|Understanding Care and Application|
|Get a full list of applications here|
Plan Ahead. Choose a sunny, warm day if possible. Remember that curing requires a minimum temperature of 55° F. Warmer temperatures can be better, but extremely hot days might cause the Liquid EPDM to cure too quickly for you. You can expect to get about 44 square feet per gallon on smooth surfaces, but plan for a lower spreading rate if the surface isn’t smooth. Make sure you plan for prep time, including cleaning. It will take about 18 hours until the area is dry enough to touch, but it’s still curing. If an unexpected downpour happens, don’t panic. The surface is still waterproof, but spotting can occur, which is an unpleasant aesthetic effect. Most people can expect a complete cure in about 9 days, but this can vary depending on outdoor temperatures. In cold regions, it can take several weeks for a cure to take place.
Prepare Your Surface. Repaid any areas that are in need and check for corrosion, flaking, and peeling. Remember that asphalt doesn’t work well with Liquid EPDM and neither does silicone or oil. Reinforce gaps, tears and holes that are larger than 1/16”. You can fill holes with a non-silicone caulk. A pressure washer is the best way to cleanse the surface after you’ve made all necessary repairs. However, a simple soap and water solution will also work. Make sure you take care of any algae, fungus or mold properly. These live problems can be tricky to remove, so don’t skimp on your efforts. Ensure that the roof is completely dry before applying Liquid EPDM. If you get Liquid EPDM on yourself or your tools, it’s simple to wipe off with water and soap.
Mixing and Application. Simply mix the pre-measured catalyst and follow the directions on the label. Always apply one coat in lieu of numerous coats. You can simply pour the mixed product onto flat surfaces and spread it evenly with a squeegee and nap roller. Paintbrushes can be used for difficult, small areas. Since this is a slow cure material, you can also touch up areas at the end. A 20 mil. thickness is ideal, and Liquid EPDM is self-leveling, so don’t worry about slight aesthetic issues.
Liquid Roof works very well with almost any surface material. However, corrosion and deterioration on the underbelly of surfaces might be happening, and this is impossible to see without doing your homework. You might want to remove random, small sections to check for corrosion.
Liquid Rubber Application
Get an electrical dill and extension cord—you should not use a cordless drill. You’ll also need a long, mop-handled squeegee, a short nap roller, mixing shaft, and a paintbrush when working with Liquid EPDM. Only use the paintbrush for difficult areas. You can easily spread the product with just a nap roller and squeegee. However, kneeling can be uncomfortable. Choose a long handle to make application while standing possible.
Liquid EPDM must be applied evenly and at a good thickness. You shouldn’t have to apply multiple coats. If the coat is too thin, it may crack or lift. However, a coat that’s too thick can cause swelling, bubbling, and a very long cure time. Always aim for 20 mil. thickness. When getting ready to apply Liquid EPDM, remember to:
A) Prep and clean the area.
B) Reinforce any broken, damaged, or missing areas.
C) Get your tools ready and focus on a 20 mil. thickness.
Not sure what 20 mil. looks like? It’s easy to do a quick calculation. When working with very smooth surfaces, Liquid EPDM covers 40 square feet per gallon. Rougher surfaces spread at 30 square feet per gallon. Consider your surface, section off 40 or 30 square feet, and see how thick 20 mil. really is.
Check that you’re measuring the actual surface area—this can be challenging if the surface is corrugated. If working with Liquid EPDM is new for you, it’s best to tackle several small sections first. One gallon will cover about 40 square feet, but will begin to thicken during summer temperatures between 75° and 85° F within four hours. This should give you plenty of time to apply this section, but keep an eye on the time. Ideally, you’ll finish an 80 square foot section within one or two hours. However, it’s always best to play it safe during your first few applications.
Always follow the directions on the label carefully. Use a mixing shaft and steadily mix the catalyst for 2 – 5 minutes. After the catalyst is thoroughly mixed, begin to apply the pre-measured catalyst into the mixture and continue to mix for five minutes. You’ll be able to see the bluish catalyst color begin to blend into the mixture if you’ve selected a white Liquid Rubber. Once the product is completely mixed, immediately spread it onto the surface. Use a snake-like motion on smooth surface, and immediately spread it with a squeegee in an even manner.
The squeegee is used first, and the nap roller comes last for a smooth finish. It also helps remove air bubbles. Use smooth, steady, long strokes when working with the roller. Allow the material to dictate how fast or slow you can work. Avoid dragging the mixture along with the roller if you’re working quickly. Finally, a paintbrush is the final tool for hard to reach spots. If you notice roller or brush strokes, don’t work. Remember that Liquid EPDM is self-leveling, and these aesthetics issues will disappear.
Once you’ve achieved the ideal 20 mil. thickness, it’s time to move onto the next section. You can overlap the sections by a couple of inches for a flawless membrane. It will take about one full day for the surface to be dry in 70°+ F temperatures. This means you can touch the surface and even walk on it—but it’s not cured. This may take a few days or weeks depending on the temperature. If you live in a hot, sunny region, you can expect a quicker cure time.
Remember that swelling is normal, and self-correcting. This takes time. It can take several weeks in colder regions, so be patient. Also remember that Liquid EPDM depends on a sound structure to be effective. If there are existing loose adhesives, the Liquid EPDM will only stick to those—and not the actual structure. Ensure that any adhesives are in good condition. Warranties will not be honored if Liquid EPDM is applied to a poor, degraded adhesive.
Tackling Wood and Plywood
Non-porous wood works great with Liquid EPDM, but does require an oil-based primer first. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a poorly sealed surface. Oil-based primers can decrease porosity and provide a much better surface for Liquid EPDM. You will also reduce the chance of root and general aging. Allow the primer to fully set by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can apply Liquid EPDM directly to treated, stained, and painted wood. However, it still needs to be prepped similar to any other surface. Make sure dirt, debris, and any peeling paint is removed. It should be cleaned with soap and water, and of course on a dry, clear day. Otherwise, treated wood is identical to any surface. Close seams and joints, and possibly install reinforcements.
Working with Asphalt-based Coatings
Asphalt and Liquid EPDM do not work well together. However, you can still use Liquid EPDM with a little prep work. Apply a water-based coating onto the asphalt first, which will act as an “intermediate coating.” Follow the directions on the water-based coating before applying Liquid EPDM. Ensure that it’s completely dry. Never use a latex paint.Look at additional product lines for asphalt and tar roofs
What About Adhesion?
Adhesion, just like curing, will get stronger with time. Naturally, polar surfaces like wood and metal provide stronger adhesion. Other surfaces—like single-ply—also boast strong adhesion, but not as strong as polar options.
How About Durability?
Liquid EPDM is the strongest re-coating option on the market. The benefits are massive. However, it’s not a magic cure for a rotting or dilapidated surface. Nothing can fix a surface that needs to be replaced. Only apply Liquid EPDM on a solid surface, and never use Liquid Roof on an ALPHA rubber that’s cream-colored. It’s impossible to guess how long Liquid Rubber can extend the life of a surface, but a ballpark figure is 20 years.
Get Your Surface Prepped
Liquid Roof and Liquid Rubber can be used in many instance-cooling towers, roof decks, and gutters are just a few examples. No matter what you’re coating, the surface needs to be in good condition, clean and dry. Remove any peeling areas, chalked caulk, rust and build up. Make sure loose sections are fixed and that waxes or oils are totally removed. Power washing is the best way to fully clean a surface.
Be careful if you find rusted or damaged metal, because oxide can be an issue. You’ll need to remove these issues with a wire brush. Roof cement is another issue, and requires a butyl caulk replacement. Don’t simply apply Liquid EPDM over damaged rubber, but instead repair it using contact cement. It’s smart to rough up extremely smooth surfaces to increase the adhesion of Liquid EPDM.
Commercial projects demand serious preparation, which is where an air atomized or airless spraying machine can help. Make sure an airless machine pumps at least 3500 psi, but remember that the hose length can cause problems. A better bet might be an air atomized machine, but it’s larger and more difficult to move.
Facts About Your Equipmenet
Regardless of whether you choose an airless or air atomized machine, you need equipment that delivers three or four gallons per minute. This means you need a 3500 – 4000 psi with a hose that’s 3/8” and reaches 150 feet. Use a .019 or .21 tip.
Figuring Out Cure Times with Temperature
No matter what, your Liquid EPDM will not cure in temperatures below 55° F. Keep this in mind—this isn’t a project for the winter in many parts of the country. Remember that nights get cooler, which means your surface might not be curing. However, you can technically apply Liquid EPDM at any temperature, but you’ll have to wait until it’s at least 55° F for curing to start (or re-start). The good news is that your surface is immediately waterproof, even when uncured. Humidity, freezing, and rain won’t effect it—although rain can cause unattractive pock marks immediately after application. No matter how long the curing takes, whether one week or four months, the end result will be the same.
Dealing with Rust
You can use Liquid EPDM on rusted areas, as long as it’s treated first. Severe rusting requires an inhibitive primer, because Liquid EPDM doesn’t have any corrosion control. However, light rust isn’t an issue. You can apply Liquid EPDM directly over it.
There’s usually no need to caulk around fasteners, since Liquid EPDM is stronger than caulk. You can ensure that Liquid EPDM is properly applied around fasteners by using a paintbrush.
Reinforcing Seams and Overlaps
Don’t worry about seams that are close together. However, if you’re dealing with a seam that’s larger than 1/16” or edges that are corroded, you should reinforce it with fabric. The process is simple—apply a thin coat of Liquid EPDM, put the fabric on the coat, remove wrinkles and apply the final coat of Liquid EPDM. Use a squeegee to check for wrinkles.
The Importance of Mixing
You won’t get a proper product if you don’t mix well. Make sure you mix the Liquid Rubber, by itself, for at least three minutes. Add the catalyst slowly, and never apply the catalyst when the mixer isn’t working. Check that the mixer is working every part of the product, including along the sides. Scraping the sides with a spatula or other device is smart.
When Do I Re-Coat?
Ideally, never. Liquid EPDM is designed to be a one-coat application. If you apply it properly, at 20 mil. thickness, that’s the best, strongest coat you’ll ever manage. Re-coating is only necessary if the original coating didn’t reach the 20 mil. thickness.