How Long Do Rubber Roofs Last and How Much Do They Cost

Rubber roofing, a common term among roofing services and contractors refers to a type of flat roofing membrane known for its durability and cost-effectiveness. Rubber membrane roofs, including ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), offer significant advantages when properly installed.

However, do you know exactly how long rubber roofs last? Find out the answer and more details about the material below.

How Long Do Rubber Roofs Last?

Rubber roofing is a material made of plastic polymers, rubber, or a blend of both, often acquired from sawdust, slate dust, or recycled tires that make the material environmentally friendly.

The primary purpose of rubber roofing is to create extra impenetrable sealing and prevent leaking.

This material, often in roll form, is primarily used in flat roofing systems but can also be applied to pitched roofs as a main material or atop existing structures, particularly metal ones. It’s a versatile option among various types of flat roofing.

There are also rubber shingles that can be used exclusively on pitched roofs.

how long do rubber roofs last

The single-ply membrane roofing material can refer to three types of compounds. Here are several types of rubber roofing according to the compound it contains:

  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)

The Terpolymer synthetic rubber is the favorite amongst many roofers due to its easy installation using a single, seamless sheet. This is the opposite of using multiple, layered rubber roofing rolls. In addition, EPDM also provides the benefits of being resistant to fire and hail.

  • Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)

This compound was introduced to the USA for the first time in the 80s, making it a relatively new compound type of membrane roofing material. It has several color alternatives, unlike EPDM. A white-colored TPO rubber roofing system is preferable in hot climates due to its ability to improve energy efficiency.

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

PVC is a rubber roofing compound material with great resistance to fire, hail, and wind. It also comes in a white color that offers energy efficiency purposes, along with other color options. It makes a seamless waterproof seal. However, it is less popular in the market due to the ongoing debate on its alleged risks in the health and environmental areas.

A frequently asked question about rubber roofs is their roof life expectancy. Commercially, a properly maintained rubber roof, such as EPDM or modified bitumen, can last up to 40 years, depending on weather conditions and maintenance practices.

Of course, to achieve a longer lifespan of up to 50 years, the owner needs to perform regular maintenance and preventative measures. No commercial roofing product can last for half a century on its own. Even though this may come off as a hassle, the rubber roof maintenance work is quite simple, including monitoring and patchwork to observe potential damage to the roof system.

If you live in an area that often goes through extreme weather events, the estimation of this life expectancy may not be as extensive as mentioned. However, it is safe to say that a rubber roof is a highly durable material that only requires low maintenance work.

How Much Does a Rubber Roof Cost?

Generally, a rubber roof is cheaper than a slate roof but more expensive than asphalt. It offers more or less similar fire resistance quality to slate roofing.

The total price of using this roofing material may depend on the contractor labor costs in your local area and the specific material. On average, it can be estimated that rubber shingles cost approximately $4.25 to $8.25 per sq ft.

Understanding the longevity and cost of rubber roofs, including flat membrane roof options like EPDM, helps in determining if they are the right choice for your roofing project. Their extended flat roof’s lifespan and affordability make them an attractive option.

Assuming that the material is installed correctly and maintained regularly, it can benefit your property plenty.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair