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EPDM roof coating for log cabins

Log cabins kits usually come with sloped or flat roofs and roofing felt is commonly used to make roll roofing and roof shingles. As a separate option, anyone who owns a log cabin can have a far more superior and reliable roofing material called EPDM.


EPDM – What is it?

EPDM is an acronym which stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer, a very durable membrane made of rubber and commonly used for roofing purposes. It has two major ingredients ‒ Propylene and Ethylene, which are byproducts of natural gas and oil. For more than four decades now, EPDM has been widely used in the construction of flat roofs for log cabins. It comes with the following technical features:

   *  A cyclical membrane to resist fatigue    *  Proven strong resistance against hail    *  Resistant to abrasion, weathering and ozone damages    *  High flexibility during low temperatures    *  High resistance against fire and extreme heat    *  Resistant to ultraviolet radiation    *  Thermal-shock durability    *  Resistance to high wind

Why is EPDM good for log cabins?

Many contractors use roofing felt as a roofing solution but you have to take note that its life expectancy or longevity is not necessarily that high. An ordinary type of roofing felt on the whole lasts for five years, whereas EPDM is known to last for as long as thirty years without prior concern. If you want a long-term economic prospect then the use of EPDM makes good value for your hard-earned money.


The benefits of EPDM

Building log cabins with EPDM roofs can offer the following benefits and advantages:

   *  It can be precisely cut so you won’t see the joints (with the exception of modular buildings)    *  Will not perish or crack    *  Eco-friendly    *  UV stable and inert    *  Usually applied cold    *  Maintenance free    *  Durable and offers a long-term solution    *  Highly economical compared to the years upon years of replacing roofing felt

Installing EPDM

There are actually three ways by which you can install EPDM for log cabins and they include Adhered, Ballast and Mechanically Attached. Many roofing contractors and companies currently use the Adhered system as the most common way to install EPDM. The Adhered system basically makes use of a gluing process wherein the membrane is attached to the cabin’s roof. In totality, this method is easy and can be finished in a very short time.

Roof variations for log cabins

The basics of EPDM, when it comes to fitting it to your cabin’s roof, include the following: rolled out, glued down, allowed to settle, and the freedom to trim according to your preference. This freedom to trim has no hard, fast or difficult rules involved, it simply means that you can work as you would do with roofing felt with tacking it behind the barge boards. You can also trim it flush along with the boards of the roof. Basically, trimming can be done depending on your preference, skill set and requirements.

While others see this as a personal concept, rest assured that roofers, fitters, builders and contractors usually have their own take on this. Since this is a personal notion, there may be some out there who might say that this kind of roofing concept is wrong, but there is one thing that is for sure when it comes to installing EPDM for the roofing system of log cabins – roof variations abound and thus this method can be done according to one’s preferences.

EPDM – Rolling it out for log cabins

The first thing that you need to do is to take the rollup on to the cabin’s roof and unlock the ends. Glue in the form of spray cans is found inside each rollup. Normally, the accompanying spray glue is sufficient to enable you to complete your roofing project, however, if you feel like you are running out of it then you can simply opt for any contact adhesive. But please take note that for every rollup, three cans of glue come with it, which in the vast majority of cases is enough to finish your project.


The next thing that you should do is to roll the full length of the rollup across the cabin’s roof, then begin folding it out flat across the entire roof. After this, you should start rolling it up lengthways and in a reasonably tight manner; you can do this more effectively if you have someone to help you with it. Continue rolling the rollup with your partner while keeping it level and relatively tight. In the end, you will end up with a sausage.

Allowing it to settle on the roof of the log cabin

After you have formed a sausage out of the EPDM, go to the highest point of the roof then work backwards. Begin working with the front ones then add the rear and side whenever needed, when you are done with the sausage, lay it flat on the roof, allowing the sun to make it more pliable. If for instance you have made a wonky sausage then you should unroll it and start rolling it up again. Remember that there is nothing worse than a wonky and unsteady sausage for log cabins.

Start gluing the EPDM down

This is the part of the installation procedure which entails gluing down the EPDM on the roof. The trimming, as mentioned earlier all depends on you. To start the gluing process, one option is to use a piece of timber to make it look sloped against the cabin’s barge board. This option often looks nicer and stops water from going to the back of the barge board.

To begin you need to shuffle the sausage forward and align its edge to where you want it to finish. Before applying the glue it is important to shake the glue cans properly. In most cases, shaking the cans for three minutes is sufficient to ensure they work properly. After making sure that everything has been aligned and the glue cans have been shaken properly, you can start carefully rolling the sausage back.

Roll the sausage back a little, take the front and uncover the spot that needs to be glued. Make sure that the glue is sprayed evenly all the way along the cabin’s roof. There is no need to apply thick glue. Meanwhile, do not spray to the ends and the front.

Glue all the way along the cabin’s roof at a depth of fifty centimetres so the glue does not go off very quickly, after which you can fold the membrane forward and start smoothing it out. Take note that the edges have not been glued yet because the barge boards are still not on.

After you have completed the first part you can now kneel on it and continue rolling out the remaining part of the sausage. Continue gluing every fifty centimetres as well as smoothing out as many air bubbles as possible. To smooth out air bubbles the best method is to use your hands.

However, you may have a better idea on the best way to smooth out the air bubbles that tend to occur on the surface of the membrane. The procedures are straightforward; all you have to do is unroll the sausage, glue it down and smooth it out to ensure no air bubbles occur on the membrane.

After you have completed the entire process, you can now work on the edges while fitting the barge board and trimming according to your requirements. The final gluing process usually takes place in these areas.


Trimming the EPDM roof of the log cabin

So what do you get when you trim your EPDM roof? Since trimming is completed according to your requirements, you can actually utilize the offcuts to create slopes to make sure that the water that passes through these will be directed away. And of course, trimming makes your project look more professional.

You also have the option of capping pieces at the top to make it look nicer. Battens can also be set up to give your EPDM roof full security. This means that you are not relying solely on the strength of the glue that you have used to attach the membrane, but also on the additional enforcement that you have in the form of battens.

Fitting EPDM roofs for log cabins: a summary

In summary, the fitting of an EPDM roof for your log cabin usually entails gluing down the membrane on the main roof and ensuring the smallest amount of air bubbles in the process. With this kind of roof for log cabins water is thoroughly drained. You also have the freedom to create slopes around the roof to make sure that water flows away properly.

Basically, this method is used by many roofing contractors today and it can be used with log cabins as well. It should not require you to come up with many special things in the process and you will be left with a few offcuts when you have finished your cabin.

The fact is that there are many people out there who are worried about the installation of EPDM on their log cabins. These people are not aware of the fact that EPDM is considered the quickest roofing method today. Apart from the fact that EDPM does not rip, it is also quite easy and forgiving to work with. Compared to EPDM, roof felt can be difficult to use, especially when you install it during a day when the weather is hot.

Another thing to mention about this material is that there have not been any owners of log cabins who have had to reemploy roofing contractors to redo their EPDM. There have been many occasions when log cabin owners have had to have the roofs refelted.

It is important to remember that even though the trimming for log cabins is easy, you need to make sure that water drains well, especially when the roofs are totally flat.


For modular buildings there will be joints due to the fact that each part of the building comes as a separate section. In this regard, all you have to do is glue along the seam. And even when the roof is flat, there is nothing much to worry about, with the aid of an expert roofer, the application of EPDM to modular buildings can be done easily and professionally.

These are all the things you need to know about using EPDM roofs for log cabins.

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