The Complete Guide to Rubber Roofing

The Complete Guide to Rubber Roofing

An Introduction to Rubber Roofing

Owners of homes with flat and extremely low sloping roofs have traditionally had a problem with leaks. Because there is no way for rainwater to roll off, it builds up and eventually seeps through the ceiling.

Rubber roofing offers a solution, as it repels rainwater, allowing it to dry naturally.

Pros of Rubber Roofing

Rubber roofing has a number of advantages over traditional felt flat roofs. With felt roofs, the slightest tear can cause the roof to leak.

– Rubber roofing is durable, lasting anything up to 50 years without needing to be replaced, and does not tear anywhere near as easily as felt.

– It can survive in temperatures ranging from -62 degrees to 300 degrees Fahrenheit without cracking or deteriorating.

– It is low maintenance—rubber roof repair is easy and can be done by merely applying a low-cost rubberized solution available at any hardware or building supplies store.

– Rubber roofing adds value to your home, too. It has a class A fire rating and is favored by most home insurance companies.

– Finally, it is an excellent insulator. It can absorb heat in hot weather and release it in colder weather, thus reducing your heating and air conditioning bills.

– Another advantage of rubber roofing is cost-effectiveness. It is by far the least expensive type of single-ply flat roofing material and weighs less than a third as much as slate roofing tiles.

Cons of Rubber Roofing

Not everyone is enamored of rubber roofing, however. Modified bitumen roofing systems being erroneously described as “rubber roofing” has sometimes caused realtors and building inspectors a headache. In addition, there is a very low margin of error for roofers.

– If installed incorrectly, it can leak even worse than felt roofing. Fortunately, most rubber roofing manufacturers offer certification schemes to ensure that their products are fitted properly.

– Make sure your rubber roof is installed by a roofer with the appropriate certification unless you are doing it yourself, in which case you need to make sure that every seam is flush and that there are no gaps.

– Rubber roofing is also relatively new to the market, so there could be problems that have not been noticed yet. They first appeared around 30 years ago, which is generally regarded as the minimum lifespan for this type of roof, so the first ones are starting to wear out around now.

– The effects of this will become clear as time progresses. Until then, they remain a hard-wearing and inexpensive option for people with flat roofs.

Installation of Your Rubber Roof

This part of the 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.

Tools & Materials

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 :

  • knife or scissors
  • bonding adhesive
  • a paint roller to apply the adhesive
  • 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 the top of an existing roof, you will also need some kind of plywood baseboard to lay underneath the rubber.

In order to bond properly with the rubber membrane, the baseboard 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.

How to Repair Your Rubber Roof?

One of the greatest advantages of rubber roofing is that it requires very little maintenance. But occasionally, your rubber roof will need repair. This part of the article presents a quick and easy guide to show you how to repair your rubber roof, should it ever become necessary to do so.

Sealants for Rubber Roof Repair

Whilst very serious repairs may require replacement of your rubber roof coating, minor rubber roof repairs can be carried out using a liquid rubber sealant cement that comes in a tube, or by applying special rubberized tape.

Tubes of rubber roof repair sealant cement typically come in 10oz sizes and contain oils mixed with the liquid rubber that help it to penetrate and fill any cracks that may have appeared.

You can also buy tapes to help in rubber roof repair. Ordinary duct tape won’t do the trick here. The tape needs to be a specialized type made specifically for repairing rubber roofs.

It is made from a combination of resins and rubber and is backed with a powerful adhesive that is able to withstand extreme heat and cold, and which is resistant to ultraviolet rays so that it does not deteriorate due to the ravages of the weather.

Liquid rubber cement for rubber roof repair comes in a variety of colors, in order to match the color of your roof.

The Effect of Cleaning on Rubber Roof Surfaces

In 1992, the US Army released the results of a study assessing the results of 16 different cleaning methods on the rubber roofs of its installations when preparing them for patching.

The study concluded that the application of a droplet of dimethylformamide, commonly abbreviated to DMF, applied with an eyedropper, can adequately indicate the bonding condition of aged rubber roofing.

It recommended that all contaminants be removed so that the original color of the roofing material is restored before any patch is applied.

When cleaning rubber roofs for repair, make sure that you change brushes or cloths often, to avoid re-depositing dirt on the surface.

The Army’s recommended method for cleaning was a wire brush applied to an electric drill, to apply vigorous abrasion to the surface.

The results of this study show the durability of rubber roofing. With cleaning, the condition of the roofing can be returned to almost the same as when it was new. Such cleaning allows it to be patched in such a way that it can last a lifetime, even if a crack or wear and tear should occur.

Coatings for Your Rubber Roof

When merely patching up your rubber roof with sealant or tape is not enough, it may become necessary to apply a new coating to your rubber roof. 

Rubber roof coatings come in two varieties, a liquid rubber that you apply like a coat of paint, and rubber sheeting that is bonded to your original rubber roof installation with a special adhesive. In this part of this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of rubber roof coating.

Liquid Rubber Roof Coatings

Liquid coatings for your rubber roof come in a range of colors, most commonly black, white and grey, in order to match the original color of the roof.

They are applied with a brush or roller, just like paint, and you can apply up to six coats, depending on how thick the replacement rubber needs to be.

This makes it a more versatile solution than sheeting. No primer or topcoat is needed; the liquid rubber is applied straight to the surface.

Manufacturers claim that liquid rubber roof coatings can extend the life of a rubber roof by up to 20 years if applied correctly.

When applying liquid rubber roof coatings, you must be sure to take care that the surface is even. If you have ever seen a rushed paint job, you will know how ugly uneven paint can be.

Now imagine that applied to the surface of a flat roof. If your supposedly flat roof resembles a topographic map of the Himalayas, it would not only look bad (which doesn’t really matter that much, since few people will see your roof), but could also cause surface water to gather in the ridges after a rainstorm, a process known as ponding.

This makes it more difficult for the water to evaporate once the rain clouds part, and can shorten the lifespan of the coating.

However, you have to bear in mind that rubber roof coatings are extremely durable, and so will not bubble and crack like other roofing materials, so this shortened lifespan is only relative.

But naturally, most people will want to prolong the life of their roof as much as they can anyway, and taking that little extra care provides a way to do this.

The Use of Sheeting for Coating Rubber Roofs

Rubber roof coatings also come in sheet form. Some manufacturers will provide them custom made for the shape of your roof, in sheets of up to 10,000 square feet. If you are looking for a less expensive solution, you can buy them off the shelf.

Sheets should be applied in a grid-like fashion, with the edges slightly overlapping. Make sure that the joins are airtight, otherwise water could seep in between them.

The advantage of this type of rubber roof coating is that it is easier to apply than a liquid coating, though it does require a primer and the use of special adhesive to make sure that it bonds to the original surface correctly.

One must be careful to lay it absolutely flush with the original surface, otherwise, air bubbles could appear underneath the rubber sheet.

The Joy of Rubber Membrane Roofing

In days of old, flat roofs were made of asphalt, with gravel used as ballast. This made it very difficult to locate the source of a leak, as the gravel would hide it better than the illustrations in a Where’s Waldo book.

Now, thanks to the invention of rubber membrane roofing, this problem has largely been eliminated.

The Rise of Rubber

In recent years, rubber has grown in popularity as a roofing material. Whilst rubber roof shingles are available for those who want to maintain a traditional appearance for their roof, rubber membrane roofing is the most common option for those with flat or gently sloping roofs.

Coming in either roll or sheet form, it allows people to seamlessly cover most roofs. It can even be used on your RV.

The rubber membrane roofing material is known as EPDM, which stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, and comes in a variety of different thicknesses.

45 mil EPDM, about the thickness of a dime, should be sufficient for most flat roofs, but in areas with an increased risk of puncture, such as a place with overhanging tree branches that could fall and pierce the roofing membrane, 60 mil (about the thickness of a quarter) and 90 mil EPDM is also available.

EPDM first came to prominence as a roofing material in the late 1970s, after a history of being used in hoses, tires and other molded products since the early 1960s.

In the last decade or so, it has really taken off in popularity and now has a 22% market share among roofers, making it the most popular material for new roofs as of February 2018.

Rubber Membrane Roofing for Your RV

One area in which rubber membrane roofing is becoming increasingly popular is as a roofing material for recreational vehicles or RVs.

As with flat-roofed housing, it has gained in market share with RV owners over the last few years because of its lightweight and ease of installation. It has disadvantages over more traditional metal or fiberglass RV roofs, however, due to the risk of being torn by overhanging branches.

RV owners should maintain their rubber membrane roofing at least twice a year by cleaning it with warm soapy water and applying two coats of UV protectant spray.

It is possible to buy a complete kit containing everything you need to install rubber membrane roofing on your RV.

These kits contain the rubber membrane roof itself, the adhesive needed to affix it to the RV and butyl tape to seal around the edges. They are available from all good RV supplies stores.

What is Soffit?

What is Soffit?

Unfinished basements and other areas often contain elements like beams, pipes, and ductwork that may be vital to your house but become big obstacles to finishing the space. When you can’t conceal the obstructions within walls, and you’ve determined it’s too costly to move them, hide them inside a framed soffit or chase.

This can also provide a place to run smaller mechanicals, like wiring and water supply lines. So, What is a soffit?

There are many meanings for “soffit”, for example when we talk for the attic (an exterior soffit) then I can say a soffit is a board that runs the length of a wall, spanning between the wall and the fascia on the underside of the rafters.

But if we are talking in the basement (an interior soffit) then i can say A soffit is a bump-out that drops down from the ceiling to conceal ductwork, recessed light fixtures, and other obstructions.

As you see it’s the same word but its purposes differ from place to another (you will find its purposes in the next title), that what makes it a really helpful option in construction or remodeling projects.

Or simply its an underside of a roof overhang, cornice, or stairway.

What is the purpose of a soffit?

  • Hidding immovable obstructions
  • Guarantees the fresh air inside the attic or the basement
  • Close the space beneath the eave

What is a Soffit Vent?

A soffit vent is a vent that installed into the underside of your home’s soffit that allows the fresh outside air to get in into the attic or basement. Or simply soffit vent is inlet vent in the soffit.

How to frame a Soffit?

Unfinished basements and other areas often contain elements like beams, pipes, and ductwork that may be vital to your house but become big obstacles to finishing the space.

When you can’t conceal the obstructions within walls, and you’ve determined it’s too costly to move them, hide them inside a framed soffit or chase.

This can also provide a place to run smaller mechanicals, like wiring and water supply lines.

You can frame a soffit with a variety of materials including 2 × 2 lumber and 15⁄8-inch steel studs.

Both work well because they’re small and lightweight (though steel is usually easier to work with because it’s always straight).

For large soffits that will house lighting fixtures or other elements, you might want the strength of 2 × 4s or 35⁄8-inch steel studs.

There may be code restrictions about the types of mechanicals that can be grouped together, as well as minimum clearances between the framing and what it encloses.

Most codes also specify that soffits, chases, and other framed structures have fire-blocking every 10 feet and at the intersections between soffits and neighboring walls.

Remember too, that drain cleanouts and shutoff valves must be accessible, so you’ll need to install access panels at these locations.

Also, Soffits will require an access panel if they house electrical junction boxes or shutoffs for water or gas supply lines. You can plan these into your framing or create them after the wallcovering is installed, as in the framed opening above.

Here, a wood frame is glued to the soffit to create support ledges for the removable wallboard cutout.

Variations for Building Soffits

Obstructions perpendicular to joists. Build two ladder-like frames for the soffit sides, using standard 2 × 2s. Install 2 × 2 braces (or “rungs”) every 16″ or 24″ to provide nailing support for the edges of the wallboard or other finish material.

Attach the side frames to the joists on either side of the obstruction, using nails or screws.

Then, install cross pieces beneath the obstacle, tying the two sides together.

Cover the soffit with wallboard, plywood, or other finish material.

Steel-frame soffit with braces: Use 15⁄8, 21⁄2, or 35⁄8″ steel studs and tracks. Fasten a track to the ceiling and wall with drywall screws.

Cut studs to form the side and bottom of the soffit, fasten them to the tracks every 16″ or 24″ on center, using Type S Panhead screws, then join the pieces with metal angle (you can use a steel track cut in half lengthwise).

Use a string line and locking clamps to help keep the frame straight and square during construction.

Obstructions parallel to joists. Build side frames as with perpendicular obstructions, but size them to fit in between two joists. This provides nailing surfaces for both the soffit and ceiling finish materials.

Attach the frames to the joists with screws, then install cross pieces. Note: If you are enclosing a drain-pipe, wrap the pipe in unfaced fiberglass insulation to muffle the sound of draining water.

Simple steel-frame soffit: With ½” drywall, this construction works for soffits up to 16″ wide; with 5⁄8″ drywall, up to 24″ wide. Use 15⁄8, 2½, or 35⁄8″ steel studs and tracks. Fasten a track to the ceiling and a stud to the adjoining wall using drywall screws.

Cut a strip of drywall to form the side of the soffit, and attach a steel stud flush with the bottom edge of the strip using Type S screws.

Attach the assembly to the ceiling track, then cut and install drywall panels to form the soffit bottom.

Maximize headroom. In rooms with low ceilings, and where an obstruction is less than 12″ wide and the finish material will be wallboard or plywood, build side frames (see above) so that the bottom edges are 1⁄8″ lower than the lowest point of the obstruction.

For soffits of this width, the bottom piece of wallboard or plywood stabilizes the structure, so cross pieces between side frames aren’t necessary.

Soffits and Fascia

Some older homes and certain house styles such as Arts & Crafts are designed with open eaves in which the ends of the rafters are exposed.

But installing fascia and soffits creates a finished appearance to the roofline. In addition, modern vinyl soffits offer many advantages over traditional wood styles, they are easy to clean, simple to install, and virtually maintenance-free.

Vinyl panels and channels are easily cut to fit with special shears or a saw.

The soffit panels come in solid and perforated styles and, although the standard practice is to install one perforated panel for about every three or four solid panels, you can actually create an entire soffit of perforated panels—which will make ordering the materials much easier.

Soffit and Fascia Types

Fascia cladding. Clad an existing fascia with aluminum or vinyl, or nail F-channel to the bottom of the fascia if you prefer to maintain the wood surface.

You can also select vinyl fascia, with the soffit channel molded into the design. 

Metal soffit panels. Nail F-channel to the wall, leaving a small gap between the nailhead and channel to allow for expansion.

Soffit panels rest on a fascia cladding ledge and F-channel. A portion of each panel is usually perforated for ventilation.

 

Wood soffits. Wood panels are custom cut from ¼ or ½” exterior rated plywood. The panels can be nailed to rafter lookouts or set onto narrow ledges similar to F-channels. Vent covers are attached over ventilation holes cut into the panels.

 

How to Install Gutters & Downspouts

1. Mark the starting point of the gutter at one end (or the middle of a long run), and at the low point at the other end, allowing for ¼ to ½” to slope for every 10′ of run. Snap a chalk line between the two points.

2. Attach a drop outlet to the fascia at the low point, preferably with a long deck screw that extends into the rafter end.

3. Mount hangers for the gutters, beginning at the high-end mark. Mount the hangers approximately every 30″ unless directed otherwise by the manufacturer.

4. Cut the gutter sections and downspouts to fit using a fine-toothed hacksaw. Remove any burrs with fine-grade sandpaper and test-fit the sections.

5. Build the downspout by connecting the pipe sections with elbows to run down the wall. Connect the downspout to the wall with straps spaced approximately at 8′ intervals.

6. Complete the downspout assembly with a final elbow and pipe section, routed onto a splash drain or into a drain culvert so that water drains away from the foundation.

How strong is drywall?

How strong is drywall?

if you’ve started a remodel project or finishing a basement, then it will end up with you by installing some protection coverings to the framed walls and ceilings or what we called drywall, So, How really strong is drywall?

Well, …if you take two wood boards and put them on 1 ft high and 16 to 24 inch across, then lay a piece of drywall over the top of them (like the karate man do), stand on, and let me know your opinion about its strength.

Anyone of average strength can make a hole on it easily, and I have seen that many times, didn’t you? but that doesn’t mean it’s completely vulnerable or unuseful, and we can measure the strength of drywall according to its thickness and type.

What is Drywall?

Drywall is a broad category of construction materials that contain several types of panels with different purposes, including common gypsum-based wallcovering panels as well as specialty wallcoverings and tile backers.

Drywall usually consists of a strong paper skin adhered to a gypsum core. The finish-ready face paper wraps around to the back of the panel at the sides, where it overlaps the coarser, more rigid paper used on the back.

For handling purposes, sheets of drywall are joined at the ends by removable strips of tape.

To facilitate finishing, panels are typically tapered at the long edges. The shallow depression formed where panels meet is easily covered with tape and filled with joint compound for a flat surface that appears continuous.

The short, butt-end joints are not recessed and are more challenging to finish.

Drywall Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Drywall is fire resistant
  • It isolates sound and temperature
  • Easy to install on interior wood-framed buildings
  • cheap to buy
  • It can be painted
  • Easy to repair and to fill
  • Has many different panel types and thickness grades
  • Easy to use for interior steel-framed building
  • The best for the decoration
  • Easy to store and to move
  • Easy to remove

Cons

  • Easy to be wet, Not recommended for bathrooms
  • Slightly weak
  • Lower durability than many other boards
  • Drywall panels are heavy, you need a partner to install it

Drywall Panel Types

Up until the 1930s, interior walls were created by troweling wet plaster onto wood or metal lath that had been nailed to the wall framing members.

The finished wall required three coats of plaster, each of which had to be permitted to dry or set. The first generation of drywall panels replaced the lath and the heavy “scratch” coat of plaster.

Today, even when a traditional plaster wall finish is desired, special blue-papered drywall panels are anchored to the framing to form the base of the wall instead of a hand-troweled scratch coat. This reduces labor and drying time greatly.

Since the end of World War II, the typical drywall panel wall requires no finish layer of plaster.

Only minor surface corrections are required, including the filling of seams and covering of fastener dimples with joint compound.

Eliminating hand-troweled finishes saves time, labor, and money.

GYPSUM: is a naturally occurring crystal mined from the earth. It is formed when calcium sulfate chemically combines with water. The scrubbers that neutralize sulfuric acid emitted from power plants also create gypsum synthetically. Today much of our gypsum drywall is a byproduct of this effort to protect the environment from acid rain. When buildings burn, the water is driven out of gypsum crystals in drywall, producing steam. This characteristic makes gypsum a fire suppressant, though eventually, the dehydrated gypsum will collapse.

Types of Panels

1- Standard drywall —>2- Flexible drywall —>3- Fire-resistant drywall
  • Standard drywall is used for most walls and ceilings in dry, interior areas. It comes in 4-ft.-wide panels in lengths ranging from 8 to 16 ft. and in thicknesses of ¼”, 3⁄8″, ½”, and 5⁄8″. There are also 54″-wide panels for horizontal installations on walls with 9-ft. ceilings.
  • Flexible drywall, specially made for curved walls, is a bendable version of standard ¼”-thick drywall. It can be installed dry or dampened with water to increase its flexibility.
  • Fire-resistant drywall has a dense, fiber-reinforced core that helps contain the fire. Thicknesses are ½”, 5⁄8″, and ¾”. Most fire-resistant drywall is called “Type X.” Fire-resistant panels are generally required in attached garages, on walls adjacent to garages, and in furnace and utility rooms.

1- Moisture-resistant drywall —>2- Abuse-resistant drywall —>3- Decorative drywall
  • Moisture-resistant drywall, commonly called “green board” for the color of its face paper, is designed for areas of high-humidity. It is no longer allowed as a backer for tub and shower surrounds.
  • Abuse-resistant drywall withstands surface impacts and resists penetrations better than standard drywall. It’s available in ½” regular and 5⁄8″ fire-resistant types.
  • Decorative drywall products include prefinished vinyl-coated panel systems, decorative corner treatments, prefabricated arches, and drywall panels that look like traditional raised-panel paneling.

1- Sound-resistant drywall —>2- Plaster-base drywall —>3- mold-resistant drywall

  • Sound-resistant drywall products have up to eight times as much sound-deadening capability as standard drywall. These products are good for home theaters.
  • Plaster-base drywall, sometimes called “blue board,” is used with veneer plaster systems instead of a traditional hand-troweled scratch coat. Panels have two layers of paper—a blue-colored face paper that’s highly absorptive over a moisture-resistant paper to protect the gypsum core.
  • Mold-resistant drywall is a specialty board designed for areas that are regularly damp, have high humidity, or that are otherwise susceptible to mold and mildew growth.

Tile Backer

If you’re planning to tile new walls in wet areas, such as tub and shower enclosures, use tile backer board as a substrate rather than drywall.

Unlike drywall, tile backer won’t break down—and ruin the tile job—if water gets behind the tile.

There are three basic types of tile backer.

Cementboard is made from Portland cement and sand reinforced by a continuous outer layer of fiberglass mesh. It’s available in 5⁄16″, ½”, and 5⁄8″ thicknesses.

Fiber-cement board is similar to cementboard but is somewhat lighter, with fiber reinforcement integrated throughout the panel material.

It comes in ¼” and ½” thicknesses. Cementboard and the fiber-cement board cannot be damaged by water, but water can pass through them.

To prevent damage to the framing, install a water barrier of 4-mil plastic or 15# building paper behind the backer.

Dens-Shield®, commonly called glass mat, is a water-resistant gypsum board with a waterproof fiberglass facing.

Dens-Shield cuts and installs much like standard drywall but requires galvanized screws to prevent corrosion.

Because the front surface provides the water barrier, all untaped joints and penetrations must be sealed with caulk before the tile is installed. Do not use a water barrier behind Dens-Shield.