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What You Should Know About Rubber Roofing

Contractors have two types of rubber roofs to choose from. One style is ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, EPDM, which consists of a roll of rubber material. Roofers tend to use EPDM more for commercial than residential buildings. The other style of rubber roofing consists of rubber shingles, which are common for residences.

Here is what you need to know about the composition, advantages, and installation of these rubber roofs.

Composition of EPDM

The rubber roofing membrane, EPDM, has two primary ingredients, ethylene and propylene. Both are derivatives of natural gas and petroleum. Manufacturers produce a single-ply rubber roofing membrane at either 45 or 60 millimeters. The rolls come in widths ranging from 7 ½ to 50 feet. EPDM roofing membranes are available in both white and black.

Advantages of EPDM

EPDM roofs are uniquely designed to perform well where asphalt shingles struggle, primarily on flat or low-sloping roofs. Shingles require gravity to formulate their seals, which isn’t available on flat or low-pitch roofs.

One of the big advantages of the EPDM roofing membrane is that’s it’s waterproof. Roofers seal the membrane to the roof, so moisture can’t reach the underlying structures. The material’s pliability helps in this realm.

EDPM roofing membranes are also exceptionally durable. They can last 20 years or more. Indeed, they often outlast traditional roofing materials. This style of rubber roof also reflects heat from the roof, which will ultimately translate into utility savings.

Composition of Rubber Slate Shingles

Rubber slate shingles are considered an eco-friendly roofing material. Manufacturers combine recycled tires, sawdust and slate dust. They heat these materials and injection-mold the liquid into metal forms cast from slate shingles. Besides the use of slate dust in the composition, rubber slate shingles get their name from the fact that they resemble roofs made out of the natural stone.

Advantages of Rubber Slate Shingles

Rubber slate shingles have many advantages. Chief among them is that eco-friendliness. Sometimes manufacturers use virgin materials in the creation of the shingles, rather than by-products of another industrial process. Yet the shingles themselves can ultimately be recycled, making them a green product.

Rubber slate shingles are very durable. Because of their rubbery composition, they stand up to extremes in weather and temperature changes. What’s more, manufacturers usually add impact modifiers, which further help them withstand storm damage. Likewise, they’re manufactured with advanced ultraviolet inhibitors, which increases their resistance to wear from the sun.

Another advantage of rubber slate shingles is that they’re fire-resistant. The material isn’t easily flammable and does not spread fire.

Finally, rubber slate shingles are much more budget-friendly than natural slate shingles. They’re also much lighter than the stone shingles. They’re even lighter than asphalt shingles. Therefore, you don’t have to reinforce your roof for these shingles.

How Roofers Install Rubber Roofing

Installing the EDPM roofing membranes is relatively simple. Typically, the roofers roll out the material and secure it with nails. However, if you’re covering an existing roof, they utilize a two-step process. First, they spray the existing roof with a layer of foam, which is an insulator. They then roll the EDPM membrane on top of the foam.

This style of roof has a couple extra advantages. One is that you don’t have to remove the existing roof. The second is that the spray foam adds insular value, which is another method for decreasing utility bills. As noted, EDPM roofing membranes are more commonly used for commercial buildings, but they’re not unheard of for residential projects.

Rubber slate shingles, on the other hand, are the more typical residential roofing product. They’re just like standard shingles in their shape. However, you do have the options common with slate roofs, such as scalloped shingles. Roofers install rubber slate shingles in a similar manner to asphalt shingles, nailed down in overlapping rows.

If you’re looking for a durable, eco-friendly roofing material, consider EDPM roofing membranes or rubber slate shingles. Contact Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc.for more information.

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