Durable and Sustainable: Your Ultimate Guide to Rubber Roofing

Are you searching for a roofing solution that meets performance and environmental standards? Rubber roofing, particularly EPDM, provides a durable, eco-friendly option for those with low-slope roofs. This article investigates the practical advantages of rubber roofing, delving into its straightforward installation, superior weather resistance, low maintenance needs, and variety in aesthetic appeal. Discover the strengths and subtleties of EPDM roofing to make an informed decision for your property without overwhelming detail.

Key Takeaways

  • Rubber roofing, typically made from EPDM, is a durable and weather-resistant material hailed for its longevity (potentially exceeding 50 years) and sustainable qualities, comprising up to 95% recycled materials and fully recyclable post-use.

  • The installation of rubber roofing is straightforward, adaptable over existing structures, and low maintenance, with the added benefit of diverse aesthetic options through customization and designs mimicking traditional materials.

  • Rubber roofing is suitable for innovative applications, such as green roofs and the integration of solar panels, due to its durability and weatherproof characteristics, solidifying its position as an eco-friendly and innovative roofing solution.

Understanding Rubber Roofing

Illustration of rubber roofing materials

The heart and soul of rubber roofing lies in its robust synthetic rubber, a resilient blend of compounds derived from oil and natural gas. This innovative material, EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), emerged in the 1960s as a hail-proof roofing material, offering an exciting alternative to traditional roofing materials.

The transformation of these byproducts into a reliable roofing system is a testament to human ingenuity. The journey begins with extracting and processing ethylene and propylene from oil and natural gas. Once combined, they form the durable and versatile EPDM, a bedrock of rubber roofs.

EPDM: The Basics

Zooming in on EPDM, we find a synthetic rubber roofing membrane favourite for low-slope buildings. Its resemblance to an inner tube isn’t just skin deep. EPDM’s durability and weather resistance are mainly due to the incorporation of carbon black, a critical additive used by manufacturers such as Carlisle and Firestone.

What does this mean for your home? Well, imagine a roofing system that resists extreme weather conditions and boasts a service life potentially exceeding 50 years. Now, that’s a roof worth investing in!

Installation Simplified

The installation of a rubber roof is a straightforward affair. Imagine preparing a canvas for painting. First, you prepare the roof deck, then apply adhesive before finally placing the rubber membrane, ensuring a snug fit around corners and edges.

EPDM roofing can be installed by ballasting, adhering with special adhesives, or mechanically fastening. Plus, the convenience of installing rubber roofing over existing structures adds to the overall simplicity of the installation process.

And if you thought rubber roofs lacked aesthetic appeal, think again! They can be customized post-installation using acrylic paint, adding a touch of versatility to your roofing design.

The Advantages of Choosing Rubber Roofs

Cartoon of a rubber roof withstanding hail

You’re investing in a powerhouse of perks by choosing a rubber roof. Picture a roofing system that stands firm against the elements and does so beautifully for over half a century. That’s the remarkable longevity of rubber roofs, which require only periodic visual inspections to address minor repair needs proactively.

Despite their minimal upkeep, rubber roofs benefit from occasional cleaning to maintain their appearance and extend their lifespan. Plus, they offer diverse aesthetic options by mimicking more expensive materials such as stone slate or wood shake. So, homeowners can achieve their desired look without incurring the high costs associated with those materials.

Weather-Resistant Wonders

Rubber roofing is like a seasoned mountaineer, standing unwavering and resilient in extreme weather conditions. Rubber roofs are built to endure whether it’s intense UV radiation, sub-zero temperatures, or a hailstorm. The secret to their resilience? A blend of repurposed materials from recycled tires and a shield of carbon black.

This composition makes rubber roofing materials exceptionally water-resistant, ensuring prolonged protection against leaks. And, thanks to their superior weather resistance, rubber roofs can maintain their condition for over 50 years.

Eco-Friendly Roofing Solutions

Choosing a rubber roof is a vote for environmental sustainability and an environmentally friendly option. These roofs are champions of recycling, reducing landfill waste, and preserving resources. Up to 95% of rubber roofs are made of recycled materials, utilizing rubber from tire manufacturing, which minimizes environmental pollution.

The story doesn’t end with installation. EPDM roofing continues its lifecycle beyond its use as a roofing material. Once it has served its purpose, it is 100% recyclable and can be repurposed into other products. Couple this with its impressive lifespan and a roofing system that minimizes waste.

Low Maintenance, High Attractiveness

If you’re thinking, “With all these benefits, surely rubber roofing must be high maintenance?” Think again. Rubber roofing demands minimal maintenance, with the occasional re-application of sealant needed to maintain its integrity. That’s right; you can enjoy a rubber roof’s durable and weather-resistant qualities without the constant upkeep.

But what about aesthetics? Fear not! Rubber roofing offers a range of colour options, from black and white EPDM roofing to designs that replicate the look of wood shingles. Not only does this enhance its attractiveness and durability, but it also offers homeowners a wide range of design preferences.

Premium Materials for Your Roofing System

Now, let’s dive into the premium materials that make up your rubber roofing system. At the heart of these materials is carbon black, an essential additive that significantly increases the durability of the rubber roofing material.

The addition of carbon black isn’t just about durability. It’s a stalwart protector against ultraviolet radiation, which can degrade roofing materials over time. This added protection is one reason rubber roofs can maintain their condition for over 50 years.

The Role of Recycled Tires

Recycled tires play a starring role in the rubber roofing story. The process starts by:

  1. Removing non-rubber components like steel and nylon threads.

  2. Grinding the remaining rubber into chunks.

  3. Processing the chunks further into granulates for roof shingles or roll manufacturing.

These granulated rubber chunks add durability to the roofing materials, creating a hail-proof roofing system that showcases their toughness. This use of recycled tires significantly contributes to the longevity of rubber roofs, making them a sustainable and durable choice for your home.

From Slate to Wood Looks

Illustration of rubber roofing with slate-like texture

Rubber roofing materials offer a diverse range of aesthetic options. Whether you’re after the rugged charm of stone slate or the rustic warmth of wood shingles, rubber roofing has got you covered.

These aesthetic choices don’t just please the eye; they offer the same durability and weather resistance as other rubber roofing materials. So, you can enjoy the look of traditional materials like slate and wood without worrying about rot or insects.

Installation Insights: Getting Your Rubber Roof Installed

Installing a rubber roof involves a few steps, including:

  1. Deck Preparation

  2. Membrane relaxation and folding

  3. Adhesive application

  4. Detail work with a penny roller

But don’t worry; it’s a straightforward process easily managed with the right guidance.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or planning to hire professionals, understanding the steps involved can help ensure a smooth installation. So, let’s delve deeper into the installation process and uncover its secrets.

Preparing for Installation

Before installing a rubber roof, you need to prepare the stage. This involves clearing the area around your home and ensuring access points are available. Next, the roof deck is readied by removing debris or obstructions.

Additional steps include:

  • Creating a chase in the wall upstand

  • Installing a drip batten and a back drip trim

  • Relaxing the rubber membrane

  • Applying deck adhesive to adhere the membrane to the roof

With these steps, your roof is ready for its transformation.

Seamless Seams

Seams are the unsung heroes of a rubber roof. They form an invisible shield that prevents water damage, mould growth, and structural failure. So, it’s crucial to ensure that they are properly sealed using either liquid adhesives or specially formulated tape.

During the installation, a penny roller is used to ensure detailed adherence of the EPDM membrane, particularly at seams and edges. This meticulous attention to detail ensures a watertight finish and a long-lasting rubber roof.

Walking on Your Rubber Roof

Artistic depiction of walking precautions on a rubber roof

Rubber roofs are generally walkable, which facilitates maintenance and repair activities. However, it’s important to tread lightly. When walking on a RubberCover EPDM roof, it’s necessary to take precautions such as wearing appropriate shoes and using protective coverings like carpet or thick towels to prevent punctures or other damage, especially when placing ladders.

Once the installation is completed, any excess rubber membrane is trimmed to ensure a clean and finished look. With these precautions, you can safely navigate your new rubber roof, ensuring its longevity and integrity.

Protecting Your Investment: Longevity and Care

Protecting your rubber roof is a crucial part of maintaining its longevity. With proper maintenance, EPDM rubber roofing has a potential lifespan of up to 30 years, while roofs made from recycled tires can last up to 50 years.

These impressive lifespans make rubber roofs a cost-effective option over time. Despite the higher initial cost, their minimal maintenance requirements and potential to last several decades represent good value for money.

Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are a crucial part of maintaining your rubber roof. They allow you to spot potential damage or issues early, preventing minor problems from escalating into major headaches.

Inspections should be conducted during quarterly cleanings, allowing one to address any concerns promptly and effectively. This proactive approach can help prolong the life of your rubber roof and protect your investment.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly cleaning your rubber roof is crucial to prevent the build-up of leaves and twigs, particularly on flat surfaces, and avoid water pooling that could damage the roofing material over time, especially during rain.

When cleaning a rubber roof, follow these steps:

  1. Mix mild dish soap and water.

  2. Use a soft to medium bristle brush to remove dirt.

  3. Avoid harsh chemicals, citrus ingredients, or petroleum solvents that could deteriorate the material.

Moreover, significant repairs on EPDM roofs should be performed by certified professionals to ensure proper handling and maintain warranty protection.

Innovative Applications of Rubber Roofing

Illustration of innovative applications of rubber roofing

Rubber roofing isn’t just about providing a robust roof over your head. It’s also about exploring innovative applications like green roofs and solar panel installations. Thanks to their waterproof nature and ability to endure various weather conditions, rubber roofs, particularly EPDM, are popular for waterproofing under green roofs.

Moreover, installing solar panels on EPDM roofs is a straightforward process. This enhances the roof’s eco-friendly characteristics by promoting renewable energy, making rubber roofing a truly innovative solution for modern homes.

Dwights Roofing Edmonton – Rubber Roofing

If you’re looking for an expert in rubber roofing solutions, look no further than Dwight’s Roofing. Specializing in installing durable and aesthetically pleasing rubber roofing for residential homes, Dwight’s Roofing offers a range of affordable and high-quality services.

Dwight’s uses products that help reduce landfill waste, employing up to 95% recycled materials in their rubber roofing. They also offer various customizable options, including slate or shake profiles, to enhance the visual appeal of homes. So, whether you’re after the rustic charm of Beaumont Shake or the rugged elegance of Vermont Slate, Dwight’s Roofing has got you covered.


From its origins in the oil shortages of the 1970s to its modern applications in green roofs and solar panel installations, rubber roofing has come a long way. Its durability, weather resistance, and eco-friendliness make it a compelling choice for homeowners seeking a sustainable, cost-effective roofing solution.

Whether considering a roof overhaul or making an eco-friendly choice, rubber roofing offers a blend of benefits that are hard to ignore. So, why not consider stepping into the future of roofing with a rubber roof?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the downside of a rubber roof?

The downside of a rubber roof is shrinkage due to exposure to the elements, leading to potential leakages and seam separation. Coating the roof with acrylic paint can help prevent this issue, but it may still occur, especially in drier climates.

Is rubber roofing any good?

Rubber roofing is a good choice because it is efficient at insulating homes, reflects sunlight, and is 100% recyclable.

How expensive is a rubber roof?

Rubber roofing materials typically cost between $4–$8 per square foot, making them more expensive than asphalt shingles but cheaper than slate shingles. It’s important to seek expert help before attempting a DIY roof replacement.

How long does rubber roofing last?

Rubber roofing can last between 40 and 50 years if properly maintained, making it a durable choice for your roofing needs.

What is a rubber roof made from?

A rubber roof is made from EPDM, a durable synthetic rubber created from oil and natural gas compounds.