Rubber Roofing: Pros and Cons

Rubber roofing is also known as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer or EPDM. Many homeowners consider rubber roofing to be a better alternative to asphalt shingles. Rubber roofing has many benefits that other roofing materials don’t. 

The choice between roofing materials can be a difficult one. If you know how each roofing material performs, it can help you make an informed decision.

Pros of Rubber Roofing

Rubber Roofing

  • Cost

Rubber roofing material is more affordable than other roofing materials. EPDM is also lightweight and easy to install. Since the installation is simple, you can expect low installation fees. To ensure proper installation, only make use of the services of licensed roofing companies.

  • Low Maintenance

Rubber roofing requires little to no routine maintenance. In the unlikely event of a leak or damage, you can easily repair the roof yourself by applying liquid rubber to the affected area. You can also cover the damage with heavy-duty rubber repair tape. The only other maintenance your rubber roof needs is a coat of acrylic paint once every ten years. Since you can conduct all routine care yourself, the cost of maintaining your roof is minimal.

  • Longevity

Since rubber roofing sheets are large enough to cover your roof entirely or almost entirely, there are fewer seems than on other roofing materials. Because there are fewer seems, water is less likely to flow underneath the rubber roofing material and cause damage.

Rubber roofing material’s resistance to harsh elements and water damage makes it the ideal long-term roofing option. Rubber roofing can easily protect your roof for up to 50 years.

  • Insulating Qualities

Rubber roofing material is a thermal insulator, which makes it an incredibly energy efficient roofing material. During the cold winter months, the rubber roofing traps the heat inside the house, effectively reducing your heating costs. It can also keep the interior of your home cool during the summer, especially if it is painted white to reflect the sun’s radiation.

  • Fire Resistance

Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer is resistant against fire. Anyone that has seen a thatch roof catch fire knows that this is a significant safety feature that can save lives and prevent damage. Rubber roofing’s fire resistance can have other benefits as well, for example, eligibility for a discount on your insurance policy.

  • Suitable Thickness

Rubber roofing is available in thicknesses that range from 45mm to 90mm. In this range, you will be able to find the ideal thickness for your roof, which depends, amongst other things, on your location, the climate in your area, and the pitch of your roof. To determine which thickness is best for your roof, consult with a local licensed roofing company.

  • Eco-friendly Roofing Material

Rubber roofing is one of the greenest roofing materials available today. Production of EPDM requires fewer natural resources than the production of other roofing materials. Many manufacturers only make use of recycled materials. The day your rubber roof is not suitable to use on your roof anymore, it is 100% recyclable.

  • Alternative to Shingles

If you like the appearance of roof shingles, rubber roofing can still be an option for you. Many manufacturers supply the rubber in long strips that can be cut to resemble faux shingles. You can also paint the rubber any colour to match roof shingles in your area. Although faux shingle installation is also relatively simple, don’t employ the installation services of an unlicensed roofing company.

  • Lightweight

EPDM rubber roofing doesn’t weigh much. Not only does the light weight allow for easy and quick installation, but you also don’t have to add any reinforcement to your roof to support the weight. Homeowners that have used say, concrete tiles in the past know that these roofing reinforcements can be quite expensive.

  • Durability

EPDM is incredibly durable. The rubber surface is resistant to scratches, UV rays, moisture, and heat. As a roofing material, it may be one of the best options to protect your roof, especially in warm and sunny climates.

Cons of Rubber Roofing

Rubber Roofing

  • Appearance

Many experienced roofers consider the appearance of EPDM to be its only drawback. Rubber roofing is not the best option if an aesthetic appeal is your number one priority. If you want to use EPDM as a roofing material for outbuildings like a shed or garage, however, its appearance doesn’t matter.

You have the option to paint the rubber roofing a lighter colour. A coat of paint can improve the appearance of the rubber roofing, and the lighter tone will reflect the sun’s rays to keep your house cooler. Unfortunately, painting your roof can increase the cost per square foot by up to 30%.

  • Punctures

Although rubber roofing is resistant to light scratches, it is highly susceptible to punctures. Branches that fall on your roof during a storm or foot traffic can easily cause the rubber to tear. Since it is easy to repair tears and punctures, this drawback in itself is not the biggest problem.

Water can flow in underneath the rubber roofing through punctures, where it can cause damage to your roof. Damage to the roofing surface can cause an inflow of water and should be avoided at all costs.

If you want to install fixtures to your roof, make sure that you wear the correct shoes. If a branch fell on your roof during a storm, contact your local roofing company immediately to minimise the risk of further damage.



Rubber Roofing

f you are looking for a functional roofing material to protect your roof for half a century, look no further than EPDM. Rubber roofing has a long list of benefits that other types of roofing materials can’t match.

There are a couple of drawbacks to EPDM. If you, however, have a flat roof that is hidden from sight, and if you live far away from trees that can cause damage to your roof, this is the best possible roofing material for you.

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