Roofing FAQ’s

EPDM FleeceBack Roofing FAQ’s

Find out more about our innovative rubber roofing system with our FAQs.

Why is RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM different from standard EPDM?

Standard EPDM is one non reinforced layer of EPDM, RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM comprising of two layers laminated together, the waterproofing 1.14mm thick EPDM membrane bonded to a strong 1.4mm deep polyester fleece backing on the underside of the waterproofing membrane.
Giving the exceptional strength, aging resistant and waterproofing characteristics of EPDM, with the added tough, reinforcing fleece backing. Providing the architect, roofing contractor and building owner with an outstanding and superior flat roofing system.

The EPDM layer
• Repels all moisture, snow and weather conditions
• Is flexible and easily bends with no stress, to follow the contours of the roof, upstands to walls, check curb edges
• Can stretch with up to 300% elongation, which easily accommodates building movement
• Is not affected by extremes of temperature
• Will not tear, split or crack with age
The FleeceBack layer creates
• A thicker stronger product, over twice the thickness of standard EPDM
• 180% greater tear & 60% greater impact resistance than commercial grade 1.5mm EPDM
• There is no shrinkage or stress to cause leaks at laps, flashings, up stands or other angle changes or penetrations
• A cushioning layer, specifically designed for use over existing surfaces
• Superior wind uplift resistance due to the excellent strength achieved between the adhesive and the fleece layer
• Greater bond strength achieved with FleeceBack compared to standard EPDM
• Standard single ply materials such as PVC, TPO & EPDM membranes that don’t incorporate a fleece backing will, overtime, try and shrink by up to 10%. The FleeceBack EPDM stops this shrinkage problem.

Are EPDM synthetic rubbers roofing membranes new?

• No. The first synthetic rubber membranes, developed in America by Carlisle SynTec, were laid in the 1960’s and are still protecting flat roofs some 50 years later
• Carlisle provides what no other single-ply manufacturer can — over 50 years of experience, credibility and reliability
• FleeceBack EPDM has revolutionised the quality of EPDM by strengthening the membrane and providing a better end installation

How long will a RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM roof last for?

All evidence, real life exposure, and laboratory tests suggest that when correctly installed, a RubberBond FleeceBack roof will last in excess of 50 years.

How proven is EPDM?

Over One billion square metres of EPDM have been installed worldwide from the glaring sun of the Middle East to the Arctic conditions of Alaska. Over One hundred million square meters will be installed this year.

Is RubberBond EPDM synthetic rubber membrane suitable for my flat roof?

RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM is suitable for virtually all flat and low sloping roofs. Correctly installed there is no restriction on the degree of pitch the system is installed at. Suitable for domestic & commercial refurbishment projects, renovation of large roof areas, warm & cold roof designs and new build projects.

I’m a roofing contractor using other EPDM systems. Installing RubberBond FleeceBack gives you…?

• The superior strength of the 2.54mm fleece reinforced EPDM
• No shrinkage – unlike standard EPDM membranes
• No creases unlike standard EPDM membranes
• Faster, stronger adhesion to all surfaces with the fleece backing
• FleeceBack adds toughness, durability and ease of fitting
• 180% greater tear and 60% greater puncture resistance than 1.52mm EPDM
• Better coverage of existing surface unlike thinner EPDM membranes
• Factory-Applied Tape(FAT™): 75% faster, 30% stronger than traditional EPDM seams
• Only available to approved contractors, not to the DIY sector
• No installation of peel stops or base tie-ins necessary

I currently install felt roof systems, what can RubberBond FleeceBack give me?

• The fastest, most reliable and best looking system to install
• Proven to last for over 50 years
• Insurance Backed Guarantees available through specialist providers
• No heat or welding during installation
• Clean & safe to install
• 67% fewer seams than modified bitumen roofs
• Greater puncture resistance than most modified bitumen roofs
• Will not tear, split or crack
• Able to be easily fitted at any time of year

We have a flat roof on our house. Why should we have RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM installed by an Approved Contractor?

• Approved contractors are trained and regularly checked to ensure all roofs are installed to the high standards necessary
• Suitable for any roof, small or large
• No heat involved in application, no risk of fire
• No maintenance to achieve it’s life expectancy
• Does not become brittle or degrade with age
• Tough enough to walk on for maintenance access, for example cleaning windows or gutters
• Moss and fungus resistant
• No layer of chippings
• Can be overlaid with a variety of finishes, paving slabs, timber or plastic decking, green roofs etc.

Why do I need a RubberBond FleeceBack Approved Installer?

No matter how good a product is, quality installation is essential. RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM for your peace of mind is only available from Independent Approved Contractors who have passed a full installation training course and onsite inspections. Lesser EPDM membranes are available through on line shops and auction sites that don’t control the usage and installation techniques, always ensure your installer is trained in the correct usage of materials.

Are all roofing surveys free and without obligation?

Yes. An Independent RubberBond approved contractor offers a full service including,
• Design and specification
• Written quotation

Can I walk on it?

Yes, it’s designed for maintenance access.
• For regular access to plant machinery or for a fire escape, use RubberBond Walkway pads.
• For heavy usage such as patio areas it can be overlaid with a variety of finishes, paving slabs, timber or plastic decking, green roofs etc.

What does RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM look like?

It has a pleasing to the eye, smooth natural slate grey finish.

It’s a dark colour, will that affect my property?

No it won’t. Dark coloured membrane outperform reflective membranes in cool climates, because they attract and collect more heat, dark coloured roofing materials such as RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM help building owners save more energy in cooler climates by reducing a buildings overall heating demand. Black roofs also create fewer carbon emissions than white roofs in these cooler climates because of the reduced heating demand they create.
In northern European countries e.g. UK & Ireland, heating accounts for a significantly larger percentage of total-building energy consumption than air conditioning. So reducing heating consumption is more critical to energy savings than reducing air conditioning usage, especially in cooler climates where heating degree days (HDD) outnumber cooling degree days (CDD).
Of course, insulation is the proper key to any energy efficient roof system, regardless of membrane colour.

What is the standard method of installation?

For new and reroofing installations, RubberBond decking adhesive is applied to the suitable decking surface (tissue or ply faced insulation, timber, concrete or suitable existing surface) and the FleeceBack membrane is laid into the adhesive and pressed into the wet adhesive with a squeegee. Seams are sealed with Factory-Applied Secure Tape (FAT™), 75mm Secure tape or 150mm Cover Strip. All detailing and penetrations are sealed with RubberBond 225mm Uncured Elastoform Flashing.

What is FAT™?

RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM is available with the added benefit of Factory-Applied Tape (FAT™) seam technology. The membrane with the seaming tape already on it! FAT™ has been proven to reduce seaming time by 75%, cutting labour requirements over other seaming methods in the marketplace.
FAT™ reduces the risk of seam failure by applying seams in a factory controlled environment and delivering 30% greater peel strength and 32% greater shear strengths than standard seaming methods.

Is RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM expensive?

No, when the comparable installation is carried out correctly, the upgrade to RubberBond FleeceBack, a better, stronger product can be fitted for a similar cost.

If RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM is so good why isn’t everyone using it?

The manufacturers have invested millions of dollars in manufacturing processes and branding. To protect these investments only trained and approved installers that have proved they can maintain the highest of standards are allowed to use the material. This has until recently been predominantly in the commercial sector, but is now at last also available, through approved RubberBond installers to residential properties utilising the RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM roofing system. Of course there will always be businesses who opt for installing cheaper products

Does RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM have a British Board of Agrément certificate?

Yes, it holds the coveted British Board of Agrément certificate No. 02/3967

I need my roof replaced; do I need my INSULATION upgraded?

Insulating a flat roof can deliver real benefits; a warm comfortable room, lower energy bills and improved HIPs ratings. Building regulations can mean insulation is compulsory.
In April 2006 the revised Part L of the building regulations came into force, this has the aim to reduce energy used in buildings. The key requirements are:
• Reduce energy used in buildings by at least 20%
• In most refurbishment instances additional thermal insulation is required to meet the required “U” value. If such an upgrade is not technically or functionally feasible or would not achieve its pay back within 15 years.
There are essentially two designs used in the construction of a flat roof with insulation.

Cold deck
This is the most common construction but is also the least thermally efficient. From the room ceiling up the build is as follows: The roof joists support the roof construction the internal ceiling is attached to these, between the joists in the roof void insulation is laid in buildings constructed in the 60s, 70s, & 80s, there will most likely be some type of insulation between the rafters in the roof void. On top of the joists the roof deck is fixed and the waterproof roof cover is laid.

Warm deck
This is the most modern method of construction and should be used were possible (although not all situations are able to accommodate this design).
From the room ceiling up the build is as follows: The roof joists support the roof construction the internal ceiling is attached to these. On top of the joists the roof deck is fixed. A vapour barrier is laid on to the deck. And the appropriate thickness of insulation is fixed to the roof deck. The waterproof roof cover is then installed.
This method of insulating the roof alleviates the formation of condensation in the roof void, and complies with the current building regulations.

What are the fire ratings for RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM?

The fire ratings range in accordance with the build up of the roof please se below for the relevant construction and rating.
• As stated in the BBA certificate No.02/3967 RubberBond® FleeceBack EPDM has rating of Ext FAA as per BBA certificate. This relates to the following roof construction of steel deck, vapour barrier, PIR/PUR insulation &RubberBond® FleeceBack.
• Tested in accordance with BS476 -3
The above build up is mainly for commercial type properties so the ratings would be misguiding for domestic type buildings. In 2005 we ran further tests on typical residential style roofs and the following ratings were achieved.
• Ext FAC Typical warm roof construction; OSB deck, vapour barrier, insulation &RubberBond® FleeceBack
• Ext FBC Typical cold roof construction; OSB deck &RubberBond® FleeceBackTest to BS476 – 3: 2004 External Fire Exposure test
Tester – Warrington Fire Research.
A boundary is defined in the Building * Regulations as the boundary of land belonging to the building up to and including the centre line of any abutting street, canal or river.
(1) Not acceptable on any of the following buildings:
d. Industrial, storage of other non-residential purposes group buildings of any size:
e. Houses in terraces of three or more houses:
f. Any other buildings with a cubic capacity of more than 1500m³.
(2) Acceptable on buildings not listed in Note 1, if part of the roof is no more than 3m² in area and is at least 1500mm from any similar part, with the roof between the parts covered with a material of limited combustibility.
• To achieve EXT. FAA regardless of the substrate the membrane should be covered with smooth, shard free pebbles.

What warranties are available on RubberBond FleeceBack EPDM systems?

There are a range of warranties available for the RubberBond membrane dependant on the property size from standard guarantee below to the 20 year commercial warranty.
RubberBond flat roofing is installed, solely by authorised roofing contractors, who are responsible for the integrity and performance of the finished roof. Where stated a RubberBond contractor will issue a 20 year guarantee for your flat roof.
The RubberBond EPDM flat roofing system is guaranteed for a period of 20 years to prevent the ingress of rain or snow subject to the following exclusions:
0. Storm damage such as falling roof tiles, trees, etc.
1. Roofing damage caused by lightning, fire, hurricanes or earthquake.
2. Deliberate or accidental damage.
3. Defects in adjoining areas such as defective tiles and coping stones, pointing, porous brickwork or render.
4. Deficiencies or movement in the building structure.
5. Damage caused by the leakage of fuels or oils.
6. Any claims under the guarantee that are found not to be the RubberBond EPDM membrane or the labour relating to it are chargeable as an inspection fee.
7. The RubberBond EPDM flat roofing guarantee is valid when signed by the contractor and full payment has been received.

Is EPDM environmentally beneficial?

EPDM is one of the most sustainable and environmental materials used today in the construction industry. Its excellent performance transfers to low life cycle costs and less impact on the environment.
The initial production of the membrane has a low embodied energy number (the amount of energy required to produce and implement a product from material extraction, manufacture, and installation). In addition several other components (such as cleaners, primers and adhesives) were developed for use with the EPDM membrane to reduce VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions during installation.
Post-industrial products can be reincorporated (recycled) into the manufacturing of other roofing products and accessories (i.e., walkways and roofing tiles) thus minimizing the impact on landfills.

When were the first EPDM roofs installed?

The first Carlisle EPDM roof was installed in the 1960’s in Chicago, the first Firestone EPDM roof was only installed in 1980, leaving them with 20 years less experience in the roofing membranes market.