What Is Rubber Roofing?

Posted on by Protech Roofing Team

Roof rolls and shingles were traditionally, and have until recently, been made from materials such as wood, slate, flagstone, metal, plastic and asphalt. Installed on pitched roofs, shingles are placed in overlapping formations to aid the channeling of water off the roof. These traditional shingles materials, though effective in their implementation, are not particularly economical in terms of durability.

Cost-effective solution

Rubber roofing is the latest solution for these issues of durability, with promises of offering higher longevity and effectiveness, with a cheaper, easier installation; even on flat roofs. Constituted from up to 95% recycled materials, the majority being old tires and materials such as sawdust, rubber roofing is more resistant to absorption of damp and subsequent issues of mould, as well as cracking, flaking and discolouration that may be caused by severe weather. Due to this resilience, rubber roofing is incredibly cost-effective, with its estimated lifespan being as long as 75 years; significantly more than its metal or wood counterpart, most of which are, by comparison, only anticipated to last between 25 and 45 years.

Positive environmental impact

The initial production of rubber roofing requires a much lower amount of energy, with the rubber even being recyclable as used shingles are melted down to produce a new product; a serious advantage for those environmentally-conscious households. Rubber itself acting as such an effective insulating material for buildings means that rubber roofing can save energy and seriously reduce carbon emissions in the process. Further to this, no toxic substances are released from the rubber membranes during their lifespan, another positive environmental aspect of this alternative flat-roofing solution.


EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer) is one type of rubber roofing material that is used on flat and low-slope roofs. Compounded from ethylene, propylene and a small amount of diene monomer, this vulcanised material is able to withstand not only the harshest of weather conditions, but also has considerable resistance to alkalis, alcohols and even acids that may be present in acid rain. An extremely durable material, EPDM can be tailored to suit many different projects in a variety of ways.

Firstly, EPDM is sold in different thicknesses, 45 and 60 mils, and at various widths ranging from 7.5 feet right up to 50 feet. In terms of installation, the roofing can be applied in a number of ways. It can be adhered onto the surface in question, mechanically attached or even ballasted. Produced in either black or white, this material can easily be tailored to suit the project required, with black being useful for insulating buildings effectively, while white reflects UV rays, preventing the rubber from being damaged by extensive exposure.

EPDM requires no continual maintenance such as special coatings in order to sustain its life expectancy, another aspect that makes it the incredibly cost-effective material that it is. As with any material, maintenance in the form of removing debris and general good ‘housekeeping’ can aid this material’s sustainability even further.

At Protech Roofing, we are the proud suppliers and installers of EPDM roofing in Leeds, Sheffield and the surrounding regions. With numerous commercial roofing services, our dedicated service is tailored to you and your needs for any project. To get a quote or organise a free callout, visit our website and get in touch today.  


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