bars on the edges of rubber sheets and trim the excess rubber. Apply a generous bead of self-levelling roof caulk to the edge of the rubber with the caulking gun.

  9. 9

    Fold all edges back where there are seams to expose the 4-inch area that was not glued. Apply seam primer to the 4-inch area with the paint brush. Attach the self-adhesive roof tape with the bonding side down, facing the base sheet. Roll over the tape with the seam roller. Apply a bead of self-levelling roof caulk to all taped seams with the caulking gun.

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