Rubber roofing is usually composed of recycled materials, making it a more eco-friendly choice than most. Although it is more expensive than asphalt roofing, it is much longer lasting.
If you are thinking of installing a rubber roof for your flat roof, using a large rubber roll is the best bet. Since there are no seams, the chances of having leaks and cracks is far less. If you have a pitched roof, rubber shingles will be installed much like other types of shingles. However, rubber roof shingles are far lighter than asphalt or slate shingles, which is beneficial for your overall roof load and shipping costs (not to mention your arms!)
How to Install a Rubber Roof: Flat Roof Rubber Roll
Ensure you have a clear, calm day before attempting your rubber roof installation.
Strip your roof down to the decking. Make sure it is clean and clear of all debris. Take your time with this, as any small defect or piece of junk can end up tearing your rubber roof.
Then measure out and cut any necessary spaces for chimneys or vents into your rubber roof roll. Sweep again right before applying the adhesive to your roof decking, and then carefully roll out the rubber roof.
Trim the edges where necessary, and adjust for any air bubbles. Install flashing around all edges according to manufacturers instructions (likely using an adhesive and tape.)
Rubber roof installation is far easier and faster than installing a traditional slate roof. | @ iStockphoto.com / Xosan
How to Install a Rubber Roof: Pitched Roof with Rubber Shingles
Remove all old roofing materials and ensure you have a clean roof deck when installing a rubber roof. Hammer in any nails that may be sticking up, or remove them. Fix any loose boards.
Then, install the ice and water shield. Simply roll it onto one side of your roof, and nail it in place on the outer edges.
Install tar paper overtop, covering the entire roof. Use a staple gun to adhere it to the roof decking at regular intervals.
Begin installing the rubber roof shingles with nails, beginning with the starter strip (the strip on the lower edges of your roof.) In straight rows, overlap the shingles until you reach the peak of your roof. Then install the rubber roof cap shingles. If necessary, you can easily cut and form shingles to fit your particular roof.
Finally, install the flashing on any joints or seams on your roof.
Rubber Roof Installation: DIY versus Professional Roofer
Despite the relative ease of installing a rubber roof, it is worth considering hiring a qualified roofer for the job. This way, you can be sure you are meeting local building codes and fulfilling warranty requirements. All roofing, including rubber roof installation, is a dangerous job. A qualified roofer will have the proper safety equipment and health insurance in case anything goes awry.