Rubber roofing is a great solution for low-sloped or flat roofs. It offers unrivaled protection from the elements in a simple installation while limiting your financial exposure. They are lightweight and long-lasting. Many of the products are installed in a single piece which reduces the potential for leaks. Once a product is installed there is minimal maintenance required to keep up the life of the roof. If a leak does occur, repairs can be made efficiently and with little cost.
Rubber Roof Systems
Rubber roofing systems are also called single-ply membranes. The three main types of single-ply membranes are EPDM, TPO and PVC. EPDM is the original rubber roof and lowest-cost option. It is adhered to the roof deck and then utilizes a special tape to seal the seams. PVC roofing membranes are bonded together by hot-air welded seams and remain leak free for much of the service life. TPO is similar to PVC although it is more environmentally friendly and recyclable.
Rubber Roofing Materials for Flat Roofs
Ask any new high-quality property owner about what they think of using rubber roofing materials for flat roofs. They will tell you that that was the best decision they made. Why do you think this is so? Rubber roofing materials are durable and have a longer lifespan that matches those of synthetic roofing materials. Read on for more information on everything you need to know about rubber roofing materials.
Composition of Rubber Roofing Material
The technical term of rubber roofing material is ethylene propylene diene monomer or simply EPDM. A variety of components make up the EPDM. They include recycled rubber elements, sawdust, slate dust, and others. These materials are responsible for the good usability and lengthy lifespan of rubber roofing. The components for making rubber roofing are relatively cheap making this type of roofing quite affordable.
The combination of the individual properties of the components of rubber roofing material makes it highly resistant to corrosive substances. Some of the substances that rubber roofing can resist include acids, ketones, esters, and alkaline. EPDM can also resist weathering and abrasion effects. Even though EPDM is durable, sharp materials can pierce through and damage it. Luckily, the rubber roofing material is easy to repair.
Performance of Rubber Roofs against Synthetic Roofs
Synthetic materials such as thermoplastic olefin are durable and can resist UV exceptionally in addition to having strong insulation properties. These synthetic roofs can sustain more load than EPDM and can resist sharp objects. However, rubber roofs are more economical than synthetic roofs per square foot. If you maintain the rubber roof well it can last for up to 30 years. This is the same lifespan that synthetic roofs have.
Maintenance and Coating Requirements for Rubber Roofing Materials
Rubber roofs do not require regular maintenance and re-coating like metal roofs. Their excellent insulation properties afford them this luxury. However, exposing EPDM roofs to hot temperatures for a prolonged period can melt them. Letting mold accumulate on the roof’s surface will lead to their deterioration too. So, you need to make sure that you clean the EPDM’s surface regularly to prolong its life.
The maintenance of rubber roofs also depends on the condition of the environment. People who live close to trees, water towers, or poles are more likely to undertake numerous maintenance actions. This is because the structures can pierce the roofing membrane at any time.
Regulations for Rubber Roofing Materials
The code that regulates rubber roofing material is the ASTM 3083. This code makes it mandatory for rubber roofing materials to be capable of resisting soil burial. Another code that regulates the use of rubber roofing materials is the Factory Mutual 4470 testing procedure. This test ensures that EPDMs are free from cyclic fatigue.
The test involves simulating the rubber roofing material to hailstorm damage. A rubber roofing material that does not show fatigue in a 1 to 2 inches diameter hail passes the test.
The Appearance of the Material
Rubber roofing material has a smooth black surface in normal cases. However, you can get an EPDM-roof with a different color by paying extra for the customization. Rubber roofing materials should never have granular surfaces. Such a surface will only increase the frequency of maintaining the roofing material.
Rubber Roofing Material is the Best Solution for Flat Roofs
Manufacturers subject rubber roofing materials to thorough resistance tests. You are therefore sure of the durability of the materials. Rubber roofs require very little maintenance. This effortless action will go a long way in extending the longevity of your roofing. For an affordable price, you can get rubber roofing that can last long enough like that expensive synthetic roofing. Choose EPDM as your roofing material today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rubber Roofing
For residential shingles we use Certain teed products because they are the heaviest on the market and have the most comprehensive warranty. We are certified installers of their products and make it a great process for our customers. They have a number of strip shingle, designer and luxury products available.
When selecting a rubber roof option there are several questions to consider. Each product has it’s pros and cons. For example, EPDM can be one of the lowest-cost options but because it is naturally black it offers less heat protection. TPO is a highly popular product that offers flexibility and energy efficiency but because it is relatively new to the roofing world there are questions about its longevity. The size of the building and climate could also play an important role on which option to select.
EPDM and PVC are different mostly in the way they are adhered. The adhesive and tape used to install EPDM can fail over time limiting its service life whereas PVC is welded together. Most EPDM products are naturally black in color and absorb heat. PVC products are energy efficient but require professional installation.
For rubber roofing, we like TPO and PVC. Although they haven’t been around as long as EPDM, they are easy to install, cost effective and last longer in extreme conditions like the heat here in Texas. After that it would probably be the PVC option. It has been in use for over 50 years, is lightweight, flexible, easy to install and energy efficient.
Butyl rubber is a coating that can be applied to all flat roof surfaces. It can extend the life of your roof with its seamless, waterproof, crack-resistant, UV reflective properties. It is incredibly durable.
EPDM is naturally gray or black. One of the cons of EPDM is it’s natural color that absorbs heat.
Rubber is a dynamic, eco-friendly and an inexpensive material. It offers superior protection for flat roof applications and is easy to install. Some products require little to no seams making it difficult for water to penetrate.