Rubber Roofing Explained

If you are planning to invest in a new roof for your home, or youíre building a home and want to invest in a high-quality roofing solution, consider the benefits of a rubber roof. Though not as common as other materials, it can be an exceptional choice, especially for those looking for a long-lasting room thatís beautiful.

There are several types of rubber roofing available. This could be the ideal roofing solution for your home in most climates with aesthetic appeal and durability. It can work in most applications but tends to be an ideal choice on low-sloped and flat roofs. Is a rubber roof right for your needs?

We can help you to determine if this is an option. If you are planning to file an insurance claim after storm damage, let our team help you through the process with ease. 

The Benefits of a Rubber Roof

There are a lot of roof types available today, and they can provide a range of benefits to you. Rubber roofs can be an excellent choice for numerous reasons.

Rubber roofing is made of eco-friendly material Ė plastic polymers or rubber itself, and often a combination of both materials. These materials are often made from recycled tires, slate dust, or sawdust.

Another key benefit is that these roofs are less likely to leak compared to traditional asphalt shingles. Thatís because they create a more impenetrable sealing. The membrane itself is quite strong and pliable to allow it to work around structures on the roof easily. Most importantly, itís waterproof.

Rubber roofs tend to be fire resistant, and they are available in numerous colors and textures to create the look you desire.

Do rubber roofs last long? Yes, they can last quite a long time. In most cases, they can last between 30 and 50 years, depending on the material used. More so, they require very little maintenance as well.

The Cons of Installing a Rubber Roof

A few things may make roofs like this a bit more challenging for some property owners. For example, rubber roofs can cost more to install. This can be twice as much or more than some asphalt roof types. While this seems like a big turnoff, it should be overlooked that these roofs tend to save you money in years to come.

For example, they last much longer Ė sometimes twice as long, which means many people will not need to install a new roof during their ownership. They also require very little maintenance. With lesser quality roofs, you may have to spend money every few years to make repairs to the asphalt shingles or deal with problems surrounding leaks over time.

Also important is that they can be energy efficient, saving you money compared to the existing roof you have. That may be worth the savings as well. 

Rubber Roof Applications

One of the things youíll need to do when considering a rubber roof is to determine which type is best for your needs. The key to remember is that rubber roofs are versatile and can work in most situations. However, there are some specific ways they can work well for you and your home. Here are several rubber roof applications to keep in mind.

Low-sloped or flat roofs

One of the most common ways that a rubber roof can be added to a home is on a low-sloped or flat roof. While asphalt roofs use gravity to move moisture away from the surface of the roof, rubber roofs naturally propel it. Thatís why it works so well when there isnít a slope enough to pull water down.

If you have a shingled low-slope or flat roof, replacing it with a rubber roof may be the best choice for you. It allows the water to drain away well instead of pooling in the center of the roof, which is common with other materials. 

Replacing metal roofs

Many properties have metal roofs, especially if they have a low-sloped roof. Metal can be a good option as it can last, but it is likely to develop problems over time. Common problems include leaks from rusted areas. Thatís costly to repair.

If you have a metal roof now thatís damaged, adding a rubber roof to the property instead may greatly improve the overall structure and give you more durability in the long run. It may be possible to apply a new rubber roof right over the top of the existing metal roof.

Rubber Roof Maintenance

Youíll need to do a few things to keep your rubber roof in good condition. These steps include:

Inspections: Be sure to inspect the roof on a routine basis to make sure there is no obvious damage to it. Remove debris from the roof to minimize the risk of damage. Be sure to look at the seams to ensure no peeling is present.

Cleaning: Metal roofs may need a bit of cleaning to remove debris from the surface. If there is any discoloration, use just a mild detergent to scrub away those areas. Generally speaking, itís easy to keep clean.

Gutters: All roofing systems have gutters. Those need to be cleaned to ensure that water can easily pass through them.

Professional maintenance can also be an important investment. Youíll want to be sure that you have a professional inspection every few years to ensure the value is maintained. 

The Different Types of Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofs are available in EPDM, PVC, and TPO. You’ll want to consider each one of these as you determine which type of roofing to add to your property. Also, note that there may be some differences in these types based on their manufacturer.


Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, or EPDM, is one of the most common options. It has a long lifespan, typically lasting as long as 50 years. It is also the original rubber roof, in that it has been used longer than most other types. Itís noted for its durability and ability to last for decades. In comparison to other products, EPDM is more affordable.

This type of roofing material is known for absorbing heat, though purchasing a grey or white version may help to reduce this. It also may have some of the least protective seams compared to other types.


Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is another option made of thermoplastic materials. It has good flexibility, which means it can easily wrap around structures. It is also an excellent option for water resistance.

This is a time-tested product thatís been used for more than 50 years. Itís reliable for most locations. It is also noted for its excellent energy efficiency, which means lower cooling costs.

There are some risks to it, including chemical breakdown, which could lead to a faster breakdown than other rubber roofs. It also contains chlorine, making it less eco-friendly than other products.


Thermoplastic polyolefin, TPO, is the third option. It is a single-ply of roofing material newer to the roofing industry than others. It’s more economical, though, which is why many people choose it. It’s also noted for its higher level of energy efficiency. It’s quite durable and flexible, making it a good option for those who live in an area with frequent storms or are surrounded by trees.

This product also uses hot air technology, which allows the seams to be the strongest out of all rubber roofing structures.

The only downside is that formulas differ from one manufacturer to the other, which could mean that some are less ideal than others.

Final Thoughts

As you consider all of the options available, know that rubber roofs are a proven option for residential and commercial properties. They’ve stood the test of time.

However, one core factor in ensuring you get the best results is to purchase a high-quality material and have it installed by an experienced rubber roofing manufacturer. Look for a company that has years of experience installing this particular type of roofing material and, in some cases, certified technicians to do it.

When you invest in a rubber roof, youíre investing in a product thatís going to last decades. You want to buy quality, so you donít have problems, and you want to be sure itís installed properly to also minimize risks. Once installed, this is an easy roofing material to maintain, and it looks fantastic, too.

Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your roofing needs!

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