The Benefits of Rubber Roofing


Most houses have asphalt shingles that typically last 15-20 years and require quite a bit of attention throughout that time. Rubber roofing, on the other hand, can last 30-50 years, requiring little maintenance or repairs. Rubber shingles or rolls are much more durable and less likely to crack during extreme weather conditions than asphalt roofing. They are especially beneficial for flat or low-pitch roofs that traditional shingles have trouble effectively protecting due to the lack of gravitational pull. When roofs are flatter, water does not run off as quickly as on steeper roofs, allowing water to be blown underneath shingles that are not well sealed. 


Rubber vs. Traditional Roofing 

Rubber roofing is made of rubber or plastic polymers or a combination of both. Materials are eco-friendly, made from recycled tires, sawdust, and slate dust. Rubber roofing is used to reduce leaking and to produce more impenetrable sealing. Single-ply synthetic membrane roofing is strong, waterproof, and pliant. Rubber roofing can go where typical asphalt roofing cannot due to its flexible nature.

Rubber shingles can be more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they are cheaper than slate shingles and equivalently fire resistant. Rubber shingles typically cost about $300-$400 per square (100 square feet) while asphalt shingles are around $100 per square; however, rubber can last twice as long and save you a lot of money in energy efficiency over the years.


More Advantages to Rubber

Besides being extremely durable, weather resistant, and completely waterproof, rubber roofing is also very resistant to thermal shock. If installed properly, rubber roofing shouldn’t crack or become brittle due to hot or cold temperatures. It’s able to withstand hail and other extreme weather conditions and shows very high resistance to ultraviolet radiation and cyclic fatigue.

Your rubber roof will last you a very long time, and you’ll be surprised at how little maintenance and upkeep are needed. If installed correctly, you might never experience any cracking or leaking at all. If you do find that you have a crack or leak, you can most likely fix it simply by covering it with a latex sealant.



Rubber roofing installation is a much easier, quicker process than asphalt or slate roofing installation. A seamless roll is generally the most cost effective and energy efficient form of rubber roofing. It is very unlikely to leak or crack because there are no seams for water to flow underneath. Shingles need to be nailed down like traditional shingles would and cost more than rolls. Rubber shingles, however, are much lighter than slate or asphalt shingles, which makes them easier to move and place.

To apply the roofing, first strip down your current roofing to the plywood base. If you’re using a roll, measure and trim it to the shape of your roof, cutting space out for chimneys, vents, etc. Then sweep off your roof to get rid of dirt and debris, apply adhesive, and place the roll appropriately across your roof. Be sure to check for air bubbles underneath. If you’re applying shingles, nail down in rows as you would asphalt shingles.

Sometimes rubber roofing is placed on top of old shingles with a layer of foam insulation in between. The rubber roofing then serves as a waterproof membrane. Doing it this way can save time, labor costs, and also reflect heat from the sun away from the roof, keeping your home cooler. Keep in mind, however, that if you don’t first strip your roof down to the base, manufacturers usually will not recognize your warranty.


There are many reasons for choosing rubber roofing for your new or current home in Ankeny or Ames. If you need help with any type of roofing needs, Hedrick Construction can answer all of your questions and make professional recommendations that will benefit you and your home.

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