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Question
I have a small flat roof above my garage.Size is 4'X18' and doesn't leak.It has a rubber membrane on top.To maintain it,is there something to put on it like once a year?I live in Minnesota.Thanks!

Answer
South County Roofing
South County Roofing  
Good morning Randy,

One bit of information you should know before attempting to work on your roof is what type of roofing is it.  

If it does in fact have a rubber membrane you need to know if it is TPO, EPDM, or some type of coating.

The only thing you can put on it would be a coating.  If you are unable to identify if you have either a TPO or EPDM you can contact your local roofing distributor and asked them for a roof coating that is compatible with both types.  There are some.

The roof coatings they have now are really nice and last a long time.  You wont need to do it every year or maybe even ever 5-10 years if done properly and with a good product choice.  

Every distributor carries different sealant and coatings.  There are a ton of manufactures for this products category. So, what specific product we use here may only be available there under a different name.  You have to call and ask what's available.   

I researched a little infor for you -

Single-ply membranes are factory-manufactured sheet membranes. They generally are categorized as either thermoplastic or thermoset. Thermoplastic materials can be repeatedly softened when heated and hardened when cooled. Thermoset materials solidify, or "set," irreversibly after heating. Single ply membranes commonly are referred to by their chemical acronyms, such as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM).

Single-ply sheet membranes are produced using one of three manufacturing processes: calendering, extruding or spread coating. The membranes may contain reinforcement layers. Common reinforcements for single ply membranes include polyester fabrics or scrims, glass fiber, or a felt or fleece backing.

A finished sheet's thickness typically is referred to as mil thickness; 1 mil equals 0.001 inch. Common mil thicknesses for these sheet membranes range from 30 mils to 60 mils.

Single-ply membranes can be installed fully adhered, mechanically attached or held down with ballast. Most single-ply roof systems do not receive surfacings.

In many instances, a combination of attachment methods are used to secure a roof system. For instance, an insulation may be mechanically attached to the substrate with the roof membrane fully adhered to the insulation.

Click here to learn more about thermoplastic membranes, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic olefin (TPO).

Click here to learn more about thermoset membranes, such as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM).  

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Brian Atkins

Expertise

I can answer any questions related to all type of roof repairs (especially tile roof repair and flat roof repair work). I can also answer most new roof or roofing related questions with the exception of questions in regards to single ply roofing (PVC) and standing seam or metal panel roofing. I have little or no experience with those applications.

Experience

I was first introduced to roofing by my father who was started his own roofing career in Orange County CA. By the time I was 10 years old I knew what most general roofing materials were and had some idea of their purpose. At the age of thirteen I started working during the summers doing roofing. After graduating from High School I began working full time as a journeyman roofer doing roof repair work and complete new roofs. My area of specialty and interests has always been on the roof repair side of the business. In 1997 I took the CSLB testing and qualified for a license on my own and moved my roofing business location to Lake Forest, CA 92630. Currently I operate South County Roofing company serving the following areas of Orange County Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Aliso Viejo, Buena Park, Brea, Cypress, Capistrano Beach, Costa Mesa, Corona Del Mar, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Foothill Ranch, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Orange, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Seal Beach, Silverado Canyon, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Trabuco Canyon, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda.

Publications
I have written articles about roofing in general for a couple local magazines.

Education/Credentials
La Quinta High School 1988 Westminster, Ca 92683-7098

Awards and Honors
We have a bunch of Certifications from most of the roofing manufactures, some "Best of Awards" from things like Angie's List and some others that I can't remember.

Past/Present Clients
Just your average everyday people. We did a nice little restoration project for the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 2005, the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages - http://www.crystalcovebeachcottages.com/html/index.php

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