Rubber Roofing Cost Guide
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Homeowners are no longer limited to just a few options for roofing material. This is great news when considering the roofing industry has known for some time that asphalt shingles have many drawbacks. Homeowners can always choose metal roofing, but it is fairly expensive compared to more traditional roofing materials. Rubber roofing is growing in popularity because it provides durability while keeping overall costs low.
Minimum: $250 per 100 square feet
Maximum: $400 per 100 square feet
When homeowners first start looking up prices for rubber roofing, they are likely to be drawn in by the low cost of the material. Sometimes rubber roofing material can be purchased for just 50 cents or a few dollars per square foot. This is a very attractive price for someone who is looking to redo a roof. Because there are some other costs associated with installing a new rubber roof on a home, homeowners can expect to pay between $2,000 and $7,000 depending on the size of the home.
There are many different materials that go along with having a rubber roof professionally installed. Below is a breakdown of some of the most common materials that are needed.
Rubber roofing – Homeowners should not confuse rubber roofing with SPF roofing, which is a type of foam roofing. Rubber roofing often comes in shingles or long sheets that can be laid out across the roof. Just like metal roofing, rubber roofing comes in a variety of thicknesses. The thicker the rubber, the higher the cost.
Adhesive – Rubber roofing is usually installed right on top of a home's existing roofing material. As a result, it requires special adhesive that helps hold the rubber in place.
Push broom – If the rubber roofing comes in long sheets, a push broom is needed to help smooth out the rubber sheet. There can be no wrinkles in the sheet; otherwise, leaks may occur.
Foam insulation – This material is usually optional but is perfect for homeowners who want to make their roofs more energy efficient. Rubber roofing can be installed on top of a layer of dense foam, and the foam can be installed right on top of existing roofing material in the same way the rubber can.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Rubber Roofing
Rubber roofing has a number of advantages and disadvantages just like any other type of roofing material. As far as the advantages go, rubber is naturally water resistant. Rubber roofing is thus perfect for homes that have a very low slope, meaning water does not drain off quickly. Another benefit is that rubber roofing can also be installed right on top of existing roofing. This decreases the amount of prep work that contractors have to do to make a homeowner's roof ready for installation of the rubber roofing. Also, because rubber is flexible, it makes covering even the most uniquely designed roofs easy. The durability of rubber roofing is also a lot better than traditional roofing material like asphalt. The average lifetime of rubber roofing is about 30 to 50 years. Rubber roofing is also very easy to install and does not require a lot of maintenance. Homeowners can get rubber roofing in a variety of textures to give their homes more curbside appeal. Lastly, rubber roofing is extremely eco-friendly. This is because most rubber shingles are made from recycled materials, such as tires.
As for the disadvantages, the price of rubber roofing is a bit more than asphalt. Homeowners who are looking for the cheapest roofing material will not find it with rubber. Although rubber roofing is stronger than asphalt, it is not as strong as metal roofing. Falling branches and other debris can still damage rubber roofing. There are also debates as to whether rubber roofing makes a home more or less energy efficient. However, if the temperature gets too hot, rubber roofing has been known to bubble. When it does, it needs to be replaced because it may leak. Also, because rubber roofing is a relatively new concept, there are some environmental groups concerned that the water runoff from a rubber roof might contaminate groundwater. There is no evidence to prove this as of yet, but a number of studies are still being conducted. If it turns out that rubber roofing contaminates groundwater, it could become a very unpopular choice of roofing material and decrease the value of homes that have it installed.
Sprayed Polyurethane Foam vs. Rubber Roofing
The most common type of roofing material that rubber is compared to is sprayed polyurethane foam, or SPF. Homeowners often get these two types of materials mixed up when they are first taking about getting a rubber roof. The differences between the two are vast. Rubber roofing is applied as a solid, usually as a shingle or sheet. SPF is applied in a liquid form. This makes SPF easier to install but not as durable. One of the biggest problems with SPF roofs is the fact that animals, such as squirrels, like to bury food in it because the material is thick and softer than other roofing material. Once these pieces of food become buried into the roofing material, it can cause leaks. This problem is not an issue with rubber roofing. It is important for homeowners to know the difference between these two types of roofing materials to ensure that they get exactly what they want.
Rubber roofs are not fire resistant. As a result, they usually receive a fire rating of Class C. If this is something that homeowners are worried about, they should talk to the construction company to find out more about which specific materials the installers use. Certain rubber roof manufactures have increased the fire rating of their rubber roofing by applying a fire-resistant underlay. Even with this underlay, however, rubber roofs do not have a fire rating as high as metal roofing material. Homeowners should talk to a contractor before installing a rubber roof to see if it fits their needs for quality, durability and budget.
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Last updated on Apr 1, 2015