EPDM installation questions - is this a professional installation?


Thanks Ricky. The GM just called me back and we will meet at the house (my son’s house, actually - in Toledo, Ohio) tomorrow morning at 10:00am. I will let you know what he has to say after I meet with him.

My guess is that since the deck is 10’ wide and 7’6" out from the house, rather than run one piece of the 10 foot EPDM and cut off a couple feet they decided to maximize the rubber and use it in the other direction. Then, when they got to that botched up inside corner area, they did not have sufficient product to roll up the wall. So they cut and patched and cut and patched. Not that this accounts for the poor but and patch work, but I think it explains why they needed to cut it into little pieces like they did.

I am absolutely going to demand a complete tear off and re-do. I will be diplomatic, but this is a mess all the way around and needs to be done over, in my opinion.


The general manager of the roofing company came out today. He took one look at the EPDM roof and agreed to replace it. He said it was effed up. He said he’d do whatever it took to make us happy.

He said they would replace it with new EPDM that would be done right. He went on to suggest another product that might be more useful in this particular situation. He said that it was a rolled roofing asphalt product that stuck like glue to whatever it was applied to. He said it would work in this situation because the roof is not completely flat, but is pitched somewhat to shed water. He said this product could not be rolled up the walls like EPDM but would have flashing at all junctions. I expressed skepticism but he assured me that it would work great, and that it sticks so well that his tear out crew hate to see it on one of their jobs.

Has anybody heard of something like this? I remain skeptical.


It sounds like he is describing self adhered modified in which case the EPDM is better & less expensive.


Yes it is rolled roofing and it is junk especially in your roof situation with the flashings. You want a rubber roof system that is done right.
The only ideal situation for a rolled roof is roof with no walls or obstructions and not lived in. Such as an outhouse, carport, or shed.
Can’t believe he recommended this to you to be honest. It’s a much inferior and cheaper product.


@Axiom & @Southers:

I am awaiting specific brand information, etc. for the rolled roofing he suggested. I will post that information here when I receive it for further comment from those of you who know.


I believe the product suggested instead of EPDM is Owens Corning “DeckSeal”.

Any comments, advice, or words of warning are appreciated.


He’s not talking about roll roofing. He’s referring to something like Flintastic SA


I would have not had any issues with them using that product, but not on an area that gets heavy foot traffic. It would get tore up in no time in the summer months.


Thanks Island Roofing. We understand that EPDM is also not suitable for much foot traffic. In reality I see my son and his wife using this porch deck a half a dozen times a year or so for a cup of coffee or something like that.


You might want to consider a PVC decking like Deck Rite or Dura Deck. Does a great job and will handle the foot traffic.


The roofing general manager sent me this information this morning and said this is the product that they would use:

Is this suitable for use in this situation? Is this product intended to meet a sidewall, and if so, how would that area be flashed?

Thanks to everyone.


I’d keep this simple and in perspective to your first, original post:

  1. In concern to your son’s flat roof, you notice things don’t look right and you want other opinions. Your common sense is correct. You could of done better yourself with “handyman in a can”!
  2. You mentioned the roofer has a great reputation. I’m sure this is true but probably for regular shingle jobs. Am I right? First know your ‘Roofer’ most likely uses sub-contracted crews for his installs. I’m sure this crew did not have much flat roof experience as flat are a whole different system and many leak due to improper installations.
  3. I admire your enthusiasm to gain knowledge on how it should be done properly but at end of the day it’s going to involve negotiations & having original roofer make it right. I agree with other comments that you’ll get much better results politely working it out and giving the roofer the opportunity to re-do it, than get in a shouting match. Remember he is probably just the middleman between you (or your son) and a crew. The roofer I project manage for has a sub that does nothing but flat roofs - commercially down to the simplest residential patio cover, for the past 25 years. We have to wait sometimes but no way am I going to allow my shingle crew do a flat patio cover. I have and it usually ends up wishing I waited! You get better results with milk & honey than you do with piss & vinegar!


EPDM is better for what you need it to do.


This material, Deck Seal, is not designed to be used as a walking deck. It is turned up the wall and flashed with a counter flashing or termination bar. This is just self adhering mineral surface roll roofing and must be installed in a 2+ layer system. I’m with Axiom.


Thanks for the great advise Kennybblair, and thanks again to Axiom and donl. We will opt to have the EPDM redone and properly this time around.

The only area I am concerned about (assuming the installer is competent) is the front edge of the door threshold. It is only a couple inches above the deck and in all of my research and question asking I cannot figure out how they will finish that area with the EPDM.


What no one seems to be suggesting is using an actual walk deck material designed for walk decks. After applying appropriate metal flashing to the perimeter, properly sealed and attached, a walk deck system often requires 5 or more layers of a liquid applied walk deck product. We do three coats of base and two coats of color or top coat with sanded surfacing. This is usually done over floor grade plywood like an 1 1/8" tongue and groove subfloor decking.

Not all roofing companies offer the installation of these specialized materials.

Anything else is simply water proofing and should not be used as a walk deck.


Thanks for the information projoe688. The family only intends to use this porch, which is off an extra bedroom, for an occasional cup of coffee in the morning. No real use whatsoever. They will put a 5x7 outside area rug on it and take it up to dry each time it rains.


My son decided to have the roofing contractor tear out the improper EPDM install and proceed to re-install it, using a specific installer from the company who is expert in these systems.

They decided not to use the DeckSeal product based on the advice of most people on this forum coupled with reading about the product. It does not seem as though the DeckSeal product was designed for this type of waterproofing installation on a deck that has two walls requiring flashing.


Don mentioned the walking deck PVC earlier.


The contractor came back out and removed the original EPDM install. They installed a new sheet (on the same insulation board) and the attached photos show part of the work. Much improved over the first install. They wrapped the door threshold to the sill, cut off the trim boards and wrapped behind them (and reinstalled the boards) and used one solid piece of rubber to accomplish this. The only inside corner is also seamless.

I am confident that it will no longer leak. Not a perfect job, and clearly the crew is not highly skilled in this process, but I think it is satisfactory now.

The one photo shows my handiwork with “Grace” like siding tape before I finished the wall with 30lb felt. Cedar shingles will complete the walls to match the original house.