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Rubber Roof Cost

Rubber Roof Cost

National average
$11,250
(1,500 sq. ft. EPDM roof, medium-quality insulation, old shingles removed, a portion of plywood replaced)
Low: $8,250

(low-quality insulation, old shingles removed, no plywood replaced)

High: $14,250

(top-quality insulation, old shingles and plywood removed)

Cost to install a rubber roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from local contractors in your city.

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Rubber Roof Cost

National average
$11,250
(1,500 sq. ft. EPDM roof, medium-quality insulation, old shingles removed, a portion of plywood replaced)
Low: $8,250

(low-quality insulation, old shingles removed, no plywood replaced)

High: $14,250

(top-quality insulation, old shingles and plywood removed)

Cost to install a rubber roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from local contractors in your city.

The average cost to install rubber roof is $11,250.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Rubber Roof?

Replacing your roof is a great investment in your home. Not only will it prevent leaks and further problems down the road, it will also increase the value of your home. Rubber roofing is one of the latest trends in the roofing industry. Many contractors like using rubber roofing for its many advantages, including long life span, little maintenance, and affordability.

Rubber roofs come in different types, colors, level of insulation, removal work, and other options. Cost is also affected by the type of roof you currently have and what brand of rubber you choose. Although costs will vary, the average cost to install a rubber roof ranges between $10,000 and $12,000, with the average customer paying $11,250 for a 1,500 square foot EDPM rubber roof.

rubber Roof Installation

Rubber roof installation costs
National average cost$11,250
Average range$10,000 - $12,000
Minimum cost$8,250
Maximum cost$14,250


Prep Work Before Installing a Rubber Roof

Getting ready to have a roof installed is vital to the safety of your family, pets, and personal belongings. A professional roofer will want you to get prepared in advance to save time on installation day. Most roofing companies do not offer prep work as part of the package so you will want to make sure the following tasks are completed prior to the dumpster being dropped off for the job to start:

  • Vehicles, grills, play equipment, lawn ornaments, patio furniture, potted plants and any movable outside items will need to be relocated prior to new roof application. If you have any items hanging on the outside of your house, those should also be taken down and stored away safely.
  • Make certain all of your wall hangings or items on shelves inside are removed or secured to prevent damage. The roofers will be creating vibrations and movement that could cause breakable items to fall.
  • If you have items stored in the attic, cover or relocate those as dust and debris may fall while the roof is being replaced.
  • Tree branches should be sufficiently pruned for easy access. This will also make clean-up easier and more thorough.
  • Grass should be freshly cut so that any nails that are dropped may be located easily. High grass will hide nails or other debris. To prevent injury as well as damage to lawn equipment, well-groomed grass is important.
  • Children and pets will need to stay indoors or be taken to a friend or family’s home as the regular outside area may be dangerous. The noise may be difficult for them, as well, so take that into consideration.
  • Remove any antennae or satellite dishes prior to roof installation and store away in a safe area.

Cost Factors

The basic cost to purchase and install a rubber roof does not take into account several scenarios. While the size, shape, and type of rubber roofing you choose will influence cost, there are a few other things that will add to or subtract from the average. Some cost factors include:

  • The roofing company may want to remove the old shingles 1 if the old ones are lifting or in bad shape. If this is done, it may increase the cost of your rubber roof, but is most often included in the pricing. If the roofer charges more the cost is usually $1-$2 per sq.ft.
  • You may decide to have foam sprayed for additional insulation. There are two types of spray foam: open cell costs $0.50-$1 per board foot and closed cell costs $1-$2 per board foot. The average additional expense of including installation of spray foam is $2,700 . Costs will vary according to how much insulation you require.
  • A flat rubber roof is much less expensive than rubber shingles, but aesthetically a flat roof may not look as good. Rubber shingles add texture and look very similar to other shingles, while a flat rubber roof is simply solid rubber roll without the shingle look. Pricing for a flat rubber roof ranges from $5-$10 per sq.ft., while rubber shingles cost $4-$8 per sq.ft.
  • Decking is the plywood 2 located under the roofing material. If the roof has been leaking, this plywood may have become rotten and will need to be replaced. Most roofing professionals will include the cost of replacing 1-2 pieces of decking, but will charge for anything above that. This is usually an additional $70-$100 per 32 sq.ft. of roof area.
  • You may want to have a sealant applied to your rubber roof. Sealants are required for flat roofs, but are optional for angled roofs. Applying a sealant will offer better protection against rain and moisture, UV protection, make the roof more fire-resistant, prevent mold, and keep the roof cooler, thus lowering your electric bill. While the expense of a sealant may vary according to the type of sealant you request and the difficulty of application, most roofing companies will charge $1.00-$2.50 per sq.ft.
  • The slope, pitch, and size of your roof will create a fluctuation in all costs. Roofers will charge more for roofs that contain varying slopes or pitches as these require more work. Obviously, the size of a roof increases both the amount of time needed to finish the roof as well as the volume of materials needed.

Pros and Cons

While rubber roofing is often a good option, there are some disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of rubber roofing that will help you make a decision on whether or not it is the way you want to go:

ProsCons

Should last 40-50 years

Requires little-to-no maintenance

Quick installation

Repairs are easy and inexpensive

“Green” choice

Highly energy efficient

Extremely fire-resistant

Withstands high winds

Cost is lower than most other roofing options

Not as aesthetically pleasing

May be hard to find a experienced installer

Repainting required after 10-12 years

Traditionally used for flat or low-sloping roofs

Not as many colors to choose from

Types of Rubber Roofs

There are 3 major types of rubber roofs. Each one has pros and cons. Your roofing consultant should be able to advise you on what might work best for your particular needs, but knowing some information upfront will help you with the decision.

Type of roofProsCons

EPDM

$5.50-$9.50 per sq.ft.

Been used for over 60 years

Roofs last 40-50 years

Adhered mechanically

Resistance to water, heat, and fire

Available in black only

Seams 3 sealed with seam tape or glue

TPO

$6.50-$11.50 per sq.ft.

Most energy saving

Available in many colors

Seam sealing is heated

Meets ASTM standards

Relatively new technology

Adhered chemically

Life of roof is 15-20 years

Slightly higher cost

PVC

$6.50-$12.50 per sq.ft.

Energy efficient

Environmentally friendly

Available in many colors

Seams are sealed with hot air

Fire and wind resistant

Watertight

Life more than 20 years

Requires removal of old roof

Requires repairs by about the 10th year

Repairs only done during warmer weather


Attachment, Reinforcement and Seams

Some details that impact the durability and life of your roof have to do with how the roof is attached. While rubber roofing is an energy-efficient and water-resistant product, it is only as good as its back-up materials. Any roofing material must have ways to reinforce and seal as the top of your house is exposed to the elements more than any other area. There are several ways this can be done and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Attachment

There are three distinct ways to attach a roof: mechanically, fully adhered, or ballasted. The cost is around the same for each type, at $1.80-$3.50 per sq.ft., depending on thickness and the type of rubber roof you choose.

  • Mechanically attached roofs comprise about 80% of the roofs done. They are easy and quick to install. A mechanically attached roof is also easily inspected. This type of attachment is done with screws through the layers and then sealed with heat-welding.
  • Fully adhered roofs are more expensive as they take more time. Your installer must place the roofing materials very precisely and then use glue to affix it to the decking. The glue needs to reach just the right consistency without drying too much. Some contractors like fully adhered roofs because they believe them to be more leak-resistant.Ballasted roofing is not adhered in any way. While there are a few plates and fasteners 4 used, the main anchoring is the gravel or pavers that are put on top of the roofing. Installation can be performed quickly as there is no glue to deal with, it is easy to repair, and has tested well in wind studies. It is fireproof, waterproof, and totally recyclable. Ballasted roofing is very energy-efficient because although the stones absorb heat, they don’t pass the heat to the roof underneath. Stone pavers have become a more popular choice than gravel as they are safer in wind and create a beautiful look to the roof.

Reinforcement

Just as the word suggests, this is a way to make the rubber roofing stronger and more durable. All rubber roofing is normally reinforced with polyester scrim, mat, or fabric mesh directly from the factory. Check with the manufacturer to make sure your rubber roofing is reinforced.

Seams

The seams of your roof are an important part of the roof as your roof is only as watertight as the seams are. Seams can be either glued, taped, or heat welded, depending on the type of roof you choose. EPDM roofs are glued or taped, TPO uses a mixture of glue and welding, while PVC is heat welded. The pricing for sealing the seams is included in the price of the roof. If the seams are coated after installation this will make them stronger and less susceptible to leakage. Additional coating is $1-$2.50per sq.ft.

Style

Rubber roof shingles look very much like slate 5 shingles. Slate shingles are made of stone and contain as much as 40% mica. When looking at a slate roof in the sunlight, you will see a shimmery look to the shingles. Slate is an expensive roof at $6.50-$15 per sq.ft.

You can find a variety of colors in rubber roof shingles (particularly TPO and PVC roofs) and this makes them a popular choice. Colors available are white, black, and gray. Manufacturers can also add more customized colors to come up with a shade that is complementary to almost any home color. In addition, they can be made to look like cedar shingles in a brown or clay red. They also come in white on black shingles which lends contrast to your roof. The shingles come in a 3-tab style just like regular shingles.

Maintenance

Rubber roofing is known for its easy maintenance and is not as likely to develop cracks or leaks as other types of roofing. However, there are some tasks that a homeowner can do to make certain a rubber roof lasts for years to come. Removing debris before washing will make cleaning easier. Regular cleaning should be done at least once a year and can be done with dish detergent and water. The roof should be regularly inspected for cracked caulking 6 or loose sealant. A homeowner can replace these areas after carefully removing the damaged product with a bristle brush. If you opt to paint your rubber roof, you will need to repaint every 10-12 years.

Energy Efficiency

Rubber roofing is one of the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly roofing products available. It is made of up to 95% recycled materials. This means that not only are contractors reusing materials, but that, in 20-40 years when the roof needs to be replaced, the debris will be recyclable as well. The white on black option is the most UV-resistant. Rubber roofing also insulates well so less energy will be consumed.

Labor Costs to Install Rubber Roofing

Roofing is a dangerous job. Climbing on roofs, handling chemicals, adhesives, and heat, as well as using tools such as hammers and nails can all lead to accidents. Professional roofers have had training and experience dealing with all of these and more. Homeowners will want to choose a trusted company to perform the work.

Any estimate of time does not take into account any repair work that may need to be done. Often, decking is rotted, soffits 7 and fascia need to be replaced, or rafters need to be reinforced, so these add to build times. One average, you can expect 1-3 days to completion on a roof replacement project. An average price for roofing labor is between $16 and $19 per hour, or they may charge by the square foot. Per square foot labor fees vary depending on the type of roofing you choose. Average pricing per square foot is $265-$280. Keep in mind that this varies from state to state.

Rubber Roofing vs. Other Roofing

There are myriad types of roofing materials. Consumers will want to compare the advantages, disadvantages, and pricing of each one. Note: a square equals 100 square feet.

TypeProsCons

Asphalt

$2.10 per sq.ft.

Inexpensive

Variety of colors and styles

Waterproof and fireproof

Lower maintenance

Easily lifts during strong winds

Short life

Metal

$3-$15 per sq. ft.

Very energy efficient

Long life span

Easily dented by hail

Can be loud during rain

Higher cost

Composite

$8.85 per sq. ft.

Looks like wood or slate

Long life

Easy repairs

Less energy efficient

Small number of trained roofers for this product

Rubber

$4-$8 per sq. ft.

Most energy-efficient

Environmentally friendly

Long life span

Extremely fire-, water-, and heat-resistant

Not a lot of experienced roofers available

May not look as attractive as other options

May require painting after 10-12 years

Cedar shakes

$9.00 per sq. ft.

Aesthetically pleasing

Resistant to insects

Resistant to wind

Can mold or mildew

Must treat with fire retardant

Susceptible to fire

High maintenance

Tile

$12.20 per sq. ft.

Sustainable and environmentally friendly

Long life span

Fire and wind resistant

Little maintenance

Expensive

May crack or shatter in colder temps

Slate

$16.00 per sq. ft.

Lasts 50 to 100 years

Aesthetically pleasing

Very leak-, heat-, and weather-resistant

Heavy so not all homes can handle the weight

Most expensive

Repairs must be done by a professional


Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Roofing contractors should always be licensed and insured. This is for the homeowner’s benefit as well as the contractor’s. Contractors should have the appropriate training and experience to install a rubber roof. A permit will need to be pulled in order to comply with building inspection requirements. The average cost for pulling a permit is $550.
  • Keep in mind that a dumpster will be parked on your driveway for the duration of the job, blocking your garage if you have one. Some dumpsters prove to be too heavy and may cause concrete to crack.
  • It may be less expensive to DIY this job, but then you are left with the mess, may be injured, and will not have a warranty. Also, you cannot be certain that as a non- professional you can do the job properly.

FAQ

  • How long do rubber roofs last?

Rubber roofs will last 50 years or more. Due to the resistance to heat, wind, hail, and other weather-related issues, rubber roofs are extremely long-lasting.

  • How much does EPDM roofing cost?

EPDM roofing costs $5.50-$9.50 per square foot.

  • How good are rubber roofs?

Rubber roofs are durable and long-lasting. They are energy-efficient so you can expect a lower electric bill.

  • Can you walk on EPDM?

EPDM is only made for light traffic such as for cleaning or repairs.

  • Do rubber roofs need to be coated?

Most roofing contractors advise that a coating be applied. The coating will protect against moisture and leakage.

  • How do you maintain a rubber roof?

Rubber roofs need very little maintenance. Regular cleaning will help to maintain the roof. When cleaning, check for sealed areas that might need to be repaired.

  • Does EPDM have to be glued down?

Installing EPDM does require glue. The glue is fully-adhered.

EPDM is usually installed over plywood.

  • Is EPDM better than TPO?

Most roofing contractors prefer EPDM over TPO.

  • How often should you coat a rubber roof?

Five years is the recommended interval for re-coating a rubber roof. However, this can vary based on the climate you live in as well as the pitch of your roof.

  • Can you pressure wash a rubber roof?

You can use a pressure washer to clean your rubber roof. If you choose to do this, you may have to replace the coating immediately following as the pressure can loosen or remove it.

  • How long should a rubber membrane roof last?

The type of rubber roof you choose affects the lifespan of the rubber roof. EPDM roofs are the longest lasting at 40-50 years, PVC usually lasts over 20 years, and TPO lasts 15-20 years.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Shingle 1 Shingles: A smooth, uniform, flat piece of construction material, available in a wide variety of materials and laid in a series of overlapping rows, used to cover the outside of roofs or walls to protect against weather damage and leaks.
glossary term picture Plywood 2 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
3 Seams: A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together
4 Fasteners: Hardware used to attach two or more objects to each other. A common example is a nail
glossary term picture Slate 5 Slate: A fine-grained rock, typically bluish-gray in color, that can easily be split into thin layers and is commonly used as a roofing material
glossary term picture Caulking 6 Caulking: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
glossary term picture Soffit 7 Soffits: Construction material, typically composed of vinyl or aluminum, used to enclose the underside of eaves and ceilings

Cost to install a rubber roof varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Close up of new rubber roof tiles

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Boston, MA
+40%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Cedar Rapids, IA
+6%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Coldwater, MI
-21%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Destin, FL
-12%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Dubuque, IA
-8%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Garner, NC
-5%
Hartford, CT
+23%
Hayward, CA
+31%
Hoboken, NJ
+23%
Houston, TX
+24%
Howell, NJ
+32%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Kissimmee, FL
-20%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Laurel, MT
-12%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Reno, NV
0%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Jose, CA
+33%
San Mateo, CA
+44%
Santa Rosa, CA
+8%
Savannah, GA
-12%
Seattle, WA
+9%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Tampa, FL
-2%
Washington, DC
+23%
Wichita, KS
-13%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   
Methodology and sources