How Rubber Roofs Work

The usual roofing materials that we encounter are asphalt, ceramic, tile, metal, and slate yet these materials are not always adequate enough to provide long-term protection. It cannot be totally reliable when it comes to sealing for water leaks and alike.  This is perhaps the reason why are roofers developed this so called rubber roofing to tightly seal and secure roof. It’s becoming a promising solution for roof repair and maintenance.

With the exception of those ra­re home repair enthusiasts, one of the most dreaded projects for homeowners is roof repair. A leaky roof can cause major damage to the structure of your home and, if left unchecked, could eventually lead to the damage of many possessions inside your home. Asphalt shingles, which are what you’ll find on most roofs, generally only last 15 to 20 years and can require a lot of maintenance and upkeep.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the exhausting process of roof repair and maintenance with asphalt shingles, you may want to consider rubber roofing. Worried that rubber roofing sounds like stretching out a dozen Goodyear treads over your home? Don’t worry–although rubber roofing materials can come in a roll for buildings with flat roofs, you can also buy rubber shingles, which look much like slate shingles and come in a variety of colors and designs [source: The Roofery].

­Another advantage to using rubber roofing materials is that most rolls and shingles are composed of recycled tires, saw dust and slate dust, which are much more eco-friendly than other roofing materials. Although rubber-roofing shingles can be more expensive than asphalt shingles, rubber roofs are much more durable and less likely to crack and crumble through tumultuous weather and drastic changes in temperature. Rubber shingles are also much cheaper and lighter than slate shingles–if that’s the style you’re looking for–and are similarly fire resistant. Rubber roofing materials also last much longer and require less maintenance–most manufacturers warranty their roofs for thirty to fifty years, and some even carry a lifetime warranty. The first rubber roof, installed on a home in Wisconsin in 1980, is still holding strong today [source: Keon]


Installing Rubber Roofs

In addition to durability and low-maintenance, another major advantage to using rubber shingles or rolls on your roof is that installation is much quicker and easier than installing or repairing asphalt or slate shingles. In general, installing a large rubber roll is the most beneficial and cost effective method for rubber ­roofing. Because the large rubber rolls have no seams and are very durable in extreme weather, the chance of leaks and cracks are extremely low. Rubber shingles, on the other hand, will likely cost more to roof your home, and will need to be nailed down in overlapping rows, much like other types of shingles. Rubber shingles, however, are much lighter than asphalt and slate shingles, making them easier to ship to your home and to move from the ground up to your roof [source: ChikyMiky].

­Before you install your new rubber roof, you should make sure to strip your roof down to a plywood base, as most manufacturers refuse to recognize warranties if the rubber roof is simply installed directly on top of previous roofing. Once you’ve stripped down your roof, measure and cut for any chimneys, vents and antennas before preparing the adhesive. After you’ve made the necessary adjustments to the roll and cut it to the shape of your roof, sweep your roof to remove all dirt, dust and debris and then apply the …


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