Slate Roof Waterproofing

Doing Slate Roof Waterproofing the right way

Waterproof Lab can install EPDM over damaged slate tile roofs. In the above photo demonstrates the versatility of the Firestone RubberGard EPDM system.

Even the smallest leaks from your roof can cause serious damages if left unattended. It can also be frustrating to deal with a leaking slate roof constantly. Slate Roof Waterproofing prevents these and more future problems while providing numerous benefits. It is one of the best ways to ensure a safe home.

Why you should consider roof waterproofing

Waterproofing your slate roof prevents the occurrence of issues such as:

  • Water leaks
  • Property damage
  • Roof tearing
  • Mold problems
  • Frequent repairs

How long does it take?

To make your roof water-resistant, a specialized waterproof coating will be used. In general, roof coatings take between 8-24 hours to fully dry. Some other factors may cause it to take longer, such as high humidity and dry weather.

The time it takes will vary depending on the weather condition. High humidity and dew will cause the coating to dry at a slower rate. On the other hand, dry and hot weather will cause it to dry faster.

7 Benefits of Slate Roof Waterproofing

  • Energy-efficient

Waterproof membranes reflect sunlight and heat, which won’t require you to use the AC systems as often. This conserves energy and lessens costs. Sometimes, waterproofing is more efficient compared to one-time repairs or roof replacements.

  • Extends the lifetime of your roof

Having your roof waterproofed reduces the risk of damage. You will have an additional layer of protection against decay, wear, and leaks. Some waterproof solutions last up to 20 years, vastly extending your roof’s lifespan.

  • Reduces humidity levels

Slate Roof Waterproofing seals and protects the infrastructure from water leakage. It will also lower the humidity levels and prevent the growth of mold. This ensures the health safety of everyone in the vicinity since mold is known to cause several health problems.

  • Cost-effective

Getting your slate roof waterproofed is significantly cheaper than complete roof replacements. Roof repairs won’t be as frequent and maintenance costs will be lower, saving you a significant amount of money in the long run.

  • Low-maintenance

Waterproof coatings are very easy to repair and maintain. If repairs are ever needed, you will only be required to get the roof recoated. This process will be finished in a short amount of time, especially when performed by skilled roofers.

  • Quick installation

In estimation, a typical slate roof waterproofing finishes three times faster than roof replacements. The coating is usually applied to the roof by spraying, so you are also assured that it can get into those hard-to-reach spaces. There will be no disruption or downtime at all, people can continue their work normally.

  • Eco-friendly

Roof replacements contribute to increased pollution and wastes. Having your roof waterproofed consumes less energy, keeps existing components intact, and produces zero waste. This makes it a great choice for people concerned about the environment.


Frequently Asked Questions

A rubber membrane that is available in rolls measuring 3m, 6m  or 9m wide & 30m long, which can either be loose laid or fully adhered, to flat roofs of various substrates, with a lifestyle expectancy of 50 years.  Click here to get an overview of the different EPDM roofing systems 

With an integral UV protector in its manufacture, it has been proven to last in excess of 50 years, through a range of climatic  conditions, including rain & snow, below freezing, to the hottest, ultraviolet laden sun; 

Applying EPDM is a simple process, employing a specially formulated  contact adhesive & sealants, to lay over a flat roof or other surface & once adhered, smoothed out to ensure a crease & bubble free finish; 

Over more than 50 years, EPDM has been manufactured to a special blend of environmentally friendly materials, including UV inhibitors, which has been proven to last in excess of 50 years, under the most adverse conditions – successful where others have generally failed; 

One of the benefits of EPDM, is that it does not require protection from the elements, which saves on on-costs over the years. This is unlike similar competitive products which a Silvakote or similar every 2-3 years to maintain the warranty and protect the membrane from the sun.  However, should one prefer a coloured aesthetic finish, there is no reason that it shouldn’t be coated with an acrylic-based paint; 

There is absolutely no reason why it should not work as well on pitched roofs. In fact it presents a very sensible option to waterproofing, with the ability to cover the existing roof cladding, without having to reroof, be it metal, tile, or whatever, & it will be particularly effective, due to the pitch enabling even greater water management; 

This total installation cost will depend on the amount of detail required to waterproof.  Size of roof & the number of water outlets or other penetrations, such as water &/r air-conditioning pipes, are a variables that can attribute the total installation cost.   However, we would like to assess each situation on it’s merits, so we can estimate the least expensive price to assist our clients – so please get contact us at +27824151694 so we can discuss your project.   

Each project has its own merits however in general, EPDM membrane may be laid over asphalt or other materials, by first laying a sheet of ‘Bidem’ to protect it from the original material.  

No problem; simply lay a screed of cement over the protected EPDM, ensure is a ‘fall’ in the substrate to allow water to efficiently drain to the outlets and tile’.  We do this all the time and this feature sets us apart from most waterproofing membranes in the market, 

There are many materials which have historically been used for waterproofing flat roofs. However Waterproof Lab’s RubberGard EPDM membrane has become the membrane of choice in many countries, on account of its ability to stretch, reduce number of joints required, ease of application, protection against UV & cost effectiveness; 

  1. It is most eco-friendly, having been used for years as a pool liner which sustains fish life & plant growth. Firestone RubberGard EPDM is an inert roofing material with limited environmental impact during manufacturing, installation and use: 
  • The initial production of the membrane has a low embodied energy number. 
  • The effectiveness of the EPDM polymer results in low quantities of polymer being required to obtain proper mechanical and physical properties. 
  • During the membrane’s service life, no toxic substances are released from the membrane, allowing collection and use of run-off rainwater for household applications. 
  • EPDM is a very highly durable material: Firestone RubberGard EPDM has outstanding weathering characteristics and a life expectancy up to 50 years. 
  • In regions like South Africa where Heat Degree Days outnumber the CoolDegree Days, a black EPDM membrane on top of a properly insulated roof can help to save energy and reduce associated carbon emissions. 
  • At the end of its service life, the membrane can be recycled and re-used 

For more information on eco-friendly properties of the Firestone EPDM Roofing and Lining Systems, download the EPDM Sustainability Brochure  

These ecological benefits, in combination with the membrane’s life expectancy of up to 50 years, make RubberGard EPDM an environmentally friendly roofing solution. 

Due to the ever increasing concern for the environment, green roofs are becoming a regular part of our landscape. The RubberGard EPDM membrane has successfully passed the FLL test for root penetration resistance in green roofs. It is an ideal membrane for combination with extensive green roof systems using lightweight and low maintenance sedum vegetation.  

The ecological benefits of a green roof system are numerous:  

  • Reduction of the urban heat island effect  
  • Reduction of energy costs  
  • Stormwater management  
  • New habitats for plants and animals  
  • Improved air quality  
  • Reduction of noise pollution  

Combine this with a Solar System solution, will be the ultimate in saving energy costs and reduction of carbon emissions – click here to find your eco-friendly solution or Green Roofing System  

  1. A resounding yes.  See how we did this here in an installation we did in the leafy suburbs of Noordhoek in Cape Town – see Waterproof Lab Facebook Page for video showing how we do it 


It has many benefits, which are listed in our ‘Benefits & Gains’ brochure. 

For best results, you will require a measuring tape, a chalk line, a pair of scissors, a paint brush & a rubber roller; 

It is always best to allow the substrate to dry before applying the membrane, as it is important to ensure that the bond between the membrane & the surface is not compromised.   

EPDM is a blend of materials – Ethylene, Propylene, Diene Monomer, which imparts it’s outstanding flexibility, strength & waterproofing characteristics, making it the most ideal, long lasting, material to use for any waterproofing problems, most particularly, flat concrete or other, roofs; 

EPDM is tough, flexible & resilient to foot traffic. Unlike most other waterproofing membranes, one of Waterproof Lab’s EPDM roofing systems main benefit is that it is also very easily & quickly repaired in the event of accidental damage simply cut a patch, apply a primer and Formflash patchto the damaged area, allow to dry & stick the patch down – & wallah! you once again have an uncompromised waterproof roof/deck!  See video for explanation  

  1. We currently import rolls of EPDM, measuring 6m wide x 30m long x 1.14mm thick, thus effectively giving access to a square area of 180m2.  We can get bigger sizes too but imagine covering 180m2 with now seams! 

NB: Detailed instructions as to the application procedures of our EPDMappear in our website, as do videos of the full application procedure.  Click here to access the information  


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