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Category - news
Posted by - Adrian Buttress


The roofing sector is awash not only with different roofing brands, but with an array of different types of systems and technologies, each with their own advocates amongst both specifiers and installers. However, in a construction climate where architects and building surveyors are prioritising performance, installers need buildability and speed of installation advantages and end users are looking for extended service life and durability, EPDM membranes are becoming an increasingly popular choice. And when it comes to EPDM roofing systems, just one brand springs to mind: Firestone Building Products.

Building on a heritage of rubber technology that began with Firestone-branded tyres, Firestone Building Products’ RubberGard™EPDM membrane for commercial and industrial installations and RubberCover™ EPDM roofing membrane for residential installations form part of a complete roof offering that enables roofing contractors to get any type of roof water-tight quickly, carry out complex detailing, reduce the number of seams required and offer an extended service life.
Explains commercial manager of Firestone Building Products UK, John McMullan: “While RubberGard and RubberCover EPDM installations carry a lengthy and competitive warranty, in reality roofs correctly installed with the system can be expected to last much longer than that.    The early roofs are still performing well and look as good as they did when they were completed.”

Realistically, both Firestone EPDM membranes have a service life expectancy of at least 50 years, but that impressive longevity is only achievable if the membranes are installed in accordance with Firestone technical guidelines.
John continues: “Our RubberCover EPDM membrane should always be installed in accordance with Firestone guidelines taking into consideration the roof type and build-up. Robust & Resilient

One of the reasons that Firestone’s RubberCover EPDM membrane has become so popular with both specifiers and installers in the residential sector is that the material itself is so robust and resilient; ensuring the risk of damage to the membrane is minimised both during installation and following project completion. Flexible and permanently elastic with elongation of up to 300%, the RubberCover EPDM membrane offers excellent puncture, tear and UV resistance, despite a thickness of 1.1. The membrane is available in a variety of widths to enable the installer to select the optimum width to avoid or minimise the number of joints, while addressing any buildability constraints on site.

John continues: “Joints and detailing are the most vulnerable element of any roofing installation and that vulnerability is reduced when using Rubber Cover EPDM membranes because of the ease and speed of both installation and detailing. Installers are trained at our purpose-built training centre or  at one of our Authorised RubberCover Distributors’ premises, to ensure that they install the membrane to create a watertight finish.

“Correct use of the whole system also forms an integral part of this training because the service life and performance of the EPDM membrane is dependent on the compatibility and performance of all the products used as part of the roof build up. That’s why we work so closely with our distributor network to ensure they can support their customers with informed purchasing and product selection.”

Part of that support comes in the form of technical advice. Firestone works with designers and installers to ensure correct specification and all critical waterproofing details can be executed practically and for the best long term performance.
Explains Adrian Buttress from Firestone Authorised Distributor, Permaroof UK Limited: ”We’re one of the UK’s biggest distributor of Firestone RubberCover EPDM roofing membranes so we are able to advise both stockists and installers and we also deliver training to installers, however, we know we can call on Firestone’s expertise too, whenever we need it.

“We always advise customers to use the RubberCover EPDM system, including all the roof build up components,  because they’re tested and proven as a single system and all the adhesives, tapes and ancillary products have a life expectancy that lives up to the service life of the EPDM membrane itself.”

The Complete Solution

One of the big advantages of EPDM membranes is their suitability for any roof substrate and a variety of construction methods. Firestone has recently introduced a new self-adhesive vapour control layer, V_GARD, incorporating an aluminium foil into the range of complementary products and also polyiso insulation with its RESISTA and ISOGARD brands.

RubberCover EPDM membrane is suitable for installation with a range of Firestone adhesives, including water-based, contact and spray adhesives, spray adhesives and adhesives, to ensure a robust and permanent bond to a wide variety of substrates that matches the life expectancy of the membrane.

Meanwhile, the company’s self-adhesive QuickSeam™  accessories range ensures the watertight integrity of every detailing installation, and its products range provide a variety of solutions for quick and easy detailing.
Adrian adds: “Firestone is constantly investing in product innovation and ensures that each element of the RubberCover EPDM system is rigorously tested, both as an individual product and as part of an EPDM roof build up.  That’s why I would always advise using tried and tested compatible products from the range and why we have worked hard to become the UK’s biggest distributor of EPDM roofing systems.”