Rubber roof shingles have become one of the most popular alternatives to traditional asphalt shingles. This is mainly due to their superior durability that helps your roof withstand the harshest weather conditions.
On a 1,600 sq.ft. roof, installing rubber shingles costs an average of $11,760-19,040, including all labor and materials. Keep in mind that roof installation costs may vary greatly depending on local labor rates.
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What Are Rubber Roof Shingles?
Recycled rubber and environmentally friendly, sustainable, and flexible plastics are the main components of rubber shingles. They provide higher energy-efficiency than other shingle materials in the industry.
Rubber shingles come in rolls or sheets, making the installation process a lot easier than usual. Even though they are made of plastics and used tires, manufacturers develop with a wide range of designs that replicate asphalt shingles, tiles, cedar shake, or slates.
Many rubber shingle manufacturers include at least 80% of recycled materials and a composite of other materials such as sawdust. As a result, rubber roof shingles have great durability and an architectural appearance. In general, these shingles are between 45-90 mm thick.
How Much Do Rubber Shingles Cost?
Rubber shingles cost a bit more than many popular roofing products. Generally, they cost between $7.35-$11.90 per square foot, including all materials and professional installation.
The cost depends on several factors such as the local economy, the area you live in, roof accessibility and height, and the complexity of the job.
Other factors that may drive up the total cost of roof installation can be the number of layers that have to be stripped from the old roofing, and the state of your roofing substrate.
Rubber shingles cost two – three as much as classic asphalt shingles.
Their price is much closer to that of premium roofing materials, such as cedar shake and metal roofing.
The two most notable producers of rubber shingles are Enviroshake and Euroshield.
Pros and Cons of Rubber Roof Shingles
There are many reasons why you should install rubber roof shingles on your house:
Pricing: despite the fact that rubber shingles emulate the look of traditional, high-end products, such an real cedar woof or slate stone they are much more affordable. Thus you get a high quality, upscale looking roof at a fair price.
Durability: rubber shingles are extremely sturdy, flexible, and strong. On top of that, they aren’t prone to deterioration caused by UV rays. They come with warranties of at least 30 years, and most manufacturers offer warranties of up to 50 years.
Safe for the environment: as we’ve covered already, rubber shingles are made of recycled rubber tires. As such, they are perfect for homeowners who’d like to contribute to preserving the environment.
Easy installation: the user-friendly structure lets you install shingles more easily than some other products, involving glue instead of torch-applied materials or asphalt. With a utility knife, you can cut the shingles to fit any corners and spaces. Also, pre-cut holes ensure ideal nail placement. Thus, faster installation can lead to lower labor costs than for other roofing materials.
Very low maintenance: additionally, rubber shingles are easy to handle, and require practically no maintenance. All you may need to do is clean them with a sponge mop and cleanser to fend off black mold spots and grime.
Superior hurricane protection: not all roofing products boast the protection that rubber shingles have. They can easily withstand hurricanes and the concomitant conditions, including high-speed winds and large hailstones. Many materials would crack or break altogether in the same situation, whereas hail bounces off rubber shingles and leaves them unscathed.
Insurance premium discounts: you can get much lower insurance rates for your house if you install rubber shingles. This is because insurers are aware of the superior resistance of rubber in hailstorms, which isn’t the case for many asphalt products.
Lightweight material: rubber shingles are much lighter than natural slate roofing. For instance, Rundle Slate weighs just 3.4 pounds per square foot. Heritage slate is even lighter, weighing in at 2.45 pounds per square foot. By comparison slate stone roofing weighs 8-10 lbs per square foot.
Energy efficiency: owing to the Cool Roof design with most rubber shingles, you have an additional insulation layer for your house. The shingles block the sun’s rays, limiting the amount of heat that penetrates the roof and enters your rooms. As a result, you don’t have to use your air conditioning as often, saving you a lot of energy and money.
Still, rubber shingles aren’t ideal for everyone. Some homeowners might be put off by rubber roofing due to the following reasons:
Appearance: in spite of the efforts to make rubber shingles closely resemble natural products, the appearance isn’t quite as appealing. They come in an array of colors, but they can fade over time. Over the years natural wood or slate or even metal maintain their original curb appeal much better than rubber shingles.
Cost: compared to cheaper roofing products such as asphalt shingles, rubber shingles may not be a worthwhile investment, especially if you are not planning to stay in your home beyond 5-7 years or if you are looking to replace a roof on an inexpensive rental property.
You don’t need the extra protection: if you live in a mild climate where hurricanes and hale are not a concern, and don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a super durable roof, you may be able to get away with quality architectural shingles such as GAF
Debris may still cause damage: while rubber shingles are nearly impervious to large hailstones and winds, they can still be harmed by falling debris. Potential threats include sharp objects such as satellite dishes or falling branches that can puncture the shingles and cause leakage.
Finding quality contractors may be difficult: not that many contractors specialize in installing rubber shingles. As a consequence, it can be challenging to find a professional who will properly install your roofing.
However, this isn’t a job where you should take a chance. Hiring an incompetent worker can cause a large number of issues and lead to premature roof failure which will not be covered by warranty.
Rubber Shingles vs. Asphalt Shingles
If the choice for your roof comes down to two options – rubber vs asphalt shingles – consider the following properties of both:
One of the main drawbacks of asphalt shingles is their relatively flimsy durability and fairly short lifespan. They aren’t a lifelong investment, and in most cases, need to be replaced after about 25 years.
In areas with poor weather, many asphalt roofs don’t even last 10 years. By the time they reach this age, they will have already suffered many forms of damage, including discoloration, algae growth, and potential cracks.
Did You Know: There’s a difference between cracking and splitting in asphalt shingles. Cracking occurs as a result of loss of chemicals called volatiles, whereas splitting takes place due to expansions and contractions brought about by changes in temperature.
On the other hand, some rubber shingle models can exceed their usual 50-year warranty and last up to 75 years. Such a long lifespan is normally reserved for tougher materials such as metal, but rubber shingle producers have pulled off a long-lasting roof using just recyclable materials. Furthermore, rubber shingles don’t dent, rust, or chip.
In regards to pricing, asphalt shingles are the most affordable roofing solution on the market. However, they generally aren’t considered very cost-effective. This is due to routine repairs and replacements that can take place much sooner than the time period stated in their warranties.
Conversely, rubber shingles will give you a lot more value for your investment. They require almost no maintenance, meaning that the higher initial price will pay off in the long run.
Unlike asphalt shingles that contain many materials that harm the environment, rubber shingles are completely environmentally friendly. This makes them the safest synthetic material in the industry.
Since rubber tires are recycled and not dumped in landfills, manufacturers such as Enviroshake and Euroshield go to great lengths to protect the environment.
How Long Do Rubber Shingles Last?
Rubber shingles are among the longest-lasting roofing products available. Most of the shingles are positioned as single pieces, meaning that there are few seams or none at all, depending on the layout of your roof.
Since there aren’t many seams, there aren’t many cracks through which water can enter your roof and wreak havoc in your home. Along with the aforementioned UV protection, hail and wind resistance, rubber shingles have what it takes to last more than 50 years.
In fact, many rubber shingles installed in the 1970s are still in decent condition.
Are Rubber Roof Shingles Worth It?
Considering all these properties, it’s hard to think that rubber shingles aren’t some of the most dependable roofing solutions.
This is especially true if you live in a hurricane-prone area such as the Midwest. Rubber shingles can withstand winds of extreme speeds and huge hailstones.
Admittedly, the curb appeal of rubber roof shingles isn’t ideal, but it’s safe to say that the pros convincingly outweigh the cons.
Choose either Enviroshake or Euroshield, and you’ll reap the benefits of your well-protected roofing for decades to come.
I've been a roofer for 15 years, and specialize in Metal Roofing and Flat Roofing.
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One comment on “Rubber Roof Shingles | Costs, Pros & Cons”
Enviroshake is not a rubber roofing material. We use a different technology and material (lxr) for our elastomer. We are a true composite, categorized more as a synthetic. I would me more than happy to discuss and provide accurate information for you.