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How Long Does a Rubber Roof Last?

Rubber roofs are durable for a variety of reasons. Rubber roof such as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is engineered to withstand hail, ozone, ultraviolet rays, and wind exceptionally well. It also exhibits high resistance to extreme temperatures and fire, making it a preferred choice in commercial settings.

But how long does a rubber roof last? A professionally installed rubber roof, if maintained correctly, can last between 40 and 50 years. Naturally, the lifespan of rubber roofs can be extended further with appropriate drainage considerations during installation. 

How Long Does a Rubber Roof Last? – Rubber Roof Lifespan

After the successful installation of your rubber roof, its exceptional durability ensures a long lifespan often spanning decades before requiring further upkeep. 

Routine maintenance and checks can significantly extend the lifespan of your rubber roof. A visual examination can reveal initial signs of damage caused by weather conditions, dropped debris, or foot traffic. A skilled roofing contractor will also look out for blisters and scrutinize elements that influence water flow, ensuring water is correctly draining off the commercial roof as designed. Inspectors should undertake small repairs and remove debris from drainage paths to guarantee efficient water flow.

Periodic cleaning of the roofing membrane using a broom and a suitable cleaning agent can also be beneficial. However, avoid using petroleum-based cleaning products as they could harm rubber, or EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roofs.

Rubber Roof Lifespan

Why my rubber roof is not lasting long?

The main thing that could stop your rubber roof from lasting up to 15 years is if the coating isn’t put on right. If too much or too little coating is used, or if it’s applied at the wrong time or the surface isn’t prepared properly, the roof might wear out faster.

Most rubber roof coatings come with a warranty, so make sure you know what it covers. If you see signs of poor quality, you might wonder again, “How long should a rubber roof last?” Ideally, it should last around 15 years. If it doesn’t, you might be able to get it fixed under warranty.

Benefits of Rubber Roof

If you’re a contractor or have some knowledge about roofing, you might be familiar with EPDM, an acronym for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, often referred to as rubber roofing. Many contractors advise commercial property owners to consider rubber roofs.

Rubber membrane roofs offer superior longevity, durability, and cost-effectiveness per square foot, positioning them as one of the top choices for replacing any impaired roofing material.

Benefits of Rubber Roof

Ease of Installation

When rubber roofs are correctly installed, they provide a seamless surface. A roof without seams is more resistant to moisture and virtually eliminates the risk of leaks.

Other types of roofing may pose the risk of shingles or individual panels peeling off, thereby exposing the underlying roof to potential leaks. However, this concern is significantly mitigated with a seamless rubber roof installation.

Rubber roofs share similar characteristics with PVC, TPO, and other more costly roofing materials. Ultimately, the effectiveness of these roofs largely depends on the quality of the installation.

Lightweight

A rubber roof weighs about two pounds per square foot, which is lighter than materials like modified bitumen. But even though it’s light, it’s still really durable.

Because it’s lighter, it puts less stress on the roof over time, which helps keep your commercial roof in good shape for longer. Also, it’s easier to move and install. Heavier materials can be hard to carry up and down ladders or stairs, but rubber is much easier, which makes installing it a bit simpler too.

Durability

Rubber roofs are really strong, just like PVC and TPO ones. They’re tough enough to handle things like rooftop gardens. Because they’re seamless, they stop water from getting in, which stops mold and other things that could hurt the roof.

If your rubber roof is put in right and checked every year for any cracks that might let water in, it should last at least 40 years, if not more.

Professional Rubber Roof Installation

The initial step towards installing a rubber roof should be to engage the services of a commercial roofing contractor. These professionals come with extensive experience in the installation of such roofs, significantly reducing the likelihood of errors.

Disadvantages of Rubber Roofing

 

Despite having a few drawbacks, there are ample reasons why EPDM roofs are frequently chosen for commercial properties.

Rubber Roof Installation Steps

Rubber Roof Installation Steps

Roof Cleaning

Before proceeding, it is crucial to ensure proper preparation of the roof. This involves meticulously cleaning any debris or dust that may hinder the adhesive properties of the EPDM membrane. The membrane’s effectiveness lies in its ability to securely adhere to the surface of the roof.

Gutter Inspection

Gutter inspection is very important as these will redirect rainwater drips to the gutter, preventing any potential damage to the underlying supporting wall and fasteners.

Secure Flashing

Ensure proper preparation of the wall areas intended for flashing. This redirects moisture away from the wall, directing it towards the rubber membrane. You need to remove any excess brick mortar using a suitable tool like a mortar chisel. These steps are crucial to ensure secure attachment of the flashings.

Check out other types of roofing and their lifespan!