Rubber Roofing: What to Know About this Synthetic Roof


There are many types of roofs, but when it comes to flat ceilings and similar shaped surfaces with low slope, the king of them all is the rubber roofing. This is with no doubt one of the most popular options for flat roofs in the world, with 60% of utilization in countries like the United States, with other where such figure is even higher than that.

This is due to the main characteristics rubber roof has in terms of durability, affordability and other features in comparison to the rest of popular types, as TPO, PBC or even BUR. However, at the moment of choosing a rubber roof, many people have questions and doubts, such as: How good is rubber roofing? What is a rubber roof called? How long will a rubber roof last? And many more.

Let´s clear out some of this questions by addressing rubber roofs in concept, its features and features, frequent damages and proper repair on this roof, costs and specialized roofer companies to consider.

What is a Rubber Roof?

A rubber roof is no other than EPDM roofing, but known this way in the more popular slang of the industry in general, and probably because what EPDM means would be a lot hard to pronounce with no doubt.

Specifically, EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer and is the synthetic base material in which rubber roof membrane are manufactured and have that “rubbery” feel to it. Such membrane is extremely durable and capable of endure extreme temperature and more, so or this reason this is the preferred way to cover and protect flat or low slope roofs in residential and industrial buildings.

In terms of lifespan, resistance and affordability, EPDM is of the best rubber roofing materials as we will see in the next section of features and advantages, also having decades in the market and being quite known for professional and its installation, repairing and removal.

Features, Characteristics and Advantages of Rubber Roof Coating

In terms of features, EPDM is a synthetic material that provides a resistant cover on flat roofs, which are not completely flat and have some sort of slope of few degrees, so water does not get accumulated and can drain.

Therefore, EPDM is a three-layer rubber roof material made of elastrometic compound, fire retardant EPDM layer and polyester fabric layer as the one exposed to sun light and water. A complete EDPM synthetic membrane have a thickness of up to 2.3 millimeters, thinner ones measure 45 millimeters, though.

Among other characteristics, EPDM can be applied as a unique ply but the most frequent way in which is purchased is in the form of sheet rolls. In this way, installation gets a little easier and it is possible to add sheet after sheet and torch it one by one, so adherence is secure and clean. With the torch involved, it is stated that rubber roofing lowes is not a DIY job.

Advantages are diverse when it comes to rubber roof. For example, answering the question: are rubber flat roofs any good? The answer is an absolute yes, they are some of the greatest and there are plenty of reasons and benefits that say so.

Rubber roofs are very durable and with a longer lifespan in comparison to others, repairing it is way easier in terms of leaking and other damage, as well as quite affordable in terms of installation and replacement, environmentally friendly, fire and water proof and energy efficient in houses where heat causes high bills.

Definitely, advantages are way more in number than disadvantages that are related to installation that must carried out for professionals, along with aspects of required maintenance to keep rubber roofs in proper condition.

Damage and Rubber Roof Repair: How to Fix It

Can a rubber roof be repaired? That is a question many people ask themselves when dealing with some sort of damage or leak on their EPDM-based roof, and while the answer is yes, that depends on the severity and type of the damage in order to figure out if the owner is able to have the adventure and fix it, or leave it to those professional roofers that work on this.

There are many types of damage rubber roofs can suffer over their lifespan, especially when maintenance aspects have not been taken care of properly: blistering, water accumulation, breaking, punctures, shrinkage and roof seams wrinkling are of the most frequent damages that rubber roofs and owners suffer these days.

If any of those damages is present on a rubber roof but the reach of it is not great yet, there is possibility for it to be fixed by the owner. In this case, tools to use will be: a knife, tape measure, a paintbrush and a roller. Materials must include EPDM-based patch material, lap sealant or primer, rags and household cleaner.

The surface must be cleaner as possible with the household cleaner, then measured and the patch cut to size with at least two inches longer and wider than the possible hole. Then, apply the EPDM patch and apply pressure with the roller until gets adhered. Last step is to apply lap sealant on the edges.

Now, dealing with a rubber roof shrining, blistering, breaking or other bigger issue frequently involves calling experts, since these might be actually consequences of poor installation process.

Cost of Rubber Roof Repairing and Roofer Companies

While there are different factors that influence pricing on rubber-based roofs, on average the price can be found between 4 to 13 dollars per square meters, depending on the provider, ply thickness and general quality. So, avoiding extremely cheap EPDM is recommended since quality probably will not be the best. Installation, type of building and property also affect pricing.

While there are great roofer companies and vendors specialized in rubber roofs, the best and most recommended in the United States are Mule-Hide Products, Water Tight Technologies, Jhons Malville and GenFlex. These four manufacturers and roofer businesses called before are reputable and qualified, for sure.


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