Jump to content
Advantage Roof Cleaning

How well does EPDM rubber hold up

Recommended Posts

I purchased a new open trailer and I need to figure out what type of protective coating to use for the wood floor. With the last trailer, I used vinyl sheets but water still leaked through the seams and it bubbled up. I don't believe a spray used for truck beds would be most effective to protect the wood against water and SH. I'm thinking of using either some sort of thick paint or EPDM rubber. I did search existing threads on the topic and of course there are dozens of opinions and preferences. Any new and fresh thoughts? For those using EPDM rubber, does it stay glued down with no bubbles? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience with EPDM on roofs, putting it on a hard surface will make it susceptible to holes from fasteners, board corners, and equipment moving across it.  It's designed to go over an underlayment that absorbs the impact of things landing on top of it.   I don't know how many times my guys caused a leak in an EPDM roof because they stepped on a roofing nail that was laying on top of it and punctured it.  I think you'd find holes in it before long if you glued it to the boards. I hate the stuff to tell you the truth.  I don't know the answer to your problem, but thought a truck bed liner was a popular choice. 

Edited by Tennessee Soft Wash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased a new open trailer and I need to figure out what type of protective coating to use for the wood floor. With the last trailer, I used vinyl sheets but water still leaked through the seams and it bubbled up. I don't believe a spray used for truck beds would be most effective to protect the wood against water and SH. I'm thinking of using either some sort of thick paint or EPDM rubber. I did search existing threads on the topic and of course there are dozens of opinions and preferences. Any new and fresh thoughts? For those using EPDM rubber, does it stay glued down with no bubbles? 

We currently run trucks Dave, but I often think about enclosed trailers instead, as they're a lot cheaper to replace than trucks when the SH eats them.  EPDM is exactly what I would use.  Keep a sacrificial mop handy, or even some 'kitty litter' for those rogue spills.  I'd vent the heck out of that trailer too.  Let us know what you decide and how it works out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We currently run trucks Dave, but I often think about enclosed trailers instead, as they're a lot cheaper to replace than trucks when the SH eats them.  EPDM is exactly what I would use.  Keep a sacrificial mop handy, or even some 'kitty litter' for those rogue spills.  I'd vent the heck out of that trailer too.  Let us know what you decide and how it works out.

Done properly an enclosed truck or trailer should never rot out or have spills. The key is choosing the proper tanks and fill/vent system.,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not exactly sure what EPDM is.  I am on my 3rd open roofing trailer in 20 years. I basically used not much of anything on the first one and eventually the single axle broke in half at 60mph with a load of SH. Good thing I was on a country road. After that horric experience i decided no more single axles for me and I got a tandem axle   and sprayed it with professional undercoater underneath and used 4x8 sheets of plastic wall panels on top. That worked somewhat and I think I got 8 years out of it, but the panels and 2x6s are no match for SH.

   I replaced it last year after I got a business phone call from a guy telling my wife I'm following one of your company trailers and its  dropping pieces of metal going down the interstate. And it looks really dangerous. (the rear angle iron was rusted through and its back was broken)

I Thought I was going to scrap that trailer, but we ended up cutting the last 12 to 18 inches off, removing the wood deck and sandblasting the hell out of it and rewelding a new angle iron and lights back on it and put new deck boards on it. Repainted it and Its repurposed now as a very nice heavy duty utility trailer. What i had done worked well enough to at least get most of the chlorine to run off the back. And the undercoater was good enough to save the axles. And the big ass holes in the deck were in the right spots away from the axle. and what did fall on it mostly rolled off and the undercoater worked well enough. I got lucky there.

    And I think I finally figured it out. I got a brainstorm and asked my roofing buddy. And I got an 8 wide roll of TPO from him and lined the bed of my new open trailer with almost a year ago now. We put wood on the sides and front and ran it u 6 inches so basically its like a shower liner. Still leak free. We did curbs like a roofer would for our tanks and equipment and wrapped them with TPO. So all our penetration are elevated too. It is heat welded to itself with a heat gun and water tight.  So far so good. This will hopefully be my last trailer. Its nice and white too.  I tongue and cheek reluctantly share this with you guys because we almost started a side business making these to resell when we seen how good it turned out. LOL! Go for it. It works

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Done properly an enclosed truck or trailer should never rot out or have spills. The key is choosing the proper tanks and fill/vent system.,

 

That's an interesting point Kevin.  I FINALLY found the culprit for the vast majority of spillage and subsequent rust on our trucks, the covers on the chemical tanks are allowing mix to splash out during any fast pitch or yaw while full or near full.  Keep in mind they are chemical tanks, but they do not have baffles.  Short term, it seems that I need to find a new brand/style of cover/lid assemblies.  Or stop filling the tanks all the way up and that is NOT an option.  :-)  Suggestions anyone?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Roof Cleaning Virginia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not exactly sure what EPDM is.  I am on my 3rd open roofing trailer in 20 years. I basically used not much of anything on the first one and eventually the single axle broke in half at 60mph with a load of SH. Good thing I was on a country road. After that horric experience i decided no more single axles for me and I got a tandem axle   and sprayed it with professional undercoater underneath and used 4x8 sheets of plastic wall panels on top. That worked somewhat and I think I got 8 years out of it, but the panels and 2x6s are no match for SH.

   I replaced it last year after I got a business phone call from a guy telling my wife I'm following one of your company trailers and its  dropping pieces of metal going down the interstate. And it looks really dangerous. (the rear angle iron was rusted through and its back was broken)

I Thought I was going to scrap that trailer, but we ended up cutting the last 12 to 18 inches off, removing the wood deck and sandblasting the hell out of it and rewelding a new angle iron and lights back on it and put new deck boards on it. Repainted it and Its repurposed now as a very nice heavy duty utility trailer. What i had done worked well enough to at least get most of the chlorine to run off the back. And the undercoater was good enough to save the axles. And the big ass holes in the deck were in the right spots away from the axle. and what did fall on it mostly rolled off and the undercoater worked well enough. I got lucky there.

    And I think I finally figured it out. I got a brainstorm and asked my roofing buddy. And I got an 8 wide roll of TPO from him and lined the bed of my new open trailer with almost a year ago now. We put wood on the sides and front and ran it u 6 inches so basically its like a shower liner. Still leak free. We did curbs like a roofer would for our tanks and equipment and wrapped them with TPO. So all our penetration are elevated too. It is heat welded to itself with a heat gun and water tight.  So far so good. This will hopefully be my last trailer. Its nice and white too.  I tongue and cheek reluctantly share this with you guys because we almost started a side business making these to resell when we seen how good it turned out. LOL! Go for it. It works

Well done Glenn. Thanks for the info.    I've had some safety issues due to SH and the trucks over the last few years, most recently a rigid brake line blew.  This line of work we're in in tough on equipment, that's for sure.  Two truck beds have holes on them at the moment  :-(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an interesting point Kevin.  I FINALLY found the culprit for the vast majority of spillage and subsequent rust on our trucks, the covers on the chemical tanks are allowing mix to splash out during any fast pitch or yaw while full or near full.  Keep in mind they are chemical tanks, but they do not have baffles.  Short term, it seems that I need to find a new brand/style of cover/lid assemblies.  Or stop filling the tanks all the way up and that is NOT an option.  :-)  Suggestanyone?

 

 

 

 

Yup. Why do you need man lids at all for Chem tanks? Get a sealed tank system for your mix... http://www.plastic-mart.com/product/9066/tote-a-lube-t120 

Better yet, use two tanks, stack them. One for mix, one for 12.5%.take two 70 gal for an example. Put 30 gal mix in the lower, 70 SH/surfactant in the upper (keeps you legal).  At a 33% mix this gives you 240 gallons of roof mix onboard. Get to the job site, hook up the hose and booster pump. Let concentrate into bottom tank, add water. Vent the tank fumes anywhere you need.  All that is needed is a simple gravity feed line between them with a simple chem rated ball valve. Only 40" tall. Don't need that much? 70 and 35 gal stacked (160 total) . Or 120 and 35  gal stacked....or 120 and 70. You get the picture. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Done properly an enclosed truck or trailer should never rot out or have spills. The key is choosing the proper tanks and fill/vent system.,

You must live in a perfect world over there. Unfortunately there are not many perfect worlds when it comes to SH. There are so many variables and so many connections, parts and components to a real world working rig that leaks and spills are inevitable for the vast majority of us. And SH is so ferocious and unforgiving I don't think what you say is feasible for most even if it is possible. Well maybe it is if you have a budget comparable to NASA.  But lets face it Kevin most starting out can't or won't invest in the majority of the things that you have proven to be effective in combatting SH. I beleive you can do it. I really do.  But SH also will find the weakest spot eventually and I also believe there will eventually be a fail. I just know that to be way more common than what your saying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glenn, believe me, my world is far from perfect, but there are ways of significantly limiting fume and leak problems and none of them are that difficult to implement. It just takes a bit of unconventional thinking. Nearly all the plumbing done in our industry follows Power Washing thinking. Power Washers use water. We don't...so why are we using open top water tanks with big leaky vented covers to transport our chemicals? We have to learn to think like chemical transport companies. They use sealed tanks and controlled venting. So should we. Know your material  and take advantage of its properties. SH fumes are heavier than air, take advantage of this to limit the damage from fumes to your rig. 

Use the right materials on your valves and your piping. Use Schedule 80 instead of Schedule 40 on any plumbing connector as an example. Yes, it is a few more dollars, but it is thicker, stronger, and more UV resistant. Kynar is even better. Kynar nipples and connectors, and Schedule 80 fittings can be had pretty cheap at US Plastics...use them. Use the correct gaskets when required, upgrade any camlock fitting to Viton seals.  Go oversized on your plumbing if possible so you get thicker wall material which is stronger. Strain relieve things. Don't use teflon tape, but instead use a chemical rated thread sealant like Gasoila. Secure things so they move as little as possible or move in a controlled manner. Remember, trailers bounce...a lot. Fittings will loosen, so check and maintain them monthly. Task your employees to do this and when they don't, let the beatings begin. 

If you have tanks already and don't want to replace them and they are creating an issue with spills and fumes, don't just complain and accept that things are going to rot out...modify the tanks to make them work with the material you are transporting...it isn't that hard. If you are spilling stuff and venting fumes from that big opening...stop using it. Seal that sucker up. Seal up the vent on that opening so that all the heavier than air fumes are no longer going into your truck bed, trailer bed, or box truck. Turn it into a sealed and controlled vented tank. Buy a bulkhead fitting with teflon gaskets and install it on the top of the tank.

One of these is idea for the chem fill...http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=16701

This will be your fill port. 

To stop spills inside the truck/trailer or pickup, run a flex or hard line from the fill port to the back or side of your vehicle to attach your fill pump input to so you don't spill any 12.5% inside.  Put a valve on the end and a cam lock with a cap. When you are ready to fill, take off the cap, attache the fill hose, open the valve, fill the tank. Flush the line with water when finished, close the valve to prevent spills. Any drips should drip off the side of the truck/box/trailer. 

This is what the chem and water fill ports look like on my box truck...

IMG_0088_zpsl3mbg83f.jpg

Now, you need a vent. Buy one of these...http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=64847

Drill the right size hole and just thread it into the top of the tank. Slip on a piece of 3/4" flexible Polybraid or PVC Line. Even some old chem spray hose you have laying around will work...just get the right size threaded adapter and run it under the truck/trailer/box truck and use it as a vent line to vent the fumes away from the vehicle and running gear. If you go too small however, it will slow your tank fills. Try to go no smaller than 1/4" of the input size so enough air comes out to make it quick enough. Make sure you run a loop out of the tank which goes higher than the maximum top level of the tank coming out so you don't get fluid spilling out of the line during transport. 

Nothing above should cost more than about $100 and it will save your rig plus it makes filling faster and more convenient. 

Still insist on using a draw tube? Don't put it inside an open manhole...it is going to drip all over after you are done. Instead, Install a third bulkhead and put a PVC draw pipe into the bulkhead down to the bottom of the tank. Then just connect your suction line to said bulkhead. 

 If you are building a new rig, the reality is that the tanks I listed above aren't THAT much higher in price. They are far more secure than conventional open hatch tanks and if you vent and fill from the exterior, you will not need to worry about the inside of your rig rotting out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't be the only one experiencing leakage around the cover/manway when the tanks are full...  Anyone have a brand/style that works that they care to share?

We fill our tanks very fast, with a massive pump.  I hate to permanently seal those puppies up, but if I need to, I will.

We go through LOTS of chlorine guys, lots.  The cumulative effect is hard on gear.  If I can get this one last issue addressed, we're golden....

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glenn, believe me, my world is far from perfect, but there are ways of significantly limiting fume and leak problems and none of them are that difficult to implement. It just takes a bit of unconventional thinking. Nearly all the plumbing done in our industry follows Power Washing thinking. Power Washers use water. We don't...so why are we using open top water tanks with big leaky vented covers to transport our chemicals? We have to learn to think like chemical transport companies. They use sealed tanks and controlled venting. So should we. Know your material  and take advantage of its properties. SH fumes are heavier than air, take advantage of this to limit the damage from fumes to your rig. 

Use the right materials on your valves and your piping. Use Schedule 80 instead of Schedule 40 on any plumbing connector as an example. Yes, it is a few more dollars, but it is thicker, stronger, and more UV resistant. Kynar is even better. Kynar nipples and connectors, and Schedule 80 fittings can be had pretty cheap at US Plastics...use them. Use the correct gaskets when required, upgrade any camlock fitting to Viton seals.  Go oversized on your plumbing if possible so you get thicker wall material which is stronger. Strain relieve things. Don't use teflon tape, but instead use a chemical rated thread sealant like Gasoila. Secure things so they move as little as possible or move in a controlled manner. Remember, trailers bounce...a lot. Fittings will loosen, so check and maintain them monthly. Task your employees to do this and when they don't, let the beatings begin. 

If you have tanks already and don't want to replace them and they are creating an issue with spills and fumes, don't just complain and accept that things are going to rot out...modify the tanks to make them work with the material you are transporting...it isn't that hard. If you are spilling stuff and venting fumes from that big opening...stop using it. Seal that sucker up. Seal up the vent on that opening so that all the heavier than air fumes are no longer going into your truck bed, trailer bed, or box truck. Turn it into a sealed and controlled vented tank. Buy a bulkhead fitting with teflon gaskets and install it on the top of the tank.

One of these is idea for the chem fill...http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=16701

This will be your fill port. 

To stop spills inside the truck/trailer or pickup, run a flex or hard line from the fill port to the back or side of your vehicle to attach your fill pump input to so you don't spill any 12.5% inside.  Put a valve on the end and a cam lock with a cap. When you are ready to fill, take off the cap, attache the fill hose, open the valve, fill the tank. Flush the line with water when finished, close the valve to prevent spills. Any drips should drip off the side of the truck/box/trailer. 

This is what the chem and water fill ports look like on my box truck...

IMG_0088_zpsl3mbg83f.jpg

Now, you need a vent. Buy one of these...http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=64847

Drill the right size hole and just thread it into the top of the tank. Slip on a piece of 3/4" flexible Polybraid or PVC Line. Even some old chem spray hose you have laying around will work...just get the right size threaded adapter and run it under the truck/trailer/box truck and use it as a vent line to vent the fumes away from the vehicle and running gear. If you go too small however, it will slow your tank fills. Try to go no smaller than 1/4" of the input size so enough air comes out to make it quick enough. Make sure you run a loop out of the tank which goes higher than the maximum top level of the tank coming out so you don't get fluid spilling out of the line during transport. 

Nothing above should cost more than about $100 and it will save your rig plus it makes filling faster and more convenient. 

Still insist on using a draw tube? Don't put it inside an open manhole...it is going to drip all over after you are done. Instead, Install a third bulkhead and put a PVC draw pipe into the bulkhead down to the bottom of the tank. Then just connect your suction line to said bulkhead. 

 If you are building a new rig, the reality is that the tanks I listed above aren't THAT much higher in price. They are far more secure than conventional open hatch tanks and if you vent and fill from the exterior, you will not need to worry about the inside of your rig rotting out. 

Great info with solutions and attachments Kevin. I really appreciate the detail. You definitely are schooled on the problem. ( school of hard knocks I know) Way to go man. This is really good info, especially for someone on the front of a re build. My first build was a do it all rig. And quite frankly before we realized how harsh this stuff really is on fittings. And your 100% correct when you say we were using a P/W mentality. Therein lies most of the problem. Your right. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't be the only one experiencing leakage around the cover/manway when the tanks are full...  Anyone have a brand/style that works that they care to share?

We fill our tanks very fast, with a massive pump.  I hate to permanently seal those puppies up, but if I need to, I will.

We go through LOTS of chlorine guys, lots.  The cumulative effect is hard on gear.  If I can get this one last issue addressed, we're golden....

 

 

Remember...there is nothing which says your fill bulkhead on your tank has to be 1" You want to run 2" fill line, no problem, just install a 2" bulkhead. 2" will handle 150 GPM. Not sure what size your fill pump is, but a 1" fill line will handle 50 GPM. You just need an adequately sized vent line to handle the air exhaust. I run a 30 GPM fill pump with no problems at all and have run a 50 GPM pump on my other rig with a 1" top fill bulkhead. 

The top inputs and vent holes on the Tote A Lube tanks are, by the way, 2 inch threaded so unless you are running over 150 GPM on your transfer pump, you will be good.  Size wise, they have those tanks anywhere up to 330 Gallons. If you have the space, you can stack four side by side and your guys can leave the shop with 2640 gallons of 33% roof mix.

Granted your tank stack would be 9 1/3 feet high off the bed and your trucks might need outriggers but you do a lot of cleaning and the crew wouldn't need to return for days...just think of the productivity! 

As far as tanks with truly sealed man ports...none that I've ever seen. I've had Ace, Den Hartog, Norwesco, Bushman and they all sloshed out of the lid. They just are not designed to carry chemicals. Soon as we got rid of the top port and started bulkhead filling or switched to the Tote A Lubes for the SH mixes,  problem went away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Kevin.  I may just plastic-weld them shut, as I have quite a bit of money tied up in them.  Then a 2" bulkhead with a cap would do the trick.  Otherwise I'll be buying new beds soon.......   :-(

Cheaper than new tanks. I wonder if Plumbers putty would work. I know it can stand up to water and cleaning products. Might be worth a try. Just run a big bead all the way around the thing. If you have a vented cap, block it off or the fumes will continue to get into the bed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 question and 1 statement. I errantly let my 35 gallon poly tank slide to far when it was empty and the exhuast from my machine melted a hole near the top. Now i can only put 20 gals in it and it sloshs out of the hole.  so I drilled it round and used a bulkhead fitting to plug it.  problem is even after cleaning up the melted plastic with a grinder its not flat enough to seal.

I just tried the plummers putty trick, but don't know yet if its leak proof. I know its better already but not sure how it will last yet.  Its sealed and tight but time will tell if it degrades from the inside out.  The question is.  Someone talked about plastic welding. Thats something I know nothing about.  Can someone enlighten me on how to do and where to get the stuff to do it with.

Thanks, Glenn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...