Keeping a roof in top-notch shape during the winter is of the utmost importance to building owners and applicators alike – keeping crews safe and upholding the integrity of the roofing materials is a non-negotiable.
One of the most common questions about an EPDM roofing system in the winter is in regards to the chemical compatibility of rock salt or other ice melts with EPDM membrane. EPDM is chemically resistant to rock salt (also known as halite or sodium chloride) and calcium chloride. If either of these two materials are applied according to the suppliers’ recommendation on an EPDM roof, there will be no chemical degradation of the membrane.
The biggest concern with rock salt and calcium chloride pellets is the physical form these ice melts come in. Rock salt is a hard, crystalline product that could harm the membrane if walked on after application. Calcium chloride pellets are somewhat softer in consistency, but could still potentially cause damage to the membrane if walked on before breaking down from the pellet form. Because of this, it is wise to limit foot traffic over any areas where ice melts have been applied, in order to minimize the potential for damaging the membrane through abrasion or puncture.
It should also be noted, that chemicals such as halite or sodium chloride can potentially cause corrosion to some metals – in particular, aluminum or copper – so it is wise to avoid application of these chemicals around any area on the roof that is made of these materials.
For more information regarding installation, care, and upkeep of EPDM – please contact Ron Goodman.