The answers to those questions, from first to last, are:
Rubber roofing does indeed get respect, and can be used on both houses and commercial buildings; rubber roofing looks like any black or slate gray roofing material; and it does not look like tire treads, although one of the world’s biggest tire manufacturers, Firestone, is also a major producer of it, which happens to be composed of the same rubber polymers which go into making a quality tire. Firestone thinks rubber roofing is a good idea, but should you? It depends.
The Advantages Of Rubber Roofing
Do you want a material which is easy to install? it is much easier to install than either individual roofing shingles or corrugated seam materials. Rubber roofing might even be installed right on top of your existing roof, sparing you the expense of tearing up and disposing of your old roofing material. That only applies, however, if your old roof is still in good shape. If you have more holes than you do shingles, you should have the shingles removed.
It is environmentally friendly, being completely biodegradable. Rubber roofing is also low-maintenance roofing.
Because It is flexible, it can “breathe” with a building, expanding and contracting in response to changes in the .temperature. This means that rubber roofing is not as stressed as more rigid roofing materials like asphalt shingles, and is suitable for a wider range of climates.
It is the best material for flat roofs, and most large commercial structures have flat roofs.
Rubber roofing is remarkably durable, with some of it being guaranteed for fifty years. Firestone, for example, promises that its E.D.P.M rubber roofing will neither split nor crack. Ever.
How accurate are the claims that rubber roofing will endure for half a century? We don’t know, because the first rubber roof was not installed until 1980, but you can go to Wisconsin and visit it, because it is still working as well as ever today.
Rubber Roofing In High Places
One of the world’s most photographed hotels, and one of its most beautiful, is the Burj al Arab Hotel on the coast of Dubai. This magnificent curved structure appears to be a giant sailboat riding on the wind, and for all its elegance, it’s topped with a rubber roof! Big money seems to appreciate rubber roofing, because the Barclayard Headquarters of Britain’s Barclay’s Bank is also crowned with rubber roofing.
It is manufactured in 20′ X 100″ sheets, and sometimes one is all it takes to cover an entire roof, with a minimum of cutting and shaping. But in spite of its ease of installation, there are rubber roofing manufacturers who refuse to sell their products to any roofing contractors who are not certified to work with their rubber roofing.