Roofs are made from a variety of materials, each with their benefits and disadvantages. In the last few decades, rubber roofs have become an increasingly popular choice for both commercial and residential buildings. Here's more information about rubber roofs to help you determine if this is the best type for your property.
About Rubber Roofing
Officially known as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), rubber roofs are made from a combination of recycled tire material, sawdust, and slate dust. These roofs are typically laid in one piece and only require a single layer of material. This significantly reduces installation time, which can help you save money on costs. Additionally, the single piece format means there are fewer seams which, in turn, reduce the number of areas where leaks can form from natural wear and tear.
Rubber roofs tend to be cheaper than other roofs. Although they cost about $400 to $600 per 100 square feet—in comparison, asphalt shingles cost $120 to $400 per 100 square feet—their quick installation and low maintenance costs make them a cheaper investment over time. They tend to be more durable than other types of roofing materials, lasting between 30 and 50 years when properly maintained and are better able to repel environmental elements, such as rain and snow.
Rubber roofs are perhaps most appropriate for flat roofs, because these roofs tend to have a problem with pooling water. The rubber can prevent water from penetrating the other materials underneath and leaking through to the inside of the building.
Rubber Roofing Disadvantages
Like any other roofing material, rubber roofs have their disadvantages with the most common being they can shrink as much as 5 percent over time. This contraction can cause the material to tear in unfortunate places and put stress on other roof equipment, such as flashings. Most of the time, however, this shrinking can be attributed to improper installation. Therefore, hiring a roofing contractor with a lot of experience with rubber roofs is a must.
The other problem you may run into is the same with any rubber product and that's it may puncture or rip more easily if hit with anything sharp. Even a small tear caused by a runaway screwdriver can lead to a big hole and leaks. Luckily, though, rubber is fairly easy and cheap to repair. As long as you're inspecting the roof on a regular basis for this type of damage and get it fixed as soon as possible, you shouldn't experience a lot of problems.
For more information about rubber roofs, contact a roofing contractor like East Texas Roof Works & Sheet Metal LLC.