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When it comes to commercial roofing options, one material that has gained popularity in recent years is rubber roofing. This article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of commercial rubber roofing, including its basics, different types of materials, installation process, maintenance and repair, as well as cost considerations.

Understanding the Basics of Rubber Roofing

What is Rubber Roofing?

Rubber roofing, also known as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roofing, is a durable and flexible material that is commonly used on commercial buildings. It is made from a synthetic rubber compound, which makes it highly resistant to weathering, UV radiation, and extreme temperatures.

EPDM roofing is available in both black and white colors, with white EPDM offering additional benefits such as higher reflectivity and energy efficiency. This can help reduce cooling costs for buildings located in warmer climates. The installation process for EPDM roofing involves adhering the membrane to the roof deck using a special adhesive or mechanically fastening it.

Benefits of Rubber Roofing

There are several advantages to choosing rubber roofing for your commercial property. First and foremost, its durability ensures that your roof will last for a long time, even in harsh weather conditions. Rubber roofing is also highly resistant to punctures and tears, making it a reliable option for commercial buildings.

In addition to its durability, rubber roofing requires minimal maintenance. Unlike some other roofing materials, it does not require frequent repairs or coatings. This can save you both time and money in the long run.

Furthermore, rubber roofing is an environmentally friendly choice. It can be made from recycled materials, reducing the demand for new resources. Additionally, rubber roofing is energy-efficient, as it helps to insulate the building and reduce cooling costs.

EPDM roofing is known for its flexibility, which allows it to expand and contract with temperature changes without cracking or becoming damaged. This flexibility makes it an ideal choice for buildings in regions with fluctuating weather patterns. Additionally, EPDM roofing is resistant to ozone and can withstand exposure to various chemicals, making it a versatile option for commercial roofing applications.

Types of Rubber Roofing Materials

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing

EPDM roofing is the most common type of rubber roofing used in commercial buildings. It is known for its durability, flexibility, and long lifespan. EPDM roofs are typically black and can be installed as large sheets or individual shingles.

EPDM roofing membranes are made of a synthetic rubber material that is highly resistant to ozone, UV radiation, and extreme temperatures. This makes them ideal for withstanding the elements and providing long-term protection for commercial structures. EPDM roofs are also known for their ease of installation and low maintenance requirements, making them a cost-effective roofing solution for many businesses.

Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) Roofing

TPO roofing is another popular choice for commercial buildings. It is a single-ply roofing material that combines the durability of rubber with the heat-welded seams of thermoplastic materials. TPO roofs are usually white, which helps to reflect sunlight and reduce cooling costs.

One of the key advantages of TPO roofing is its energy efficiency. The white surface of TPO roofs reflects sunlight, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the building. This can lead to lower cooling costs and increased energy savings over time. Additionally, TPO roofing is known for its resistance to algae and bacteria growth, helping to maintain a clean and attractive roof for years to come.

Installation Process of Rubber Roofing

Preparing the Roof Surface

Prior to installation, the roof surface must be properly prepared. This includes cleaning the roof to remove any debris or dirt. Any existing roofing materials may need to be removed, and the surface should be inspected for any damage or leaks that need to be repaired before installing the rubber membrane.

Additionally, it is important to check the roof’s structure to ensure it can support the weight of the new rubber roofing material. Any weak areas should be reinforced to prevent future issues. Proper ventilation and insulation should also be considered during the preparation phase to enhance the overall performance and longevity of the rubber roof.

Applying the Rubber Roofing Material

Once the roof surface is ready, the rubber roofing material can be applied. This is typically done in large sheets or rolls, which are then adhered to the roof surface using a strong adhesive. The seams between the sheets are sealed to ensure a watertight seal. The roofing material may also be secured with mechanical fasteners for added stability.

It is crucial to hire professional roofing contractors with experience in rubber roofing installation to ensure a proper and long-lasting result.

Moreover, before applying the rubber roofing material, a primer is often used to enhance the adhesion of the adhesive to the roof surface. This primer helps create a strong bond between the rubber membrane and the roof, increasing the overall durability of the roofing system. Proper application of the primer is essential for the success of the installation process.

Maintenance and Repair of Rubber Roofs

Regular Inspection and Cleaning

To maintain the integrity of your rubber roof, it is important to conduct regular inspections and cleanings. Inspections should be carried out at least twice a year, in the spring and fall, to identify any signs of damage or potential issues.

Cleaning your rubber roof is also necessary to remove any debris, dirt, or algae buildup. This can be done by gently washing the roof surface with a mild soap and water solution.

Repairing Damages and Leaks

If any damages or leaks are identified during inspections, they should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage to the roof and the building. Small punctures or tears can often be repaired using a rubber patch kit and adhesive. For more extensive damage, it is recommended to consult with a professional roofing contractor.

Cost Considerations for Rubber Roofing

Initial Installation Costs

The cost of installing a rubber roof can vary depending on factors such as the size of the roof, the type of rubber roofing material chosen, and the complexity of the installation process. On average, the cost of installing a rubber roof ranges from $5 to $10 per square foot. However, it is important to note that investing in a high-quality rubber roof can provide long-term savings by reducing maintenance and repair costs.

Long-term Maintenance Costs

While rubber roofing requires minimal maintenance compared to other roofing materials, it is still important to consider the long-term maintenance costs. Regular inspections, cleanings, and occasional repairs may be necessary to ensure the longevity of your rubber roof. These costs should be factored into the overall budget for your commercial roofing project.


Rubber roofing is a durable, flexible, and environmentally friendly option for commercial buildings. Its benefits, such as durability, minimal maintenance, and energy efficiency, make it an attractive choice for many businesses. Understanding the basics of rubber roofing, including different types of materials, the installation process, and maintenance considerations, is essential when considering this roofing option for your commercial property. By investing in a high-quality rubber roof and conducting regular inspections and maintenance, you can ensure the long-term protection and performance of your commercial building.

Ready to enhance your commercial property with a high-quality rubber roof? Look no further than Johnson Roofing and Repair LLC, your trusted roofing experts in Central Arkansas. Committed to honesty and exceptional workmanship, our team is equipped to handle installations and repairs for a variety of roofing materials, including the durable and energy-efficient TPO and PVC flat roofing. Serving Conway, Pine Bluff, Benton, Hot Springs, Little Rock, AR, and the surrounding areas, we’re here to ensure your roof remains in top condition. Don’t wait for minor issues to become major headaches—Contact Us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist with your roofing needs.

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