What is Rubber Roofing? – The Complete Guide

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By George Taylor

Updated: Jan 25, 2024

8 min read

Rubber Roofing

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    The top of your house that gives protection from rain, snow, sunlight, wind, and extreme weather conditions is a roof. It is constructed with various materials, from asphalt, metal, wood, clay, and other options available. Rubber roofing is made up of rubber or plastic polymers or a combination of both, which makes your home leakproof and water-repellent.

    A rubber roof entices your home, which is an eye-catcher, excellent energy-efficient, perfectly safe, and healthy, providing a very high return on a one-time investment. The growing use of rubber in roofing material is well received and in demand as it gives an expensive and stylish peek to your home.

    Rubber roofing is a good option, whether in a cold or hot region. In the cold region, you can prefer to have a black rubber roof that has the ability to absorb heat, whereas, for the summer region, the white color rubber roof can be preferred, which reflects the heat and keeps your home cool.

    Why Choose Rubber Roofing

    If you want a change, have a rubber roof installed at your home. A rubber roof is:

    Low-cost price- Rubber roofing is a lot cheaper and affordable in comparison to other roofing materials. A very easy-to-install material is a rubber roof.

    Repairs and Maintenance- Rubber roofing is very easy to maintain and repair. A damaged part can easily be repaired by liquid rubber and tape. Rubber roofing is immune to moisture and helps maintain it with minimal furor.

    Energy Efficient- Rubber is thermal resistance, meaning that heat on the surface of the rubber roof will not pass through easily.

    Durable- On average, the lifespan of a rubber roof is between thirty years and fifty years. They are long-lived, strong, stable, and permanent fixtures to the home.

    What is Rubber Roofing

    Rubber Roofing Material

    Rubber roofs are made up of used tires and recyclable rubber waste PVC plastic or a combination of rubber and PVC materials. They provide a seal to your roof that reduces water leakage and dampness to your structure walls.

    Types of Rubber Roofing

    Mainly, three types of Rubber Roofing are suited to your home- EPDM, PVC, and TPO.

    EPDM Rubber- Ethtylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber is a synthetic rubber commonly used in industries. Due to its make, EPDM Rubber is a very versatile and durable material that is widely used in the making of home roofs. As EPDM membranes are black, they absorb heat, and that is why they are a perfect choice for your home roof.

    Nowadays, it is available in both black and white versions. Extremely durable material and used widely in the US, it is made up of two primary ingredients- Ethylene and Propylene, derived from oil and natural gas. It is available in a wide range of width ranges from 7.5 ft to 50 ft., which can be easily installed on your home roof.

    Poly Vinyl Chloride or PVC- is one of the most used waterproofing products for roofs. Due to its membrane generally being white, it reflects heat, providing a more relaxed home space. PVC is composed of your primary components- chlorine derived from common salt and ethylene derived from natural gas, which can be made rigid, flexible, or semi-flexible, adding to other elements, making a versatile plastic known as PVC.

    A PVC roof lasts up to 25 to 30 years with an average cost of $14 per square foot. PVC resistance to grease, chemicals, and puncture makes it an ideal choice for your residence. PVC roofing is low in cost, and its originality and inventiveness have made it popular in industries such as health care, construction, communications, aerospace, automotive, retail, and textiles. Due to its widespread use, more and more homeowners are looking to use PVC on their home roofs.

    Thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO - is an impressive, practical material for your roof. Being white, a single-ply membrane makes it an excellent option for your cool roof. TPO is highly flexible and economical. TPO roofs are resistant to high UV rays, wearing, and tearing. They are water-resistant and four times stronger than EPDM. Being new to the usage, its longevity needs to be found out, but TPO roofs will stay in the US in the coming times.

    Eco-friendly Aspect of Rubber Roofing

    The most environmentally friendly roofing material is a Rubber Roofing, which is

    • Internationally Approved- Rubber material is approved for use in your roofs by the International Greenpeace organization as it is sustainable and Reusable.
    • Non-toxic- Rubber is non-toxic, so they don't pollute the rainwater.
    • Recyclable rubber- Rubber roofs are made from recycled rubber used to make tires.
    • No Oil- Generally, all roofing materials contain some Bitumen, but the rubber doesn't contain any 6 Bitumen or oil.
    • Smog impact- In comparison to other roofing materials, rubber roofs are least affected by smog
    • Durable- The lifespan of a rubber roof is fifty years, and very easy to repair.
    • 100% recyclable- The rubber roof material can be recycled and used in the making of rubber mats.
    • Solar panel compatible - Any solar panels can be installed upon the rubber roof.
    • Green system compatible- Types of different vegetation can be grown on the top of a rubber roof.

    Pros and Cons of Rubber Roofing

    Rubber Roofing Installation Mistakes

    Rubber Roofing is made of rubber, plastic polymers, or both. They are now available in various colors, shapes, and styles with their increasing demand.

    Advantages of Rubber Roofing

    • Durable- A rubber roof lasts 30 to 50 years and is a solid and Durable material that doesn't break like other asphalt shingles.
    • Fire resistant- Rubber roofs are fire resistant and can withstand up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Easy to install- Rubber Roofing is easy to install and takes hardly one or two days to complete.
    • Maintenance Free- The roofing material made up of rubber is easy to repair by using liquid rubber or rubber tape.
    • Eco-friendly- Rubber is Non-toxic and made of recycled rubber tires with zero Bitumen. Rubber roofing is the most eco-friendly choice for your residence.
    • Cost-effective- Since rubber roofing is light and easy to install, it is the most cost-effective and affordable choice in roofing materials.
    • Energy Efficient- Rubber roofing provides insulation that can save energy consumption for homeowners.

    Disadvantages of Rubber Roofing

    Nothing is perfect, so rubber roofing has its disadvantages as well.

    •  Plain Appearance- Rubber roofing looks plain and unappealing, but nowadays, rubber roofing has started coming up in various colors and styles that will give the rubber roof a more appealing look that is missing now.
    • Absorbs Heat- Generally, rubber roofing material comes in black, which absorbs the heat and drives up heating costs.
    • Too lightweight- Rubber roofing is very lightweight and can handle light movement. In another way, it can't hold much weight compared to other alternatives on roofing materials.
    • Professional Installer- You need experienced guys to install the rubber roofs; hire a professional guy to have the rubber roof.

    Types of Rubber Roofing Material

    There are many different types of rubber roofing materials that are readily available in our vicinity.

    • EPDM Rubber
    • PVC or Poly Vinyl Chloride
    • Polyurethane liquid rubber
    • TPO or Thermoplastic polyolefin
    • Rubberized Asphalt

    Know about the Different Types Of Roofing Materials.

    Maintenance of Rubber Roofing

    Keeping your rubber roof clean and well-maintained is a painless and straightforward process.

    • Clean your roof four times a year
    • Have a good inspection of the installed rubber roof.
    • Use of rubber cleaner chemicals to clean the rubber roof
    • Use a sponge Mop or soft bristle brush to clean the rubber roof.
    • Use of pressure water jets to clean the rubber roofing.
    • If the rubber roof part is coming off, use the rubber adhesive or rubber tape to repair it.

    Also Read 13 Useful Roof Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Roofs Tidy And Durable!

    Rubber Roofing Considerations for Different Climates

    Rubber Roofing can easily withstand temperatures ranging from -50°C to +150°C, which makes it the only roofing material that can be installed in any climate.

    Cold and Snowy Climate Conditions- Rubber roofs are long-lasting and a solid choice in winter. All three types of Rubber Roofing - EPDM, PVC, and TPO are resilient against winters. Rubber roof survives harsh winters with a longevity of fifty years and is:

    • Quick and easy to install
    • The life span of fifty years
    • Waterproof and Airtight
    • Lightweight
    • Wear, Tear, and puncture-resistant

    Hot and Sunny Climate- In the summer, a rubber roof is one of the strongest options. Rubber having temperature resistance as high as up to 150°C gives you the solution to protect you and your family from the severe summer heat. With their longevity and lightweight features, the best choice to make and install is a rubber roof

    Humid and Rainy Climates- If you have to deal with high humidity and rainy weather, your roof might run into algae growth of your roof. To overcome this problem, choose a roof made up of rubber that is resistant to any leakages and gives you the best rainproofing and waterproofing solution.

    Cost and Return on Investment

    Most of the rubber roofing is made up of single-ply membrane or long. These are made up of 75% or 95% tires and plastic.

    An average roof cost involved

    • Rubber rubber costs $4 to $14 per square foot.
    • EPDM is the least expensive, followed by TPO and PVC rubber roof options.
    • Labor accounts for sixty percent of rubber roof installation costs.

    Thus, rubber roofing materials and installation costs are priced by square feet. The larger the roof, the more will be the cost.

    An average cost for a 1700 square feet rubber roof will be $7000 to $24000.

    Generally, a rubber roof lasts around fifty years, and the highest cost is $24000, then what you spend yearly is hardly $480.

    It is suggested that you let the professionals do their work, and you should get at least three cost estimates before any rubber roof project to your home.


    Rubber Roofing is more resistant to fire, wind, storms, and water than other roofing materials, ensuring no fungal and bacterial accumulation on the top. The rubber membrane is not easily punctured or torn, protecting it from harsh weather conditions.

    Now rubber roofing offers a durable, budget-friendly, and eco-friendly choice in a variety of colors and styles, and it is great to have a rubber roof installed that is resistant to rotting, denting, breaking and cracking, leakages, the best Waterproof and rainproof alternative that are hundred percent recyclable.


    How Often Should You Reseal Your Rubber Roof?

    Reseal your rubber roof every three to five years, with a cleaning inspection to be taken every year.

    What is the Downside of a Rubber Roof?

    Rubber roof is vulnerable to damage and has a plain appearance as it is generally black, which absorbs heat.

    How Long Will the Rubber Roof Last?

    A rubber roof can last 50 years, regardless of what kind of material you plan to have. An EPDM roof lasts for fifty years, a TPO roof longevity is forty years, and a PVC roof will last around thirty years.

    Is a Rubber Roof a Good Idea?

    Yes, having a rubber roof is an excellent idea as they are both insulators and reflectors of light, which are 100 percent recyclable.

    Should a Rubber Roof Be Glued Down?

    Yes, when you are having a rubber roof installed, you need to make sure it is appropriately glued down.

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