Roofing/Rubber Roof



I bought a new town home with a rubber roof.  I'd guess it's 10-15 years old.  It's been patched but looks good (to me).  I had a roofer look at it, and he suggested replacing it, but couldn't name anything specifically wrong with it, other than that we don't know its history.

My only concern is that water pools in certain places and has wiped away the silver paint and may be eating away at the rubber.

I've taken some plastic roof cement to certain areas, to cover up the places where the silver paint has worn away, and to build up the area a bit so that water doesn't pool there so much anymore.

Reading your posts, though, I see that asphalt-based products can eat away at rubber roof.  (I think our roof is EPDM.)  Home Depot told me the product I'd bought was fine for rubber; and the can doesn't say otherwise (though many other products did).  But it is asphalt-based.

(1) Did I do wrong?  If so, is it possible for me to remove the plastic roof cement that I've already applied?

(2) Is there any other way to keep water from pooling in certain areas?  Any other way to patch small areas that look like they're starting to crack a bit, without actually laying new rubber patches?

We don't seem to have problems at the seams, and there's no water getting inside the house (or seemingly between seems).

So much appreciated.

The term "rubber roof" is a layman's term for several kinds of roofs so it depends on what you have. If the rows are 3' apart then you probably have modified. If it was EPDN the rows are much bigger and could be 10' wide sheets.

The silver paint will come off if left under water.

Home Depot never heard of or saw EPDM so they can't comment on what does or doesn't go with it. When you walked into Home Depot and said "rubber" they will apply that term to what they know as "rubber" and that would be "modified asphalt". It is OK to use the roof cement they sell on a "modified roof. But you think you might have EPDM. EPDM is rare on residential properties.

You said you bought the house new about 10-15 years ago and then said one roofer said you should replace it because you don't know the history. But you do know the history. You bought the house new so the roof can't be older than the house (10-15 years). You have in your head whether you've have issues with the roof before.

The only way to get rid of the puddles is to build them up. Usually that means some plywood and new roofing material on top of it. If the puddles dry up in 2-3 days I wouldn't worry about it but since the silver paint is coming off I guess the water lays longer



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Brad Zacharia


All aspects of residential Roofing. This includes shingles and flat (low slope) roofs. I have knowledge in the installation as well as the design of roofs from an engineering standpoint.


I have been doing roofing for 40 years. This was my father's business and I took it over in 1980.

I have written responses to artcles that I felt needed a response to and those responses have been published in roofing trade magazines.

BSEE Drexel University

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