Are you considering installing recycled rubber roofing shingles designed to impersonate those haughty lords of cladding materials — natural slate and cedar wood shakes? If so, read on to learn more about the costs and pros & cons of recycled rubber shingles such as the ones offered by EuroShield Roofing.
Rubber shingles reside in the upper mid-range of the roofing cost spectrum. On average, you can expect to pay between $8.50 and $14.50 per square foot to install rubber shingles on a typical house in the US or Canada.
Pricing installation always depends on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the job at hand, roof height and accessibility, your home’s location and local economy.
Condition of the substrate and the number of additional layers of old roofing material to be removed can also impact costs.
Expect to pay an additional $1.00 to $2.00 per square foot when removing and disposing of more than one layer of old roofing.
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How do rubber shingles compare to other roofing materials?
The upfront cost is more than twice the cost of asphalt shingles and roughly comparable to metal roofing and cedar shakes.
While an asphalt roof can be expected to provide between 10 to 20 years of service lifespan, a rubber shingle roof will last two to three times as long.
A properly installed rubber roof will withstand wind uplift up to 110 mph and, as you may guess, most hail stones (up to 2 inches in diameter) will bounce off the rubber shingles rather than breaking them.
You will find warranties offering hail protection for stones up to two inches (that’s bigger than the size of a golf ball) in diameter.
Rubber shingles are fire resistant and can stand up to even a lightning strike. Recycled tire rubber roofs are perfectly safe to walk on.
Home Insurance Considerations
As rubber shingle roofs become more prevalent and insurance companies recognize the superior performance of recycled rubber roofs in storms compared to asphalt, you can expect insurance rates to drop for homes protected by rubber shingle roofs in the future.
Installation often requires a factory trained and certified contractor, which helps explain the relatively high product cost installed, but you weren’t going to scrimp on professional installation anyway, were you?
Installation is fast and easy in the hands of a professional. The rubber shingles are lightweight and easy to handle and application is with industrial adhesives and roofing nails.
Pre-cut holes in the shingles help insure optimal nail placement. For those quirky roof angles the product is cut with only a utility knife.
Why Rubber Shingles and Why now?
Fans of The Simpsons know that the Springfield Tire Fire has been burning in the town for almost 30 years. For a number of reasons tires are among the most problematic of waste materials.
- First, there are just so darn many of them. Not that anyone was providing an accurate accounting, but in the 1990s it was estimated that there were over one billion scrapped tires in American landfills.
- Second, due to the shape of tires and their considerable amount of void space they take up a disproportionately large amount of space compared to more compactable waste.
- And third, tires are extremely durable and do not degrade naturally. Historically, the method of choice for disposing of tires was to burn them.
In recent years, environmentally conscious researchers and manufacturers have attacked the problem of recycling tires.
One of the places you can not recycle tires is into other tires due to the risk of potential failure.
It is the construction industry that has proven the most popular destination for old tires. Entire buildings have been constructed from tires that were crammed with dirt fill and covered with concrete.
Shredded tires have ended up as sub-grade insulation for roads and drainage fields. Tires can be melted into asphalt for road coverings, sports courts, and playgrounds.
As tire recycling grows more sophisticated more refined consumer products have emerged; one such innovative product is recycled rubber roofing shingles designed to impersonate those haughty lords of cladding materials — natural slate and cedar wood shakes.
How are rubber shingle roofs produced?
Manufacturers purchase massive quantities of old tires (an average roof requires anywhere from 250 to 1000 tires) and dissect the hard rubber rings into small chunks which are fed into a granulating process.
The rubber fragments are then scraped clean of any steel and nylon threads. There are more processing stages, including a flame-retardant chemical treatment, before the recycled rubber potion is committed to the extraction process to form roof shingles.
Euroshield Roofing is a Canadian-based manufacturer offering 3 slate profiles and 2 shake profiles. You can learn more about their range of products here. The company’s products are available in the US via EuroShield network of installers.
Did you know? Most rubber roof shingles are comprised of between 75% and 95% recycled materials, including the re-purposed tires.
In the trade, a rubber roof is known as an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), although manufacturers have brand names for their individual products.
Rubber is not a new material for roof coverings. EPDM roofs laid in long thin strips on buildings in the mid-1900s have stood the test of time.
Rubber roofs are not susceptible to the destructive ultraviolet rays of the sun and a properly installed roof can be expected to last generations.
Modern EPDM production processes create rubber shingles that stand up to extremes of hot and cold without cracking. Most manufacturers offer long-term warranties — 30 years and up — to back the product.
And if you are still around when the time comes to replace a rubber roof it is completely recyclable — the environment thanks you. 😉
Unlike natural slate, recycled rubber simulated slate tiles are light weight. With Rundle Slate profile weighing in at 3.4 pounds per sq. ft. (340 lbs per square) and with Heritage Slate profile weighing in at just 2.45 pounds per sq. ft. (245 lbs per square), EuroShield rubber roofing can be installed on almost any roof without ever requiring roof-frame reinforcement.
Rubber tile roofs provide a great shield against moisture, but if maintenance is required it is often a painless process — many times requiring only the re-application of sealant.
Regular cleaning with a cleanser and sponge mop to combat grime and black mold spots is recommended.
If repairs are necessary the fix is often quick and many times less expensive than patching up roofs of slate or wood or clay.
Rubber shingle roofs act as an extra layer of insulation for your home, reflecting the sun’s radiant rays in the summer, thus helping improve the comfort of your home. Rubber also displays superior sound-deafening qualities.
In addition to being completely recyclable, in its lifetime rubber has a strong resistance to water and will not pollute rainwater run-off which can safely be collected for any non-potable use.
So, what’s not to love with a rubber roof and are there any potential drawbacks?
Rubber shingles are meant to emulate the appearance of costly slate roofs. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder to make the final judgement on how successfully manufacturers pull off that mimicry.
Recycled rubber roofing shingles come in a variety of colors and that coloration is infused all the way through the piece during the manufacturing process.
If the product fades through years of sun-beaten exposure it should change color evenly, given equal exposure.
Rubber shingles are available in varying thicknesses to make an even better slate imitation, if so desired.
While a cedar shake roof may send you on an olfactory journey to the great forests of the Northwest, a new recycled rubber roof is likely to make you feel as if you are in a refinery. 😉
The strong odor will dissipate eventually (not overnight), but it can cause decision-changing problems for residents with allergies or respiratory ailments. — If this is at all a consideration, give as prolonged an exposure to an existing rubber roof as possible before making this considerable investment.
But, that is it in terms of potential drawbacks to consider. If you are down with the look of faux slate and find the odor only a trivial inconvenience, an affordable, long-lasting recycled rubber shingle roof may well be in your future.
ROI (Cost-to-Value Return) Considerations
- Low lifecycle cost compared to asphalt shingles — no need to re-roof after 10-25 years.
- Estimated value recouped at resale: 70%.
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