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EPDM Roof Restoration

Restoring EPDM With Roof Coatings

Flat roofs are a commercial building owner’s worst nightmare. The investment for a complete flat roof replacement is quite extensive. Most of the time, the building owner will opt for extensive repairs rather than complete replacement, however, over time the costs of these repairs will come close to the cost of a new roof.

Rubber Roofing Repair
EPDM Rubber Roof Repair in Connecticut

The most common single-ply roofing material used on commercial flat roofs is EPDM, otherwise known as “rubber”. Usually the problem with this roofing material is leaking due to seam failure, not necessarily material decay. A new roof would require the old one be stripped off, the underlying insulation board be replaced and new EPDM membrane be applied. Because of the high cost of this complete replacement, seam restoration is usually the route building owners opt for.

So what goes into restoration, how long will the repairs last and what kind of price are you looking at?

The seam restoration process is:

1. Locate all seams.

2. Seams must be cleaned with membrane cleaner specified for EPDM. This is a critical and tedious task as dirty seams will prevent long term adhesion of the new cover tape and adhesives.

3. Seams must be primed with quality primer. Cover tape will not simply stick to EPDM, the primer must reach a certain level of tackiness before the tape can be applied. A qualified roofer will know that this is a process that takes time and patience, also an astute attention to detail.

4. Proceed to apply the cover tape. Proper installation calls for the tape to be centered on the seam, leaving a 3” strip on either side of the seam.

5. Finally, the cover tape and seam need to be rolled. The pressure from rolling ensures that a strong bond has been made and that the tape is properly adheared.

If done properly, this seam repair should buy you a few more years, however don’t expect a warranty. No reputable roofing contractor would warranty a flat roof repair.
The costs of this repair will run anywhere from $5,000 – $8,500 for a 100×100 sq. ft flat roof. That would mean there are 10 seams, as a roll of EPDM is 10 ft wide by 100 ft long. The industry standards for roof repairs vary, but here in Connecticut, we find the average, professional and reputable roofing contractor charges $6.00 a linear foot for a 6” cover strip and $8.50 a linear foot for 9” cover strip.

EPDM Seam Restoration using EPDM Products
Seams are cleaned, primed, then covered with 6 inch cover strip.


The other option is a complete EPDM roof restoration using reputable and quality restoration products. We prefer Conklin products, as their quality is paramount. However, not all flat roofs can be restored. There are a certain criteria that the roof must meet in order to qualify for restoration.

1. The roof must me fully adhered with chemical adhesive, not mechanically fastened. This means that it is not held together by hot air welding techniques, as seen in PVC and TPO roofing, screws or any other “odd ball” techniques as we have seen.

2. The underlying insulation board cannot be wet or damaged. Moisture trapped under the membrane will cause a restored roof to prematurely fail.

The complete EPDM restoration process is:
1. Complete roof inspection. Insure the insulation is not wet or damaged, the sub straight is good and the single-ply membrane is fully adhered.
2. Power-wash the entire roof using quality roofing products. We prefer and stand behind Conklin ™ WACII cleaner.

3. Prime the roof with Conklin ™ Tack Coat Primer

4. Apply Conklin ™ Rapid Roof lll or Equinox Coating to seams while embedding Conklin ™ Polyester Fabric into the coatings.

5. Spray entire roof with Conklin ™ white top coat using Rapid Roof lll or Equinox Top Coat.

The potential savings from EPDM restoration versus complete replacement are huge. By using Conklin™ roof products, you can not only bring your flat roof back to a leak free state, but you qualify for a material warranties and a NDL warranty. A NDL warranty (No Dollar Limit) is a guarantee from the roofing product’s manufacturer that your restored roof will be free of defect and that the manufacturer has inspected the work done by the roofing contractor, and will assume the responsibility of the workmanship.

The restoration method described above runs about $2.50 per sq. ft. to do. The savings from a roof replacement on a 100 x100 sq. ft. roof will be between $25,000 -$45,000. The coating can be reapplied every 10 years for about $1.50 a sq. ft or less. There is less initial costs, and less maintenance costs with the same benefits as a complete roof replacement. You also receive a manufacturer’s joint warrant and a materials warranty. Solar reflective coatings are also available, lowering your summer cooling costs significantly.
Overall, Conklin ™ Roofing Products and Roof Restoration is a better alternative than seam repairs, which only last a few years, and less of an investment than complete roof replacement.


This article was written by Marcus Bernice Keilch ( of Marcus Anthony Construction

2 thoughts on “EPDM Roof Restoration”

  1. I was raised with a sense of entrepreneurship – my father owned a roofing business, and I grew up with the idea that you never want someone telling you what you can and cannot do.

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