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How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Rubber Roof In 2021?

June 15th, 2021 BY First American Roofing

A rubber roof is a term broadly applied to most single-ply membrane flat roofs. 99% of the time, rubber roofs are installed on commercial, low-slope structures but can also be utilized on home additions such as garages and sunrooms. We’re going to dive into the varying costs of installation for each type of rubber roof and the benefits of each.

Benefits of Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofs have many benefits, including creating an impenetrable seal that is easy to install, replace, and last longer than standard shingles. The upsides of installing a rubber roof on your home’s low slope roof include:

rubber roofing material

Types of Rubber Roofs

There are three main types of rubber roofs, all varying single-ply membranes: TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin), PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), and EPDM ethylene propylene diene monomer. Each carries its own set of pros and cons depending on your roof’s needs.

TPO

Thermoplastic Polyolefin is the more expensive of these three types of rubber roofing and one of the most beneficial.

Pros of TPO:

Cons of TPO:

PVC

Polyvinyl Chloride is also a thermoplastic membrane and is about half the price per sheet as TPO.

Pros of PVC:

Cons of PVC:

EPDM

Ethylene propylene diene monomer is somewhere in the middle when it comes to price and is the most authentic rubber roof membrane. It’s been used for decades and decades and continues to prove its strength and ease of installation.

Pros of EPDM:

Cons of EPDM:

Installing a Rubber Roof

To reiterate, although rubber roofs can be installed on a sloped roof, they are almost always utilized on low-slope and flat roofs for commercial buildings. They are most effective when used for commercial reasons or on residential additions with a low slope roof.

Many factors can affect how a rubber roof is installed and how much the labor will cost. Things that drive up that cost include how accessible the roof is, whether or not an old roof needs to be removed, and roof penetrations. Climate also plays a factor because some hotter climates require the more costly rubber roof (TPO) to properly reflect some of the sun’s heat.

Roof penetrations and changes in the roof’s slope make it more complex and extensive for contractors to install. Because the rubber membranes come in large rolls, roof penetrations such as skylights and chimneys require that the sheets get carefully cut to fit those varying objects. Custom flashing will be required in these areas to ensure the seal is watertight and you aren’t facing any critical leaks early on after your roof installation.

All of these things can drive up the cost; in fact, some contractors might even charge $5 to $50 per roof penetration because it can halt their installation process so much and requires so many additional steps. Always check with your contractor before installation to make sure this isn’t an added cost, or if it is, they can prepare an estimate including those areas.

rubber roofing installation

Rubber Roof Installation Costs

Now let’s get to the real question: how much is this going to cost?

The average range of cost to install or replace a rubber roof is between $6,000 and $18,000, with the average being around $12,000. And as you know, all sorts of factors come into play that can affect that price, such as the materials, labor, obstructions, and customizations of the roof.

If you want to compare each of the three types of rubber roofs we talked about today, that cost breakdown looks like this:

 

Membrane Type       Average Lifespan     Cost Per Sq. Ft.      Labor Per Sq. Ft.
TPO 10 to 30 years $1.50 to $5 $2.50 to $9
PVC 10 to 15 years $0.75 to $2.50 $4 to $11
EPDM 20 to 30 years $1 to $4.50 $3.25 to $8

 

If you are in the market for a new flat roof, definitely consider any of these rubber roof options. They will work great for your new or existing flat roof. For more information, check out our roof replacement services, and contact us right away to get you an estimate and work with you to get started!