Tips For Maintaining Your Business's EPDM Roof

EPDM roofing membranes, often referred to as rubber roofs, are a common choice for a flat-roofed commercial building. While these roofs are water-tight, cost-effective, and durable, they do not last forever. You can prolong the life of your EPDM roof by maintaining it properly. The following tips will help.

Schedule routine cleaning

Your EPDM roof should be cleaned monthly. This is actually a simple process. The membrane itself only needs to be swept with a soft-bristle broom or hosed down with minimal pressure to remove pollen, pollution residue, and grit. This debris can eat away at the rubber if they aren't periodically removed.

Then, all the drains and gutters on the roof should be cleaned thoroughly and inspected to ensure they are properly draining water. A clogged drain allows water to collect on the roof, where the excess weight can lead to a roof collapse in the event of heavy precipitation.

Keep the birds away

Birds are one of the biggest threats to your EPDM roof. Bird droppings are highly acidic, and this acid can eat through the rubber membrane relatively quickly.

While monthly cleaning and removal bird nests will help, it is better to prevent the birds from even choosing your roof as a roost. You can achieve this by hiring a roofing contractor to install an anti-bird device.

Bird spikes placed in the most common roosting areas prevent the avians from even landing on the roof. You can also have scare devices, such as things that move in the wind, installed to further prevent birds from standing or nesting on your roof.

Be proactive with patching

One of the good things about an EPDM roof is that it can be patched inexpensively and quickly in the event of damage. During your monthly cleaning, also plan to do an inspection. Look for areas where the rubber is beginning to split, shows discoloration, or is pulling away from rooftop penetrations or edges.

When potential damage is identified, a quick call to your roofer is in order. They will stitch the split together so it doesn't pull further. Then, they will apply a rubber membrane patch with a special, waterproof adhesive so that the area remains watertight.

Whether you intend to have your own facilities crew maintain the roof or bring in a commercial roofing company to handle maintenance, it's vital that you have a plan and a schedule. This way you can stay on top of maintenance issues and catch problems early so you won't have a roofing disaster.