Roof repair is probably one of the most feared projects by homeowners, except perhaps for a few DIY experts. Leaks in the roof can trigger a host of problems in your home that, if left unattended, can lead to your home’s structure and other things inside being damaged. Most homes use asphalt shingles, which typically last for up to 20 years, but require much maintenance efforts. If you are looking for an excellent alternative that requires less maintenance, you may want to check out rubber roofing.
Rubber Roofing and Installation
Rubber roofs are created from plastic or rubber polymers, or sometimes a mixture of both. If you’re attracted to recycled materials, you’ll be glad to know that rubber roofing is made from recycled sawdust, tires, and slate dust. Rubber roofing is durable, flexible, and waterproof. If your roof isn’t all flat, you’d be delighted to know that because of its flexibility, rubber roofing can be used where asphalt roofing can’t.
Although rubber shingles are costlier than asphalt shingles, rubber can last twice as long. This roofing option can also help you save money on energy costs, which means you can have greater savings in the long run. Rubber roofs can be purchased in a roll for structures with flat roofs. You can also purchase rubber shingles in various designs and colors.
You can even ask a roofing professional to apply rubber roofing over your old shingles with a coating of foam insulation between them. Even though this will let you save time and money on labor costs compared to tearing off the current roofing before installation, it can also void the rubber roof’s manufacturer’s warranty.
Advantages of Using Rubber Roofs
1. It’s an Eco-Friendly Choice
Because it is made from recycled materials made of plastic or rubber, choosing rubber roofing is an environment-friendly option. Instead of just allowing this rubber garbage to pile up in landfills, companies can recycle them into new things such as rubber roofs.
2. It’s Easier to Install
Single-ply rubber shingles are waterproof, seamless, and flexible. Because of its pliability, rubber roofing is simpler to install on complicated roofing shapes compared to asphalt roofing. Its simpler installation reduces the labor cost of roof replacements.
Seamless rolls are considered to be the most economical and energy-efficient form of rubber roofing because they’re unlikely to crack or leak, and they have no seams for water to pass through underneath. Rubber shingles may be more expensive and must be nailed down like conventional shingles. A roofing nail gun is recommended for this job more easily. However, rubber shingles are much lighter than asphalt shingles, making them quicker and easier to install and transport.
3. It Comes in Different Designs
You may be worried that using rubber roofing on your home may not look too pleasant. The great news is that you can also find stylish shingles, which will give your home that traditional roofing look.
4. It Helps Protect the Home
Rubber roofs are beneficial for low-pitched or flat roofs that usually accumulate pooling water. Asphalt shingles depend on gravity for draining rainwater. However, asphalt shingles can let standing water seep in between and underneath the gaps on flat roofs. This can result to rot, mildew, and mold growth in your home, which places not just your home’s structure in danger but also destroys the home’s insulation, framing, and interior walls to name some. Rubber roofs can therefore protect your home from wind and rain by being completely waterproof.
5. It’s Also Resistant to Thermal Shocks
This is another advantage of rubber roofing for your home. If properly installed, this rubber roofing alternative is very unlikely to become brittle or crack in extremely cold or hot temperatures. It can also withstand hail and other dangerous weather conditions. At the same time, rubber shingles are highly resistant to ultraviolet or UV radiation and cyclic fatigue, which is the stress on the roof brought about by drastic annual temperature variation.
6. It Needs Very Minimal Maintenance
Rubber roofs need only little maintenance, so you don’t need to worry about calling professional roofing contractors every now and then. If ever you discover that there’s a leak or crack in the rubber roof, simple DIY repairs can be done using an easy-to-use latex sealant.
7. It’s Durable
Compared to asphalt shingles that can last for up to 20 years with annual professional inspections, replacement of broken, cracked, or loose shingles, rubber roofing can serve you for up to 50 years with very minimal repairs or maintenance.
8. It’s Economical
Although using rubber shingles require greater upfront costs, you can use it twice longer than asphalt shingles. Its waterproof and thermal resistant characteristics also save you in energy costs. Rubber roofing is also more fire-resistant than conventional asphalt shingles and because of this, home insurance brokers offer lesser policy premiums, particularly in places considered lightning-prone.
How to Care for Rubber Roofs
Probably the greatest advantage of using rubber roofing for your home is its ability to endure temperature changes or harsh weather conditions without much maintenance compared to slate or asphalt roofing. The rubber roof you choose may require little to no maintenance depending on the rubber roofing quality you have chosen.
But if ever you encounter a problem with rubber roofing, whether it’s due to the breakdown of rubber or because of faulty installation, it’s commonly easy and quick to fix. Like all roofing materials, rubber contracts and expands when exposed to changing temperatures. If you see cracks and leaks in the roof, you can easily cover these with a latex sealant or tape. In the uncommon case of seeing a portion of the rubber roof largely affected with cracks, you can also patch it with a small roll of rubber roof or with new rubber shingles.
As a preventive measure, many homeowners using rubber roofing choose to coat their whole roof system with liquid rubber. You may also use a similar liquid sealant that will help protect the material for a longer time and minimize maintenance in the years to come.
Rubber roofs are an environmentally-friendly option to use for your home. It comes with numerous benefits, including durability, fire- and thermal shock-resistance, and low maintenance, to name just a few. If you think rubber roofing is a great option for you, it’s best to contact a roofing contractor for more installation and cost inquiries.