Rubber roofing isn’t the most popular roofing type on the market today, but it still has its place, and it can work really well in a lot of different circumstances.

When you think of rubber roof, you might be thinking of the poured out hot plastic rubber that’s really common on commercial buildings and flat roofs. And, while yes, that is the definition of a rubber roof in many cases, it’s not the only way that a rubber roof can be installed.

Today rubber roofing manufacturers have developed shingles and other similar materials that can offer superb protection against storms, hail, and debris hitting your roof.

Benefits of Choosing Rubber Roofing for Your Home

Rubber is a pretty renewable resource and can often be recycled, making it an eco-friendly option for your home. Beyond just that, here are some of the other benefits that you’ll find in rubber roofing.

  • Long lifespan of 20-25 years on average and sometimes more than 50 years when quality materials are used in the right climate.
  • Easy cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep.
  • Energy savings due to the great insulation properties.
  • Fast and efficient installation.

Some of these benefits will depend on the type of rubber roof you’re installing and the location of your home. If you do have a low-sloped roof and you’ll be walking on it regularly, then don’t expect it to last nearly as long as if you were to leave it be.

Applications and Uses for Rubber Roofing

Depending on what your building or home looks like, the application or way that rubber roofing will be used on your home will differ depending primarily on the slope of your roof.

One thing to keep in mind is that rubber roofing works great as a way to repair your existing roof and keep it lasting long.

Low Sloped and Flat Roofs

Rubber roofing was designed and best fit in low sloped and flat roof applications. Commercial buildings, as well as apartments and other communal living spaces, are the most common places that you’ll find flat roofs and thus more rubber roofs.

Steeper roofs are best suited for shingles and other similar roofing materials. But low sloped roofs can cause water to pool and drift across the surface of the roof. Rubber provides a seal that keeps water from entering any portion of the roof.

flat rubber roofing

Added to Your Shingled Roof

Another way that rubber roofing can be used for your home is to add it to your existing shingled roof. Sometimes your shingles may not be able to hold up against harsh weather conditions on their own.

Adding rubber over the top of the shingled roof will not only help better insulate your home but can also provide you with a longer life span out of your shingles. If you’re interested in this option and think it’s right for you, be sure to reach out to your roofing company about it.

Rubber Roofing as a Tool for Repairs

Many types of roofing, including metal, asphalt, and different forms of stone, slate, or tile, can be repaired with rubber roofing. Metal, as an example, can rust or become damaged over time.

Instead of replacing the entire portion of the roof that has some damage, laying rubber over the existing metal might fix your problem and allow your roof to last for decades to come.

Types of Rubber Roofing

Not all rubber roofs are created equal. Some of the different types mentioned below might offer benefits in one instance and actually not function correctly in another.

We’ll break down the pros and cons of each rubber roofing type below.

(EPDM) Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer

EPDM is by far the most popular choice when it comes to rubber roofing. This material has many benefits and is the most rugged choice.


  • Last for a long time—longer than any other rubber roofing product.
  • The original rubber roofing material and it’s still considered the best.
  • Low-cost options make it affordable to install


  • Absorbs heat easily and can cause your home or business to be warm in the summer.
  • The seams on EPDM roofs are sealed with adhesive or tape, making them more likely to leak.

epdm rubber roofing

(TPO) Thermoplastic Polyolefin

TPO was created as an affordable and more eco-friendly alternative to EPDM and PVC rubber roofing. A newer product to the market, TPO doesn’t have the same time testing that the other two products offer, but it is still a great product with loads of benefits.


  • Durable and flexible during installation and after. This roofing product helps to protect your home or business from storm damage.
  • Environmentally friendly means that there are no chemicals used to create the product. TPO is also ENERGY STAR rated to save you more money on heating and cooling bills.
  • Seems and overlays are hot air-welded together to help make strong, flexible, and highly water-resistant roofs.
  • There are color options that allow you to choose what might look best on your home or business.


  • As a newer technology, it hasn’t been tested nearly as much as some of the other roofing membranes making it somewhat less reliable.
  • Inconsistencies in the formal for manufacturing can cause one roof to experience problems where another might not.

(PVC) Polyvinyl Chloride

Like TPO, PVC is made of thermoplastic materials that offer similar benefits in terms of flexibility, water resistance, and hot air-welded seams.

The difference here is that PVC contains some plasticizers and chlorine salts that make the pros and cons different.


  • The most flexible of all rubber roofing.
  • Time-tested and a long-time industry favorite that’s been used for nearly 50 years.
  • Energy-efficient as the color and material help to reduce heating and cooling bills.


  • The plasticizers and chemicals within PVC cause the rubber to break down faster than some other options.
  • It contains chlorine, making it much less environmentally and eco-friendly.

pvc roofing

Life Expectations and Cost of Rubber Roofing

The lifespan and cost of a rubber roof will range drastically depending on your location, material selection, and climate. Generally, rubber roofs last anywhere from 20-30 years. Obviously, life expectancy will be impacted by how you maintain your roof and the weather that hits your roof.

The cost of rubber roofs also varies depending on several factors. Installation costs can vary widely due to the material you choose and the quality of the rubber roofing that you install.

rubber shakes

In most cases, rubber roofs are much less expensive than asphalt shingle or metal roofs, making rubber a good option for those on a budget. The average cost per square foot for a rubber roof is $4 – $15, according to Home Advisor.

Interested in learning more about getting a new roof on your home? Red Canyon Roofing is here to help you make the most of your roof and get the best possible option for your home.

Our team of dedicated experts and professionals works hard to provide premium quality and excellent service. Reach out today to learn more!