Understanding your EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene monomer) roof or bitumen roofing helps you care for it better. Generally, these materials are suitable for a low-slopped roof. EPDM is a rubber material that offers flexibility and strength. On the other hand, modified bitumen contains layers of fabricated asphalt with a rubber component for boosting longevity.
While both roofing materials are designed to last long, you will encounter certain issues as they age. One of them is shrinkage. This article will outline critical things you should understand about commercial roofing contraction.
What's Roof Contraction?
When the size of a roofing membrane meant to protect a building from elements reduces, roof shrinkage or contraction arises. Once the membrane is shortened, the extra forces are induced on the flashings, lap joints, fasteners, and adhesives. This leads to rips, punctures, and cracks that leave the building vulnerable to water filtration. And if the roof's waterproofing ability is compromised, it will become harder to protect the occupants, and property and structural damages will occur.
What Causes Shrinkage in These Types of Roofs?
Numerous factors lead to roof shrinkage issues, including:
Defective roof design – While installing roof materials, the roofer needs to consider the design of the roof. They will factor in the penetrations creating the material installation plan. If the design isn't considered, the material will shrink.
Chemical and physical material changes – EPDM's membranes have oils added at the manufacturing stage. The oils aid in processing the roofing material ingredients and give the final product its enticing physical features. If the oil is lost, flexibility will reduce, leading to shrinkage. Temperature fluctuations can also change the membrane's molecular structure, causing the same issue.
Substrate damage – The fasteners holding roof materials in place may pull out when the substrate shows deterioration. When this occurs, the membrane will experience shrinkage.
Is It Possible to Repair or Prevent Roof Shrinkage?
Yes, but the task should be handled by a seasoned roofer. The roofing contractor will relieve the roof of pressure by removing and replacing the damaged curbs or flashing. Then, they will secure the sheet and install new flashing. Proper installation prevents roof shrinkage. The roofer should give the modified bitumen material room to contract or expand. Additionally, roofers use ballasts as a protective layer for EPDM to reduce heat absorption.
Don't hesitate to consult a commercial roofing contractor whenever you face roof shrinkage issues. Other than helping you fix the problem, they will recommend tips to keep your roof in good shape for longer.
To learn more about commercial roofing, contact a company like Drey Roofing.