Rubber Roofing Materials Pros And Cons

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Not many homeowners have considered rubber roofing for their homes. Worse still, some of them have never heard of it. Homeowners should be knowledgeable in this type of material and start considering it as a viable option for their home.

When the time comes for you to replace your roof, think rubber. Many companies such as Fortress Roofing in Calgary have turned to providing their clients with rubber roofing products because of its longevity, toughness, and beautiful look that the material provides. It’s also incredibly eco-friendly, reducing the ecofootprint of your home.

Have a look at these comprehensive pros and cons of EPDM roofing for you to make an informed decision when it comes to your choice roofing material.

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1. Long-Lasting

EPDM roof has a long lifespan—  it will last you a very long time without the need for replacement. They can last for about 40-50 years. Some types of rubber roofs can last even longer. Surprisingly, the maintenance costs are incredibly low. if properly installed, you may never have leaks on your roof. Any leaks or cracks can easily be repaired using a latex sealant.

2. Durability

EPDM flat roof is made up of durable rubber that can withstand extreme weather conditions such as snow or hail. It can also withstand strong winds and heavy rains.

Additionally, the rubber roof is resistant to thermal shock. A well installed rubber roof system does not crack, nor does hot or cold temperature make it brittle. If any damages occur, the roof is easy to quickly repair and restore its functionality.

3. Ease of Installation

Compared to their pitched counterparts such as asphalt, these roofs are easier to install, and the process takes a relatively shorter period of time. The material also comes in rolls. This makes it easy to roll out on the surface of the roof deck. They are also available in shingles that have an appearance close to slate tiles.

Installing them does not require any specialized tools. One just needs to make sure the roof deck is cleaned and stripped off before applying an adhesive that makes the material adhere to the roof deck.

After coating the roof deck with the adhesive, the rubber rolls are cut and spread across the roof. Make sure it is smoothed to avoid the formation of air bubbles.

4. Cost-Effective

This is one of the most significant pros that makes this material increase in popularity among homeowners— the lower purchase price and reduced cost of installing it.

You can save an incredible chunk of money when installing this type of roof. The material is lightweight. Therefore, the labor costs are expected to be much lower. The installation costs are about $9.00 per sq. ft. The average installation cost ranges between $11,000-$14,000 for a standard reinforced EPDM roof of 1,500 sq.ft.

5. Energy Efficient

This material helps regulate a home’s temperatures either by reflecting sun rays or trapping heat within the building. A light-colored roof reflects excess heat while the thick EPDM reduces heat loss. TPO and PVC can reflect up to 90% of the heat back into the environment. By so doing, the home is kept cool in hot climates.

EPDM can help lower your air conditioning costs. You can save hundreds of dollars on energy bills. For brightly colored roofs, especially the white ones, you will need to carry out regular maintenance to clean its surface to ensure it remains reflective.

6. Distinct Applications

Flat EPDM roofs have unique applications. For instance, they are the best materials for use on very large buildings. Installing pitched roofs on these buildings is not advisable because the installation process is complex and expensive.

These types of roof also give one room to have a rooftop garden (green roof). The benefits of green roofs include improved air freshness and heat regulation. These roofs are also the best option if one is planning to make large scale solar installations because the solar panels will have maximum exposure to the sun all throughout the day.


As with any other roofing material, rubber roofing has a few disadvantages.

1. Not So Pretty

Are you looking for an aesthetically appealing roof? Sometimes rubber roofing materials can reduce curb appeal of your home. Installing a black rubber roof is unsightly especially for low roofs. They can be seen from higher places such as taller apartment buildings.

On the brighter side, these roofs can be painted using acrylic coatings that will make them more pleasant to the eye. You can also use a digitally patterned material.

However, slate styled rubber roofing materials can look amazing and can definitely increase your curb appeal if you choose this option. So don’t give up on rubber roofing products yet, just do some research and find the best suited material for your home.

2. Susceptible to Impact

These roofs can easily be punctured upon impact. Inasmuch as EPDM is a high-density material, it may not sustain high-impact forces. Large falling objects such as tree branches may tear your roof. This is something to put into consideration if your home is surrounded by trees.

To make your roof a little more puncture-proof, use reinforced EPDM as opposed to non-reinforced EPDM.

3. Expert Installation Required

Don’t get it wrong! We mentioned that one of the pros of EPDM is that its installation process is relatively easier. That still holds. However, for the installation to be done properly, you will need to contract an expert roofer, which will increase your installation costs.

Failure to seek the help of an expert may lead to problems such as inconsistency in the quality of work done, and possible leakages in the future. Therefore, avoid self-titled roofing contractors who are not trained to deal with these types of roofs.

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It is clear that this type of roof is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a long-lasting roof. It is strong and can withstand harsh weather. The installation process is also not as complex as a majority of high-pitched roofs.

These pros and cons clearly indicate that rubber is still an excellent roofing material so long as proper installation and maintenance is put into consideration. Aesthetic value can be enhanced by painting the roof to a color of your liking or by purchasing materials that mimic slate or other expensive materials. Don’t forget to trim the trees around your home as well, as these can easily damage your roof. 

We hope this article helped you decide on whether or not rubber roofing materials are for you. There are many benefits to this material that simply outweigh the cons, and we highly recommend checking out your rubber roofing material options in your area.

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