Torch Down Rubber roofing, Maintenance

Hi all,

When I was a contractor I’d use TPO and EPDM membrane roofing, around here there is a lot of torch down used.

Was just at an inspection with a GC who was basically trying to sell the clients on a new roof even though he thought the torch down had 5 years left in it.

He was saying it wasn’t properly maintained i.e. coated with aluminum compound. I’ve never heard that a coating was required with such a roof.

Anyone have any experience with this?



I’m not real familiar with it, either, but this may be helpful to you, Tom:

Thanks Larry, I actually found that thread when I was searching for info about this topic. I’ll probably call a manufacturer today to try and find out. I’m pretty sure the GC yesterday was just trying to scare them into a new roof. :roll:

Here is the answer from GAF.
I’ll have to add this to my reports for this type of roofing.

Technical Questions GAF <>
10:11 AM (7 minutes ago)

to me
Smooth APP torch membranes should be coated for UV ray protection. Coatings are a maintenance item and most last from 3 to 5 years depending on the climate.

Jane Lampman
Technical Services Specialist
1361 Alps Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
§ 1-800-766-3411, option 1
(F) 1-409-729-7514

Was it a smooth Modified Bitumen roof? If yes, then a coating is normally used. Most roofers use a granular surfaced cap sheet over the smooth base sheet. You can also get a few more years out of a granular mod bit roof with a good elastomeric coating.

No he said EPDM which is spongy to walk on and usually has UV protection built in.
Never coated as stated.

Strange as I saw them a lot more 6-7 years ago.

here ya go

btw: the op prefacing posts with prior work history reminds me of the band camp chick from american grafetti

I’m confused…OP said torch down. Maybe that is a different term up north, but EPDM single ply membrane is not torch down applied. It is a heat seamed product. Torch down roofs are APP modified bitumen membranes. EPDM roofs can be coated with elastomeric coating also, if they are approved for rubber roofs.

I have seen a few spray foam roofs with a silicone coating on commercial roofs before. The spongy feeling is usually due to a foam insulation layer.

Bob, the topic is about “torch down” or modified bitumen roofing.

I said in the first post that I was more familiar with EPDM and TPO. :cool:

It was a smooth MB.

I never see granular surface cap sheets here!

Granular torch down is common here. 3-5 years is a bare minimum life expectancy. Like Brad says, a little maintenance goes a long ways. The petroleum content in aluminum coating tends to counter drying out, cracking, but seems to need to be applied more frequently. Elastometric works well.

A real torch down product should last longer than 5 years, rooled roofing maybe. I put torch down on my last house in FL. Stuff gets melted to a 43# base sheet and should last at least 15 years or more. It nothing more than heavy duty granulated rolled roofing.

Another thing I know is, don’t get the elephant snot on your pants while glueing down epdm. Stuff wont come off, and your azz will stick to the roof the rest of the day when you sit down. Damn glue will get you high as a kite as well.

Good post. :slight_smile:
I see you have looked into roofing systems, membranes and there installations process. Great work

There are several methods for sealing laps and seams.
Heated (Thermo-set) cold adhesives and fasteners. The later for the base sheet.

(Polymer-modified bitumen sheet membranes and plastic)
(Thermoplastic membranes) (e.g., PVC, TPO)
(Thermoset membranes)(e.g., EPDM - TPO Plastic)

Flexible roofing systems range from:

As for the surface coating, reflective sealers or aggregate coatings are applied during the manufacturing process or applied after the installation. There are after manufacturing products that can be applied as well.

There are 1 ply systems with others systems utilizing a 2 ply method. A base and cap sheet.
Base sheets can be applied in all cases. Poor roof deck surfacing conditions are one reason.
Base sheets can be mechanically fastened, adhesives applies or wet mopped.
Never the less it is a (base sheet) with limitations.

Of all the systems utilizing a heated seam method (thermo-set) for laps and seams, TPO has historically shown it weakness in longevity or the shortest life expectancy.

Marcel Cry has been posting about CertainTeedfor years now. A great resource for many building products and methods of application.
Thanks Marcel. The site has grown to be a major solid resource for building product and their applications.

Yes I have taken all the courses they provided when I signed up. Just sign up and go at it.

I am certain INACHI members would love some of the links to the roofing courses Kevin. It would be another contribution to Marcel Cyr’s work.

Remember, The foundation to which this association sits is in Proverbs 22:17: As iron sharpens iron one person sharpens another.

Robert you need to sign up and this is the way they get traffic to the training and the site. It is the same as InterNachi.

steal your face for link to work

*** ***is a dead link Marcel.

Torchdown one not good but BUR works. Torchdown works if last : is deleted