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Should I Choose a Flat Roof or Rubber Roof?

May 31, 2023

Should I Choose a Flat Roof or Rubber Roof?

Should You Choose a Flat or Rubber Roof?

When it comes to replacing your roof, you’ll want to consider a variety of different options: metal vs asphalt, flat vs rubber roof, metal slate vs metal tile. Recently, conversations about flat and rubber roofs have been finding their ways into the lives of homeowners. Because the perfect home improvement experience is the optimum combination between a homeowner’s artistic expression and a roofing style’s material and performance, educating homeowners about the pros and cons of their roofing choices remains the goal of every home improvement contractor. In this post, we’ll be giving you a quick walk-through of flat and rubber roofs to help you make an informed purchase decision that will make your home shine.

What is a Flat Roof?

Contrast to a pitched roof that is characterized by its sloping figure, a flat roof has a pitch that is no more than a 10-degree tilt. They are almost leveled and can be commonly found in arid climates where people use the leveled roof space for entertainment, boarding, and other living accommodations. In addition to giving you an extra living space with a generous view, flat roofs are significantly cheaper than pitched roof for their ease of installation. While the price of a flat roof may vary across regions, a flat roof typically costs around $250 to $350 per “square” (100 square feet), reports ThisOldHouse. If you live in the West Coast, Home Guides finds that “a 900-square-foot flat roof in the San Francisco area, made of concrete tiles, costs approximately $6,108 to $7,635, whereas a moderately pitched roof with the same specifications ranges from $7,878 to $9,848.”

What is a Rubber Roof?

In the roofing industry, rubber roofs are known as an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roof, which is the fancy way to describe a commercial-grade rubber membrane that is engineered with quality control. Normally costing between $2.50 to $4.50 a square foot or $2,250-$4,000 for a 30×30-foot flat roof on a single family home for professional installation, the cost of your rubber roof varies in color, thickness, and local labor rates that can sometimes drive the price up to $7.80 per square foot, reports Home Cost Helper.

Flat vs. Rubber Roofing

While you may be attracted to flat roofs’ upfront affordability, versatility, and accessibility, flat roofs actually incurs more costs on the long-run. In fact, according to many experts, flat roofs aren’t architecturally logical, as rain and snow will shed much more quickly off a sloped roof. Flat roofs take a pounding from inclement weathers because their flatness prevents them from providing an efficient water shedding/redirection system. However, when it comes to choosing a flat roof, it may be wise to choose a flat roof when it comes to such accessories to your home like a garden shed, as opposed to choosing a flat roof for your actual home.

Rubber roofs, on the other hand, are more durable. Although you may find rubber shingles to be slightly more expensive than other roofing products, rubber rolls, according to HowStuffWorks, are efficient and cost-effective because they “have no seams and are very durable in extreme weather.” When you compare rubber shingles and rolls against your traditional asphalt or slate shingles, you’ll find rubber roofs to be not only lighter but also quicker and easier to install.

Putting Rubber on Your Roof

If you are looking for a roof that offers long-term stability and consistent performance, then a rubber roof is probably your winner. It just works better and looks better. And if you really want that extra living space on the roof, you can always build a porch or patio on the second floor.

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