Some material that we use for roofing is similar today to those used in ancient times. Man has used materials like wood and clay for shingles or tiles for almost as long as they have built houses. There is one very new material that is gaining in popularity and should be considered for you new home or replacement roof. Rubber roofing shingles have only been sold since 1993 but have many advantages over more traditional singles.
Rubber roof tiles are mainly made from recycled tires. The tires or other recycled materials are ground down into a powder which can then be molded, colored and textured into a shingle. The choices for appearance and color are vast and can fit any style home. Shingles can be found which simulate wood, slate or ceramic. The malleability of the material often makes for more realistic impressions of these materials than can be found in metal or plastic tiles. Disposal of a rubber shingle roof is also eco-friendly as they are completely recyclable.
Rubber shingles are usually very inexpensive, often a fraction of traditional ones. They are extremely durable and often come with manufacturers guarantees to last between 30 and 50 years. Such a shingle roof is also extremely low maintenance as they are resistant to mold, insects, ultraviolet radiation and extreme eat or cold. They are flexible and may expand and contract causing them to loosen. In these cases they are very easy to replace or repair. Most of these tiles are given a fire rating of A from the American Society for Testing and Materials. Rubber is a flammable material and additional coating or fireproofing can be added when they are installed.
Installation of these shingles is similar to wood or asphalt tiles. The unique flexibility of rubber makes shaving a shingle to fit corners or other spaces very easy with a simple utility knife. They are manufactured in a standard 3 tab design like asphalt ones. There are very few disadvantages to these shingles. The most typical issue involves the smell that exists when recently installed on a home. This odor dissipates in time and is typically not an issue after the first few weeks.
Although the shingles themselves are generally less expensive than other materials you may find that you will spend a bit more on some peripherals materials. Due to the extremely long life expectancy of a rubber roof you will want to buy top quality materials like for flashing and bituminous membranes to pair with it.
Rubber roof shingles are new and some roofers have not worked with them. They may seek to charge a higher price than they would install an asphalt roof. Finding a roofer that specializes in these installations is a way around this issue.