Cold Weather Installation Part II: Mule-Hide EPDM, TPO, and PVC Membranes
As a rule, roofing materials become stiffer and more difficult to work with as temperatures decrease. Proper storage and installation of all your roofing materials is crucial to the successful outcome of your project. Here are some tips for installing Mule-Hide membranes during periods of cold weather (40°F or less).
EPDM – EPDM membrane is available in large sheet sizes that are folded. During periods of cold weather, these folded sheets are more difficult to relax and install. Mule-Hide recommends the use of smaller, non-folded sheets for installation during cold weather. Allow extra time for the sheet to relax during colder weather.
EPDM flashing (uncured) products may require supplemental warming from a heat gun. Be careful to keep the heat gun away from flammable materials such as cleaners, tape primers and adhesives.
TPO & PVC – Remove the outer wrapping and un-roll the membrane. Flip the membrane over so that the back side is up, facing the sunlight. This will allow the darker, back side of the membrane to absorb warmth from the sun while relaxing. Only un-wrap as much material as will be used during that day. Allow extra time for the sheet to relax.
Welding techniques and parameters must also be adjusted for cold weather applications. In general, welding speeds need to be decreased. It is imperative that test welds be conducted at start up and after the automatic welder has been shut down to assure that a proper weld is being made. It is also important to conduct test welds with hand welders also, due to the slower speeds needed to affect a proper weld.