How Long Does Rubber Roofing Last? (Complete Guide)

December 16, 2022

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Roofing is an integral part of your home, and it’s essential to take your time to find the best roofing option. Ultimately, your roof has to sustain the elements, and many homeowners take their longevity very seriously. With this being said, if you’re considering getting a roof and wondering about rubber roofing, then we’ll dive into the details of how long it lasts. So let’s dive in and check out more information about this long-lasting roof type.

What Is Rubber Roofing? 

There are a few different types of materials for rubber roofing that you can have, but the most popular type is called EPDM. EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer and is one of the most durable roofs for your home, making it one of the more popular options. It’s usually used in low-sloped buildings but can be used on various roof types.

There is also Build-up roofing or BUR for short. Built-up roofing is one of the oldest types of roofing still in use today. It consists of several layers of waterproof materials, such as tar paper, asphalt, and modified bitumen, which are applied in alternating layers. The roofing is then finished with a top layer of gravel or crushed stone.

Another rubber roofing type is modified bitumen a type of asphalt that has been heated and then cooled. When it is heated, it becomes more fluid and when it is cooled, it becomes more solid. This makes it a good material for roofing because it can be used to create a waterproof seal. Modified bitumen roofing is made by combining asphalt with other materials, such as plastic or rubber. This creates a material that is more flexible and less likely to crack than traditional asphalt roofing. Modified bitumen roofing is also often used in commercial applications, because it can withstand heavier traffic than other types of roofing materials.

how long does rubber roofing last

How Long Does Rubber Roofing Last? (Life Expectancy)

As we stated, a rubber roof membrane is one of the roof types that lasts very long. If installed properly, rubber roofing can last up to 50 years, with a typical lifespan of between 40 and 50 years. As a result, it’s one of those roofs you may not have to deal with again once you install it on your home, making it great for businesses, family homes, and low-sloped roofs.

Rubber is a durable material that can handle extreme temperatures, wind, and rain. This makes it an ideal option for roofs in areas that experience severe weather conditions.

How Often Should You Replace a Flat Roof? 

Rubber roofing or a flat roof can last a very long time, so you don’t have to worry about much maintenance, but keeping up with your roof is still essential to keep it lasting. Replacing your roof might not cross your mind until you’re dealing with problems, but it’s best to look into replacing your rubber roof once it hits the 35 and 40-year mark. This is when you should at least get the roof inspected to ensure that it’s in good standing and if not, getting it replaced can be a great option.

The Durability of Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofing is the most durable type, but many people don’t know why. The rubber itself is highly durable. Rubber roofs also don’t leave any gapping when it’s applied, meaning there aren’t many areas where water and other elements can enter and leave damage. This is a big concern concerning other roofs that have gapping, as they are more likely to need repairs or replacements when exposed to the elements. Rubber roofing is also very resistant to UV rays which can also be part of how roof materials decay and cause damage.

As long as there is a proper installation of the rubber membrane on the commercial building by qualified roofing contractors, it's safe to say that the EPDM roof will last.

Maintenance on a Rubber Roof

Rubber roofs are easily maintained and require basic checks to ensure they’re in good working condition. One thing to remember is always to check your roof visually, as you’ll be able to see the damage, debris, bubbling, and any other problems with your roof. This will then give you direction on how else to maintain it.

For example, if you have lots of debris, consider removing trees next to your home. You’ll also want to keep your roof free from debris as it can build up and cause damage. Lastly, regular inspections and roof cleaning can keep your rubber roof looking and feeling brand new for its entire lifetime.

Remember that no matter what, you should check, inspect, and clean your roof regularly, no matter what type of roof it is. Although rubber roofs are known for lasting a very long time, it still needs to be maintained and taken care of regularly.

How Much Are Rubber Roofs?

Rubber roofs are a little bit more expensive than other roofing materials, but this is to be expected when considering their lifetime. Rubber roofs can be anywhere from $4.50 to $11.50 per square foot. This is considerably more expensive than a lower-cost roof such as shingles.

The Disadvantages of Rubber Roofing 

Like most things, rubber roofing, of course, comes with its disadvantages. So although it’s an excellent option for durability and longevity, there are some disadvantages to consider.

One main thing that a lot of people might not like is their appearance of them. They aren’t the most attractive type of roofing style, but this maybe isn’t as serious of an issue for some people. Another thing to consider is installing a rubber roof in arid conditions. This is because rubber roofing uses an adhesive to install it; ultimately, the adhesive cannot adhere if the conditions are wet. Lastly, rubber roofing can be punctured, unfortunately. This means that flying debris and branches falling on it can puncture it and cause problems. This is why it’s essential to keep your rubber roof clean and keep in mind how close the trees are to your house and roof.

roofs with a rubber or flat roof

Are Rubber Roofs Worth It?

After looking into rubber roofs' price and longevity, we think they are worth it. Lower quality and cost roofs can last a fraction of the time, so as long as the rubber roof gives you a longer life span, the cost is worth it. Whether or not it’s right for the homeowner is obviously up to them, but the longevity and durability of rubber, or EPDM, roofs make it well worth the cost.

Remember to look back and consider the disadvantages of your rubber roof just to be prepared for those. Regardless, EPDM is the best choice if you’re looking for a long-lasting roof.

Commercial Roof Types

There are many commercial roofs, but the most common are asphalt shingles, metal, and flat roofs.

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roof in the United States. They are made from a blend of asphalt and fiberglass and come in various colors and styles. In addition, asphalt shingles are relatively affordable and durable, making them a popular choice for businesses.

Metal roofs are another standard option for commercial roofing. They come in various materials, including aluminum, copper, and steel. Metal roofs are often more expensive than other roofs, but they are durable and can last for decades.

Flat roofs are also common in commercial buildings. They are usually made from rubber or plastic and are less expensive than other roofs.

Commercial property owners should invest the time to research the best option for their property!

commercial building with a rubber roof

The Bottom Line 

Rubber roofing is one of those options that’s meant to last. It’s an excellent choice for homeowners or business owners looking for more of a low-maintenance roof type that lasts a very long time. It’s durable and great against the elements, making it worth it, even considering the higher price tag. So next time you’re looking for a long-lasting roof, check out rubber roofing and consider choosing that option.

If you require a roof replacement or repair, call our roofers in Winston-Salem today. We're at your service for installing your flat or rubber roof.

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