Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Rubber Roof

The roof is on!

It's not the most fabulous looking thing, but hey, it's not like anyone can see up there. As long as it keeps the water out, we are happy. You couldn't say that to us yesterday around 1230pm, but we can say it now- haha.

So we decided that we would do just one job on Independence Day and then let ourselves relax the rest of the holiday. We got up bright and early to review videos and online instructions on installing rubber roof membranes. It all looked pretty straightforward and quick. Armed with the know-how, we headed over to the site. We immediately took the tarp off the roof to give it some time to air dry. There must have been a hole in the tarp, because there were a couple damp areas.

A damp roof sheathing is not a surface you want to apply adhesive to, so we had to wait and let the steadily rising morning heat do its work. Since we were stuck waiting around for that, we took the opportunity to de-nail all of our barn boards being careful to collect all of the super old square nails. We may try to use them in our flooring application, but we may not have enough. We shall see.

We then sorted the wood into piles of different widths. We need to make sure that whatever the width of a particular board is...that we have about 16 ft at that particular width (the length of the house) so the flooring install will be clean and smooth. We're looking forward to having floor boards of varying widths, we think it adds character.
Now we just need to locate a company that can plane the boards for us.

By the time we finished de-nailing and sorting, the roof had dried. We started out by hauling the rubber membrane up to the roof and rolling it out. It needs to "relax" for about 20-30 minutes to let all the wrinkles and folds come out. We then carried up the 5 gallon bucket of adhesive (yes, way more than we needed, but they did not have smaller sizes...grr). We folded the rubber back half way and I began rolling on the adhesive. The product labels say to allow about 20 minutes for it to become tacky. That's not how it worked for us... I was still rolling the last 12 inch strip of space and the far corners looked to be comepletely dry! It was getting tacky in about 3 minutes! ACK!

I think the 99 degree weather may have had something to do with that. So I quickly tried to re-apply in the drier areas and we started the rolling out of the rubber. It was definitely awkward, and we are not professionals by any means- so that seamless super easy application that we witnessed on the video is NOT how it went. The rubber appeared to go down flat and smooth, but then bubbles seemed to appear out of nowhere. We tried brushing them out- with very little success. The adhesive dried too fast. When we did the second half of the roof; we applied the adhesive quickly and only waited a minute or two before rolling out the rest of the rubber. Even more bubbles on this side...

We both definitly had a 10 solid minutes of serious peeving about the bubbles. We were upset that we did not get the perfectly smooth results we saw in the video. I was ranting about how it sucked that I'm not Cinderella, and I can't just gently loft a blanket into the air, sing a lovely song, and have my feathered friends escort the blanket perfectly down into place without a single wrinkle or bump. Instead, I had a big black, stinky, heavy tarp thing that I spent most of the time tripping over and swearing at- with no feathered friends to be found. Haha

After a solid rant session with one another, we started to come around. We stopped, took some deep breaths, and forced ourselves to point out the positives and the realities.

1) The rubber is one solid piece, so despite the bubbles, there are no seams- it is still water tight. So IT'S STILL A ROOF.
2) We are not professionals, and we were silly to think the roof would glide on like in the video. (Why would anyone show a video where the product does not perform flawlessly? DUH.)
3) Everything up to this point has gone incredibly well. We were probably due for a challenge like this.
4)The bubbles can be fixed. (similar process of fixing a bike tire)

We will most likely go through and fix the biggest of the bubbles at a later date, but for now we need to keep on truckin'. After getting the rubber in place and being crabby patties about it for a while, we cleaned up and called it a day. We will put the termination bars on this weekend. They are essentially metal brackets that clamp the edges of the rubber down just over the sides of the roof.

We spent the rest of the day lounging around with my brother, drinking Strongbows, listening to music, and people watching. We even went for a dip in the lake! All in all, we accomplished what we said we were going to get done and still had time to enjoy the holiday. :)

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  1. A DIY roof – that's nice, sure saves you a lot! Now you could rest well that water will not seep out, and in case it did you can just go up there and check it up. Sure you are not roof professionals, and your work is probably not flawless, but like you said, it's still a roof and what matters is it somehow shelters you from the outside. [Pleasance @]

  2. Thanks for your comment! I agree, it may not be perfect, but it's functional-- and that's what we need!

  3. DIY roof is cool! Yeah, it doesn't have to be perfect! As long as there's a barrier between you and the weather, then you would be fine. In case of bad weather though, you have put up extra measures to make sure it won't tear off your house. You can put something heavy, like an old tire, above it for that matter. FRANCISCO @

  4. Thanks for the tip Francisco! I'll keep that in mind when any crazy weather approaches!

  5. Great work guys you all did the great job well done. 

  6. For cracks or leaks in EPDM roofs, the most common solution is to coat the entire roof in a weather-resistant rubber sealant. This prevents further water damage, and many brands can extend roof life for up to four years per coating.

  7. A trick to reduce the possibility of bubble formation I think is to roll out the rubber as you apply the adhesive, and then placing some sort of weight on top of the rubber. This would ensure that no air would enter the rubber matting while the adhesive is drying. Also, make sure that the rubber is being flattened out evenly after you apply the adhesive to avoid wrinkling and folding which also causes the bubbles.

    Gwendolyn Yates

  8. Rubber roofing is the best alternative if you have a flat roof. It can be placed on mobile home roofs, garages, and homes. It usually comes with at least a twenty year warranty.

    Iko shingles

  9. Way to go. I would not trust myself to do that on my own. I am horrible with anything handy. My husband could probably do it though.

    Alena |

  10. Hello,
    Very innovative post...I liked the idea of rubber roofing...Its good for rainy days...Thank you too much.......

  11. We are just starting to look into membrane roofing for our tiny! I'm curious, what brand did you end up using? Can you tell me any more about your process?

  12. It’s a beautiful post and I do appreciate this effort for amusing us in this way. In repairing and remodeling, I always prefer RV Roof Repair that it saves my money and durable in performance.

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