Rubber Roofing

Rubber Roofing: The Pros And Cons

Rubber roofing is a durable and eco-friendly option that has recently gained popularity. This type of roofing is made from synthetic rubber materials, the most common being Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). However, like any roofing material, rubber roofing has pros and cons. This article will explore the benefits and drawbacks of rubber roofing, its cost, installation process, maintenance, longevity, environmental impact, misconceptions, and frequently asked questions.

Rubber roofing example

What is Rubber Roofing?

Rubber roofing, or EPDM roofing (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), is popular for residential and commercial buildings. It is a synthetic roofing material made from a durable rubber membrane with exceptional weather resistance and longevity. Rubber roofs are known for their flexibility, ability to withstand extreme temperature fluctuations, and resistance to UV rays, making them an ideal option for various climates.

Rubber roofing offers numerous benefits. Its seamless installation minimizes the risk of leaks, providing reliable waterproofing for your property. It is also lightweight, reducing the stress on the building’s structure. Rubber roofs require minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective choice over the long term. Additionally, they are environmentally friendly, as they can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

When it comes to rubber roofing installation or repairs, it is crucial to seek the expertise of an experienced roofing company. An expert roofing contractor can ensure proper installation and that the rubber membrane is correctly applied and sealed to provide optimal protection for your property. They can also provide regular maintenance and inspections to prolong the lifespan of your rubber roof and address any potential issues promptly.

Pros of Rubber Roofing

EPDM roofing offers many benefits as a durable and eco-friendly roofing option. Here are some of the advantages of choosing rubber roofing for your home or building:

Advantages Description
Durability This type of roof can last up to 50 years with proper installation and maintenance. It is resistant to cracking, peeling, and fading, making it a popular choice for commercial and industrial buildings.
Energy Efficiency It can help regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy consumption. Its reflective surface can reflect sunlight and UV rays, reducing the heat entering the building.

Additionally, rubber roofing is resistant to weather elements such as snow, wind, and rain, making it a dependable choice for regions with extreme weather conditions.

UV Resistant

EPDM roofing is also UV resistant, which means it won’t degrade or become damaged when exposed to sunlight for extended periods. This makes it a suitable roofing material for buildings in sunny regions.

Cost of Rubber Roofing

The cost of this type of roofing can vary based on several factors. The quality of the rubber material, the complexity of the installation, and any additional features or customization can all affect the final cost. On average, rubber roofing costs more than traditional asphalt shingles but is less expensive than high-end materials like slate or metal.

Factors Affecting Cost Estimated Cost Range
Quality of Rubber Material $300-$700 per square (100 sq. ft.)
Installation Complexity $100-$200 per square
Additional Features (e.g. insulation, heat-resistant coatings) Varies

Installation Process of Rubber Roofing

The installation process of EPDM roofing involves several steps to ensure a durable and long-lasting roof. Proper installation is crucial to prevent any leaks or damage to the roof. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing rubber roofing:

Step 1: Preparation

Before starting the installation process, preparing the roof surface is important. Clean the roof thoroughly and remove any debris, dust, or dirt from the surface. Make sure the roof surface is completely dry before installing the rubber roofing.

Step 2: Adhesive Application

Apply the adhesive to the roof surface using a roller or a sprayer. Make sure the adhesive is evenly spread on the roof surface. Allow the adhesive to dry for the recommended time specified by the manufacturer.

Step 3: Rubber Roofing Installation

Roll the rubber roofing material onto the adhesive. Make sure the material is straight and aligned with the roof edges. Use a broom or a roller to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles in the material. Trim the excess rubber material around the edges of the roof.

Step 4: Proper Sealing Techniques

Seal the edges and seams of the rubber material using a rubber roofing sealant. Make sure the sealant is applied evenly and covers all edges and seams. Allow the sealant to dry completely before proceeding.

The above steps provide a general overview of the EPDM roofing installation process. Different manufacturers may have specific installation requirements, and it’s important to follow their instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.

Maintenance and Longevity of Rubber Roofing

Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity of an EPDM roofing system. While rubber roofs are durable and low maintenance, certain tasks must be performed periodically to keep them in good condition.

Regular Inspections

Inspecting your roof twice yearly, in the spring and fall, is recommended. During inspections, you should check for any signs of damage, such as punctures, cracks, or tears. You should also look for debris, dirt, or standing water that could damage the roof. Addressing these issues immediately can prevent more severe damage to the roof.


It’s essential to keep a rubber roof free of debris and dirt. It can be cleaned easily with a broom or blower. If needed, a low-pressure power washer can be used. Be careful not to use high pressure as it may damage the rubber membrane. Avoid harsh cleaning agents containing solvents or oils as they can damage the roof.

Sealing and Repairs

If you notice any damage during inspections, it’s crucial to address it immediately. Small punctures or tears in the membrane can be sealed with a rubber patch and adhesive. For more extensive damage, you may need to contact a professional to repair or replace the damaged section.


Properly maintained rubber roofs can last up to 50 years or more. However, the lifespan of a rubber roof can be impacted by several factors, including the quality of the material, the installation process, and exposure to harsh weather elements. Factors such as tree branches or foot traffic that may damage the roof can also impact its longevity.

Rubber roofing is a durable, long-lasting option for your home or commercial property. With regular maintenance, you can ensure the longevity and reliability of your rubber roof.

Environmental Impact of Rubber Roofing

Rubber roofing is an eco-friendly roofing option with several sustainability benefits.


One of the most significant environmental benefits of rubber roofing is its recyclability. Rubber roofs can be recycled and used for road construction or as a component in other building materials. This reduces the amount of rubber waste sent to landfills, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Energy Efficiency

EPDM roofing can also contribute to energy efficiency in buildings. Due to its reflective surface, it can help regulate indoor temperature, reducing cooling costs during hot summer months. This can save homeowners money on their energy bills and reduce overall energy consumption, making it an environmentally friendly option.

LEED Certification

For businesses looking to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, rubber roofing is a sustainable option that can contribute to the necessary credits for certification. LEED is a globally recognized certification program that promotes sustainable building practices and rewards businesses for their commitments to sustainability. By choosing rubber roofing, a business can show its commitment to sustainability and potentially earn valuable LEED credits.

Rubber roofing is an eco-friendly and sustainable option for those seeking a durable and energy-efficient roofing material.

Rubber Roofing vs. Other Roofing Materials

When choosing the right roofing material for your home or business, there are many factors to consider, such as cost, durability, and sustainability. Rubber roofing is popular for its many benefits, but how does it compare to other roofing materials?

Rubber Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

Factor Rubber Roofing Asphalt Shingles
Cost EPDM roofing is generally more expensive upfront but can save money in the long run due to its durability and energy efficiency. Asphalt shingles are a more affordable option for upfront costs.
Durability This type of roof is highly resistant to weather elements and can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. Asphalt shingles may not be as durable and can require more frequent repairs or replacements.
Sustainability Rubber roofing is an eco-friendly option, made from recycled materials and offering high energy efficiency. Asphalt shingles are not as sustainable and can contribute to landfill waste.

Rubber Roofing vs. Metal Roofs

Factor Rubber Roofing Metal Roofs
Cost EPDM roofing is generally less expensive than metal roofs. Metal roofs can be more costly upfront but may offer long-term savings due to their durability.
Durability EPDM roofing is highly resistant to weather elements and can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. Metal roofs are also highly durable and can last up to 70 years with proper maintenance.
Sustainability EPDM roofing is an eco-friendly option, made from recycled materials and offering high energy efficiency. Metal roofs are also sustainable, as they can be made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their lifespan.

Rubber Roofing vs. Clay Tiles

Factor Rubber Roofing Clay Tiles
Cost Rubber roofing is generally less expensive than clay tiles. Clay tiles can be more expensive upfront but may offer long-term savings due to their durability.
Durability It is highly resistant to weather elements and can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance. Clay tiles are also highly durable and can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance.
Sustainability EPDM roofing is an eco-friendly option, made from recycled materials and offering high energy efficiency. Clay tiles are a sustainable option as they are made from natural materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.


Rubber roofing offers several advantages and considerations to keep in mind. On the positive side, rubber roofs provide excellent durability, as they can withstand extreme weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. They offer reliable waterproofing and are resistant to UV rays, reducing the risk of leaks and damage. Rubber roofs are also lightweight and environmentally friendly, as they can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

However, it’s important to consider a few potential drawbacks as well. Rubber roofing may have a higher upfront cost compared to other roofing materials. Additionally, while they are relatively low-maintenance, periodic inspections and maintenance are still necessary to ensure their longevity. It’s also essential to have a professional installation by an expert roofing contractor to ensure proper sealing and optimal protection.

In summary, rubber roofing provides a durable and long-lasting solution for residential and commercial buildings. While it may have a higher initial investment and require occasional maintenance, its weather resistance, waterproofing, and environmental sustainability benefits make it a viable option for those seeking a reliable and eco-friendly roofing solution. Consult with a trusted roofing professional to discuss your specific needs and determine if rubber roofing is the right choice for your property.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can rubber roofing be repaired if it gets damaged?

A special patch kit can repair small punctures or tears in your roofing. However, addressing any damage immediately is important to prevent further issues.

What maintenance is required for rubber roofing?

It requires minimal maintenance, but keeping it clean and debris-free is important to prevent potential damage. It is recommended to inspect the roof once a year and remove any moss or debris that has accumulated. Additionally, it is important to periodically check for any signs of damage, such as cracks or punctures, and address them promptly.

Is rubber roofing eco-friendly?

Yes, EPDM roofing is considered to be an eco-friendly roofing option. It can be made from recycled materials and is recyclable at the end of its lifespan.

Can rubber roofing be installed on any roof?

It can be installed on various surfaces, including flat roofs or low slopes. However, it is important to ensure that the existing roof structure is sound and that any necessary repairs or modifications are made before installation.

Does rubber roofing come in different colors?

It typically comes in black or dark gray, but some manufacturers offer other color options. However, it is important to note that color options may be limited compared to other roofing materials like asphalt shingles or clay tiles.

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