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A Comprehensive Guide to EPDM Adhesive: Types, Application, and Benefits

Posted on July 23, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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A Comprehensive Guide to EPDM Adhesive: Types, Application, and Benefits

Are you looking for EPDM adhesives for your flat roof replacement? You’ve come to the right place. Before looking into EPDM adhesives, you must first have an understanding of EPDM roofs.

EPDM roofing systems are a popular choice for flat roofs in various industries due to their durability, longevity, and cost-effectiveness. This synthetic rubber membrane is known for its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions and requires minimal maintenance throughout its lifespan. 

EPDM roofing is widely used in commercial and industrial buildings, offering a reliable solution for waterproofing and protecting the underlying structure. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of EPDM roofing adhesive, its types, application tips, and the benefits it provides

Understanding EPDM Adhesive

EPDM adhesive is a specialized bonding agent designed specifically to adhere to EPDM rubber. EPDM is widely used in many industries, including roofing, automotive, marine, and manufacturing, due to its exceptional properties. The adhesive creates a strong and reliable bond, making it an ideal choice for projects that require superior sealing and bonding capabilities.

Types of EPDM Roofing Adhesives

EPDM roofing adhesive plays a crucial role in the installation and performance of EPDM rubber roofs. There are several types of adhesives used for various applications:

1. EPDM Water Based Adhesive

EPDM water-based adhesive is a solvent-free glue that is specifically designed for porous surfaces such as timber or concrete. It creates a strong bond by soaking into the surface, providing an excellent bond. This type of adhesive is commonly used for the deck installation of EPDM rubber roofs. Here are some key features of EPDM water-based adhesive:

  • It needs to be applied to both surfaces (the deck and the EPDM).
  • It has a slower drying time, allowing for some alteration to the EPDM membrane once bonded.
  • It is more environmentally friendly compared to other EPDM roofing adhesives as it doesn’t contain solvents.

2. EPDM Contact Adhesive

EPDM contact adhesive is a super-strong, instant-grab glue that can be used on any surface. It requires application to both faces, the EPDM membrane, and the roof’s surface. This adhesive is commonly used for perimeter bonding, upstands, and attaching accessories to the EPDM membrane. Here are a few features of EPDM contact adhesive:

  • The two faces will bond instantly when sealed.
  • There is no need to secure the EPDM to the surface while the adhesive is drying.
  • It provides reliable and long-lasting adhesion.

3. Solvent-Based Adhesives

Solvent-based adhesives are one of the options available for adhering down EPDM roofing membranes. These adhesives typically contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are solvent-thinned, which means the adhesive is mixed with a solvent to achieve the desired consistency for application. They are commonly used for both new installations and the repairs of EPDM roofs.

  • The solvent-thinning allows for the customization of the solution
  • It can be used in both new installations and repairs
  • It allows for quick bonding of the roofing materials 
EPDM Adhesive

Advantages of EPDM Adhesive

EPDM adhesive boasts several impressive advantages, making it a go-to choice for roofing and construction projects.

1. Exceptional Weather Resistance:

EPDM adhesive provides outstanding resistance to UV rays, chemicals, and extreme weather conditions. This ensures the adhesive maintains its integrity and keeps the EPDM membrane securely bonded over the years.

2. Superior Flexibility and Elasticity:

Due to the EPDM membrane’s inherent flexibility, the adhesive can accommodate structural movements without losing its bond, reducing the risk of leaks and cracks.

3. Long-Lasting Durability:

EPDM adhesive creates a robust and long-lasting bond between the membrane and the substrate. This durability guarantees the roof’s integrity and reduces the need for frequent repairs.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Adhesives on EPDM Roofs

Installing adhesive correctly is crucial for maintaining the overall health and longevity of your EPDM roof. A secure adhesive bond prevents leaks and potential damage caused by moisture penetration, which can lead to costly repairs and compromised structural integrity. By following the manufacturer’s instructions, you can ensure the optimal performance of your roof. If you are planning to install EPDM adhesive yourself, follow these steps: 

1. Cleaning and Preparing the Surface

Before applying adhesive, ensure that the roof’s surface is clean, dry, and free from any debris. Use a scrubbing pad to remove any dirt or loose particles. Mark reference lines using a chalk line to guide the placement of the EPDM membrane.

2. Applying the EPDM Primer

Apply the EPDM primer to the marked areas. The primer helps improve the adhesion of the adhesive to the roof substrate. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the application and drying time of the primer.

3. Adding the Adhesive

Using a paint roller or brush, apply the EPDM adhesive evenly on the primed areas. Work in small sections to ensure the adhesive remains tacky when placing the EPDM membrane.

4. Placing the EPDM Membrane

Carefully position the EPDM membrane over the adhesive-coated areas. Press down firmly to ensure proper adhesion. Use a seam roller to seal the edges and seams, creating a watertight seal.

Tips for a Successful Adhesive Application

Ensure The Best Weather & Proper Temperature: Weather conditions can significantly impact adhesive application. Extremely hot or cold temperatures can affect the adhesive’s performance. Avoid installing adhesives during rainy or windy weather, as it may lead to poor application.

Work in Small Sections: Apply adhesive in small sections to prevent it from drying before placing the EPDM membrane.

Check Compatibility: Ensure that the adhesive and EPDM membrane are compatible to avoid any chemical reactions that might compromise the bond.


EPDM roofing adhesive is an essential component in the installation and performance of EPDM roofs. With different types of adhesives available, EPDM roofs can be securely bonded to various surfaces, ensuring long-lasting protection against severe weather, UV rays, and impacts from debris. The step-by-step installation process, combined with the advantages of using EPDM adhesive, contributes to the overall durability and longevity of EPDM roofs. Whether in commercial or industrial applications, EPDM roofing adhesive provides a secure and reliable solution for waterproofing and protecting flat roofs.

Hire Professional Commercial Roofers To Install Your EPDM Roof In Tulsa, OK

Are you looking to install an EPDM roof on your commercial building? Call A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing today at (918) 402-7167 and hire professional roofers to install EPDM roofs. With over 50 years of combined experience, their team is equipped to handle all your commercial roofing needs, from initial installation to routine maintenance. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

A. EPDM adhesive is specially formulated for bonding EPDM membranes to various surfaces. It is not recommended for use with other types of roofing materials. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and consult a roofing professional for the appropriate adhesive for your specific roofing material.

A. EPDM adhesives typically have specific temperature requirements for proper application. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the recommended temperature range for applying the adhesive. In colder weather, it may be necessary to warm the adhesive or choose a specific type of adhesive suitable for low-temperature applications.

A. The drying time of EPDM adhesive can vary depending on the specific product and environmental conditions. It is important to allow sufficient drying time before proceeding with the next steps of the installation process. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended drying time.