EPDM installation questions - is this a professional installation?


My son had a small, 100 square foot deck off a second story bedroom replaced this week. The original surface (heated fabric of some sort) was removed and an EPDM rubber roof installed.

He sent me a photo of part of the job today. It is attached to this post. I’d be curious what the professionals think about this photo, particularly the inside corner and termination of the rubber at both the door threshold and on the side walls. Also, I notice some air bubbles and what appears to be quite a bit of small debris under the rubber (asphalt shingle granules, perhaps?).

Will the debris be an issue when this roof is walked on? How about the bubbles? Also, the sidewall termination looks sloppy to me, but I am not a roofing expert and would love comments from those who are.

Thanks very much.


Better pictures of the corners and under the door would be helpful.


Thanks. Here’s some more photos. The vertical up wall EPDM is not glued to the wood at all. Nailed and caulked. In fact it’s installed on top of original felt paper and caulked against the paper itself.


No, that’s horrible.

You could probably do a better job yourself.


We have not paid yet. What do you suggest? The installation was done by a
reputable, licensed roofer with great ratings. Very busy company. Great
references. How would you approach the roofing general manager?


I also just noticed at the junction of this cedar shingle wall and asphalt shingle roof they simply caulked the junction. No flashing. I can’t imagine this is appropriate?


One last photo. No headwall flashing over the outside screened porch. It should be there, right?

And what about using terminal bar where the EPDM rolls over and into the sloped shingles below?


The inside corners are done completely wrong with the wrong material, this needs to be removed and completely redone from scratch.


It is possible that there is a flashing sandwitched between the top two rows of shingles. Its not exactly my favorite way to see it done but it can work if done properly. But agreed that your detail work on the epdm is pretty bad.


Thanks Axiom and IslandRoofing.

I really am at a loss how to proceed. It is clear to me that the EPDM needs to be replaced completely as there is no way this 10x8 foot space should not have been done with one piece of rubber. I am not sure what they have going on in that inside corner, but clearly it’s wonky and not done correctly.

The other flashing issues also give me pause. I am not pleased with the job, to be certain.


Just the inside corners or the whole installation? I think they either made a mistake or freaked out when they got to that corner…didn’t know what to do, cut the single sheet short, and then started to make stuff up as they went and ended up with what you see here?

I think the entire install needs to be redone.


Has a rep came out from the company yet? Surely anyone who halfway knows what they’re looking at will have this replaced or at least re run up the walls. You will have problems in the near future if this stays.
Ask them a few things?
The rubber should be running up the wall 18 inches.
A door that close to the roof can’t be term barred. Once the caulking fails water is coming in. Plus the rubber looks cut right to the trim.
Anywhere rubber needs to be cut or bent around corners you must cut the rubber and run a new piece with seam tape on the edges and flash all the points the rubber is cut.
When glued against a wall the wall needs to be denailed and cleaned before glueing to it. Then a water resistive barrier for the siding goes over it. Leaving the tar paper allows water to get in higher and run right behind the rubber.
Ask why they didn’t use a drip edge around the perimeter. Termbar is a last resort when flashing or counter flashing can not be used.
Over the shingle section where the rubber runs over should be flashed and then cover taped. In this scenario we would bend our own flashing since it’s not a stock item in this angle.
Sometimes a good company might hire a bad crew and they need to be made aware and make repairs. A lot of guys who can shingle and seen rubber roofs done think they can do it the same. Firestone has a ton of videos of YouTube to show common practices for flashing.
Hope this helps.


Thanks for the comments Southers. The roof was installed last week while we were away on vacation. I got a first look at it this morning. I have an email in to the general manager of the company requesting he come out to take a look at the job. He has been very responsive and I expect the matter will be resolved to my satisfaction, but it’s just one more thing to get in the way with the rest of my day!


Southers - You mentioned that a door that close to the roof can’t have a terminal bar that close to the roof. How should that junction be handled in this situation?

Thanks again!



The attached image shows the old flashing that jutted out over the sloped shingles. I assume from your comment that you would have fashioned something similar to this had you been doing the job?


yes something similar to this. With the rubber roof coming to the edge you
let it over hang the edge of the roof and then use a 3x3 drip to cover this
lapped rubber and give a clean finish look. then a cover tape is glued to
the rubber and top of the drip to cover the fasteners. Cover tape is
generally self stick and the surface area needs to be cleaned and then
primed before apply. which is why some guys may choose to termbar instead
of a more aesthetically pleasing drip/cover tape method. for the shingle
section it should be a little bigger than the 3 inches, but the same

For the door it should be popped out and flashed into the pocket up 18
inches. then before the door is reinstalled run a bed of water cut-off
mastic in the areas of compression, generally the bottom, and a lap seal in
the areas of the 18 inches with no compression. We push for new doors in
these areas since most of the labor to replace the door is done here and is
generally the cost of the door extra. If the door location and height
allows we will raise the door off the roof as far as we can. I am in NH and
we get good amounts of snow here and on flat roofs it doesn’t take much
snow to get a puddle high enough to flow right in.

Which is where maintenance and shoveling come into play. With the termbar
and the caulking you have there, once it fails and it will be soon, you
will have water coming in. Also I just looked at the picture again and you
want to make sure that the trim board that is different at the bottom was
removed and flashed over the the shingles. It looks different and hopefully
that wasn’t them and the trim already looked like that. Given the lack of
flashing I can only assume that it is not flashed here as well and can be a

Ricky Southers


Southers Construction, Inc



Thanks Rick. Can you be more specific about what you are referring to in the quote above? Not sure I understand.


Yes, if you look at the first picture you posted and look at the rake board of the shingle roof and it runs down and meets the rubber roof. in this area the trim board, drip edge, and shingles need to be pulled back. Since the rubber can not go up 18 inches in this area it need to be lapped onto the roof plane. When the rubber comes to the bottom transition it will not fold over and it has to be cut. This cut needs to flashed and then everything reinstalled. You will not be able to see the majority of this work, as it will be covered, but you would be able to see the bottom part of the flashing onto the roof decking and I can’t see it from the pictures given.


It was not done that way Ricky. As you might imagine by now, the job was pretty well botched. I still have not heard back from the GM of the roofing company.


Yes I can imagine the frustration. He may be trying to gather information on his end before reaching out to you. I’d bet he’s equally as frustrated.
A little tip is to leave the frustration out of it a call him every couple days to get a progress report. Everyone is swamped these days a rarely plan for things like this. Don’t demand anything or get into an arguing match because that usually ends up negative for everyone. Not that you shouldn’t be upset but you want to get it taken care of right and quickly.