charliejuggler (charliejuggler) wrote,

Building an art studio #7 - fitting the roof covering

I've used tar paper on a few of our sheds and it's not particularly pleasant stuff to work with: it's very heavy and needs to be glued down with some awful black gunk that will ruin whatever gloves you're using and indeed anything else it touches. It doesn't last very long either: less than 4-5 years in some cases, and will tear if the wind gets under it. I thus decided after some research to use an EPDM rubber membrane which although around 50% more expensive should be a lot easier to fit and may last up to 50 years.

The rubber arrives as one single sheet and at 9m x 4.5m was heavy and bulky - despite managing to drag it to the site on a sack trolley singlehanded, it needed three of us to lift it onto the roof. After unfolding it, waiting a while for it to relax (you only need a few hours but it turned out to be a week or two, but stapled down it made a great temporary covering) you have to fold it back on itself and glue it down with a water-based adhesive, rollered onto the roofing boards. We cut it to fit around the skylights first with scissors:


Using a broom it was very easy to brush out any wrinkles and we had the sheet fixed in a few hours. The edges of the sheet are then glued down using a contact adhesive, which has to be painted on. I left a large overlap over the skylights and after cutting a slit to allow the edges to be folded back had to apply an extra patch on top:


The edges of the roof presented a problem: how best to direct water towards the guttering I would eventually fit. Although it's possible to buy all kinds of expensive plastic edging systems, instead I chose to fit a piece of treated 2x1 timber on the gable ends, which lifts the rubber sheet to form a 'kerb':


On the other edges of the roof I wanted the rain to run cleanly off the edge, so I cut a triangular section of treated timber and fitted it underneath the eaves: the rubber was then glued over it:


There were some fiddly bits where the roof meets the skylights


On the gable ends, new treated barge boards were screwed to both the battening mentioned above and the purlins (the large timbers the roof rests on) - this effectively clamps the top edges of the roof to the main building. I had to buy new boards as the ones supplied with the building were too narrow, considering the insulation fitted to the roof:


Alex has now painted all the exposed wood with two coats of Sadolin Classic clear woodstain - so thankfully we're now watertight and can continue with the internal work (flooring and walls). It's looking smart!


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