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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Rubber Roofing?

rubber roofing - roofers101

Rubber roofing or more commonly known as EPDM roofing is quite popular for flat roofs. If you are planning to install a new roof in your home that supports a flat roof structure, you may have come across the possibility of a rubber roof.

Being a homeowner, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons of the roofing material you are opting for. We have put together this brief guide about the advantages and disadvantages of rubber roofing, which is then followed by answers to frequently asked questions.

Rubber Roof Pros and Cons

S.No Pros Cons


Affordable as compared to other roofs

Limited Color Options


They can last for more than 20 years.

Delicate and Prone to damage


The low number of seams keep the roof intact

Dry weather is required for installation


Quick and Easy Installation

Vulnerable to punctures


Environmentally friendly

Professional installation required


Fire Resistant layer

The roof can shrink due to heat exposure


Keeps the HVAC heat inside

High Maintenance required


UV resistant composition

Reduces the curb appeal of a house


Compatible With rooftop gardens and solar panels

Excessive heat absorption due to black color


Great for flat roofs

Can be damaged by high impact forces 

Pros Of Rubber Roofing


The cost of EPDM is significantly lower as compared to other roofing materials. This makes rubber roofing one of the most affordable options. If you are planning to replace your house roof on budget, search for good quality EPDM sheets.

The total cost of any roofing system includes the upfront cost of installation and maintenance. When it comes to maintenance costs, rubber roofing takes little to no money. Whereas the cost of installation can vary greatly depending on the professional competence of the installation contractor.


As soon as you know the word rubber, it is automatically assumed that this is something harmful to our environment. You will be surprised to know that opposite is true for EPDM roofing. These rubbers sheets are composed of materials that are easy to make and 100% recyclable.

Moreover, you can opt for lighter colors for your roof to make it an eco-friendly roofing system. The color choice matters because darker colors tend to absorb heat whereas light colors reflect all kinds of sun rays into the air.

Reduces Energy Costs

EPDM can be very effective in reducing the energy costs at your home. Pair it with the right insulation materials and light-colored sheets and you can cut down the energy costs. Once it is properly installed, rubber roofing can effectively keep the heat outside, maintaining the indoor temperatures.

If you want to improve its energy efficiency, you can install additional coating to reduce the energy losses. The relative thickness of this coating material can be adjusted according to your geographical condition. It is generally available in thicknesses of 45, 60, 75, and 90 mils.


With good installation and timely maintenance checks, rubber roofing can last as long as 20 years. As technology advances, new formulas are being introduced which allow better protection against damaging UV rays. That means you can enjoy the safety and comfort of rubber roofing for even longer. It can withstand up to 3 inches of hail and holds well against strong winds. Rubber roofing lasts the longest on flat and low-sloped roofs.


It is one of the most flexible roofing materials and works well in places where rigid materials such as tiles and asphalt shingles fail. You can opt between TPO, EPDM, or PVC depending on your requirements and budget limits.

Cons Of Rubber Roofing

Affects The Curb Appeal

Black rubber roofing is not pleasant to look at. Most homeowners vote against this roofing material because it affects the curb appeal of the house. If you are planning to sell your house shortly, buyers may not be interested in your house because of curb appeal reasons. In certain locations, they are highly undesirable. Thanks to the evolving industry, you can make up for the curb appeal by installing white or digitally patterned PVC.

Fragile In Harsh Environmental Conditions

Non-reinforced EPDM can be fragile in harsh environmental conditions. It can puncture easily, especially in the latter part of its life. As it ages, it shrinks about 4% from its original size. All of these attributes make it a less durable option as compared to other roofing materials.

Sudden fluctuations in temperature and thawing of ice can also lead to cracks and hence roof leaks. With the right installation contractors and the best quality materials, you can limit the disadvantages.

Requires Expert Installation

Poor installation can render it useless. Lack of expertise is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to EPDM installation. As you start your search, you will find many roofers claiming that they know rubber roof installation. Only hire a company after you have checked some of their previous projects. You have to go that extra mile to find reliable rubber roofing installation experts.


What Is The Purpose Of Rubber Roofing?

Rubber is one of the most dependable roofing materials for reducing water leakage and making an impenetrable seal. A single-ply membrane roofing is waterproof, strong, and pliant. Owing to it its flexible nature, it can be installed at places where asphalt shingles cannot be adjusted.

How Much Does A Rubber Roof Cost?

Depending on the size, slope, and pitch of your roof, rubber roofing installation costs anywhere between $8000 and $14000. Expect to pay around $4.25 to $8.25 per sq. foot for a standard-sized single-story home. The total cost of installation also varies depending on the type of material and professional competence of the roofing contractors.

Is A Rubber Roof More Durable Than A Metal Roof?

No. A rubber roofing can provide excellent insulation, is fire resistant, and can withstand the test of time for decades but it is not as durable as metal roofing. In the face of vicious storms, debris, and other abrasive factors, rubbers' roofing endures far less as compared to metals.

Is Rubber Roofing A Good Choice For A Rainy Climate?

Rubber roofing is an excellent choice for a rainy climate. The synthetic membrane, when installed properly, stands tough against water seepages. It provides reliable insulation against moisture buildups. Moreover, it can withstand the gusts of wind that often accompany heavy rains. If you want it to last long, inspect it after the rainy seasons and fix any seepages at your earliest.

Does A Rubber Roof Need To Be Coated?

No, it does need to be coated. You can reap the benefits of EPDM roofing even without additional coatings. But if you are aiming for a more secure roofing system, you can install a coating. It depends on your particular roofing project and if you require an extra layer of reinforcement protecting you from harsh weather.