Posted On: December 19, 2023

What Is Rubber Roofing? (Material Guide)

When it comes to roofing materials, metal shingles have been gaining popularity for their exceptional durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. While traditional asphalt shingles remain a popular choice, metal shingles offer a range of advantages that make them a compelling option for homeowners. But are they right for you and your home? We’re here to help you make the call!

When it comes to choosing a roofing material, homeowners and builders have a plethora of options to consider. One roofing material that has gained popularity in recent years is rubber roofing, also known as EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) roofing.

Rubber roofing offers a range of benefits, but before making a decision, it’s important to understand:

  • What it is
  • Its pros and cons
  • The installation costs
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Its longevity

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore all aspects of rubber roofing to help you make an informed choice for your roofing needs.

What Is Rubber Roofing?

Rubber roof at sunset

Rubber roofing, or EPDM roofing, is a type of roofing material made from synthetic rubber polymers. It is specifically designed to be highly durable and weather-resistant, making it an excellent choice for various applications, including residential and commercial roofing. EPDM roofing is typically available in black or white, with the option of other colors for special projects.

✅ Pros of Rubber Roofing

  • Durability: Rubber roofing is renowned for its exceptional durability. It can withstand extreme weather conditions, including harsh sunlight, heavy rain, hail, and snow. Its resistance to UV rays ensures it won’t degrade or crack over time.
  • Low Maintenance: EPDM roofing requires minimal maintenance compared to many other roofing materials. Regular inspections and cleaning are usually sufficient to keep it in excellent condition.
  • Energy Efficiency: EPDM roofing reflects heat effectively, helping to reduce energy consumption by keeping your home cooler in hot weather. This can lead to lower energy bills and a more comfortable living environment.
  • Eco-Friendly: Rubber roofing is an environmentally friendly option because it is made from recycled materials. It is also fully recyclable, reducing its impact on the environment even further.
  • Cost-Effective: While the initial installation cost of rubber roofing may be slightly higher than some other roofing materials, its long lifespan and low maintenance requirements make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.
  • Flexibility: EPDM roofing is highly flexible, which allows it to adapt to the shape of your roof and effectively seal seams and corners. This flexibility helps prevent leaks and water damage.
  • Lightweight: Rubber roofing is relatively lightweight compared to many other roofing materials, reducing the stress on your home’s structure and foundation.

❌ Cons of Rubber Roofing

  • Initial Cost: The upfront cost of rubber roofing may be higher than traditional asphalt shingles. However, it’s essential to consider the long-term savings in maintenance and energy costs.
  • Aesthetics: Some homeowners may find the appearance of rubber roofing less appealing than other roofing materials. However, its benefits often outweigh aesthetic concerns.
  • Installation Complexity: EPDM roofing installation requires skill and experience, as it involves the proper sealing of seams and edges. Improper installation can lead to leaks and other issues.
  • Punctures: While rubber roofing is generally resistant to damage, it can be punctured by sharp objects or heavy debris. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify and repair any punctures.
  • Limited Color Options: EPDM roofing is primarily available in black or white. If you have specific color preferences for your roof, you may need to consider other roofing materials or coatings.

Cost to Install Rubber Roofing

The cost of installing rubber roofing can vary depending on factors such as the size and complexity of your roof, location, and the quality of materials used. On average, you can expect to pay between $5 to $10 per square foot for EPDM roofing installation. This cost includes materials, labor, and any necessary preparation work.

Keep in mind that while the initial cost may be higher than some other roofing materials, the long-term savings in maintenance and energy efficiency can make rubber roofing a cost-effective choice over time.

7 Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your rubber roofing properly is essential to ensure its longevity and performance. Here are some maintenance tips to consider:

1) Regular Inspections:

Inspect your rubber roof at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall, to check for any signs of damage, debris, or punctures.

2) Cleaning:

Keep the roof clean by removing debris such as leaves, branches, and dirt. A gentle pressure wash can help maintain its appearance.

3) Sealing Seams and Edges:

Pay close attention to seams, edges, and flashing details. Make sure they are properly sealed and free of cracks or gaps. If you notice any issues, repair them promptly.

4) Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

When cleaning the roof, use mild, non-abrasive cleaning agents to avoid damaging the rubber membrane.

5) Trim Overhanging Branches:

Trim branches that overhang your roof to prevent damage from falling limbs.

6) Address Punctures Promptly:

If you notice any punctures or cuts in the rubber membrane, repair them promptly using EPDM-compatible sealant or patches.

7) Professional Inspections:

Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor for regular inspections and maintenance to ensure the roof is in optimal condition.

How Long Does Rubber Roofing Last?

Close up of an EPDM roof.

One of the most significant advantages of rubber roofing is its impressive lifespan. EPDM roofing can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years or more when properly maintained. This longevity is due to its resistance to weathering, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations.

Professional Rubber Roof Installation

EPDM rubber roofing is a durable, low-maintenance, and environmentally friendly roofing option. With proper installation and maintenance, rubber roofing can provide decades of reliable protection for your home.

Whether you’re looking to replace an existing roof or embark on a new construction project, consider the many advantages of rubber roofing as a versatile and sustainable choice for your roofing needs. Still have questions? Not only can the team at Northface Construction answer them, but we can also offer you a professional installation that you can count on. Contact us today to get a free quote for your rubber roofing system!


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