A major reason that roofing professionals will use RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM over
other roofing materials is the ease of installation, quality of materials compared
to others on the market and it’s what property owners are asking for.
Over the last 10 years in the UK,
EPDM roofing systems have dramatically risen in popularity; this is due
to a number of factors but primarily property owners demand for a long term solution
to their flat roofs.
With this popularity, there has been confusion over whether EPDM membranes are the
same. Sales jargon makes it very difficult for property owners to decide what is
best and who to employ to carry out their roofing work. The membranes range from
basic thin DIY membranes to professional trained installations of reinforced EPDM.
Basic EPDM membranes for the DIY installer
Basic EPDM membranes that are available to anyone from online shops or auction websites
are popular for the DIY installer and the occasional roofer as they are cheap and
from a picture of a roof it is hard to initially tell the difference in quality.
These cheaper types of EPDM are often only 1mm thick and have only been around since
the early 1980's.
RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM is a total of 2.54mm thick, 1.14mm of this is EPDM, that
layer alone is 14% thicker than what a lot of home owners are offered. The EPDM
used in RubberBond FleeceBack is manufactured by Carlisle SynTec who have been manufacturing
EPDM roofing systems since the early 1960's, the only EPDM manufacturer who can
honestly say that their EPDM can last for over 50 years.
Now you may be saying, "Great! RubberBond EPDM is thicker, but what about the FleeceBack?
What does it do for me?" RubberBond FleeceBack has a thick polyester fleece laminated
to the underside. This is for more than just showing you an impressive product sample.
Standard EPDM membranes are proven to shrink, in some cases up to 10%, this should
be controlled by mechanically tying the membrane into the roof surface by a fixing
plate or strip around the perimeter often called a peel stop or base tie in which
can be expensive and not always installed. FleeceBack EPDM does not require this
base tie in feature as fleece reinforced epdm does not shrink. Once installed it
stays where the installer meant it to.
Fleece reinforcement for extra strength
Fleece reinforcement also adds strength making it 180% greater tear and 60% greater
puncture resistance than even the thicker 1.52mm EPDM membranes that are used in
industrial roofing. The strength doesn’t just stop with the membrane - the fleece
backing improves the bond strength to the roof surface, giving an extremely high
bond to a range of surfaces whether it is an overlay of the existing surface or
a new build.
The most important part of any roofing system is the installer. RubberBond FleeceBack
EPDM roofing systems are only available and used by approved and trained installers
meaning that you won’t find it in a DIY store, builders merchant or be able to buy
it online. Training and approval is an on-going process with yearly inspections
of work. This helps to ensure that approved contractors only offer the best services.
Not all other EPDM suppliers or installers can offer the same.
Safe EPDM membrane installation
Most people will have had a flat roof covered at some stage in its life. The traditional
built up bitumen process created a strong odour and a potentially dangerous heating
process as a hot flame was used to heat the material to bond the layers together
and seal the joints. This provided a good seal, but the material is susceptible
to cracking over time due to expansion and contraction. EPDM rubber roofing, however,
is completely safe to install and has the flexibility to expand and shrink back
with the seasons and their associated weather conditions.
The roof does not require a covering with stones, gravel etc. like traditional felts
but is a perfect substrate for using the roof as a green roof or
EPDM is completely weatherproof, and can easily cope with extreme low temperatures
down to minus 50 degrees Celsius and up to 150 degrees Celsius. It is flexible enough
to cut and fit round any contour or awkward area.