How Long Do Rubber Roofs Last?

In discussing the lifespan of rubber roofs, specific points are essential and have been covered. These include a brief overview of rubber roofs, types, and lifespan.

More points covered below include factors affecting rubber roof longevity, tips on extending the lifespan of rubber roofs, and signs a rubber roof needs replacement.

How Long Does a Rubber Roof Last?

Are you interested in having a rubber roof installed?

Are you wondering if it’s a wise choice, especially considering its longevity? If these define your situation, then it could be encapsulated or summarized in the question: how long do rubber roofs last?

Here, we’re all about answering your nagging questions correctly. All you have to do is tag along.

An Overview

In discussing rubber roof lifespan, we provide an overview of this type of roofing. Rubber roofing comprises various materials or compounds, including PVC, EPDM, rubber shingles, and TPO.

Besides rubber shingles, rubber roofs will mostly come in sheets or rolls and can be used as primary installation or fixed as an added layer on other roofing materials.

Also called rubber membrane roofing, this material is quite versatile as it can be used for low-slope and flat commercial roofing. As a fire-resistant and eco-friendly material, it’s no secret why more people are choosing rubber roofs.

Now, rubber roofs are generally easy to maintain; however, there are drawbacks like heat absorption, not being visually appealing compared to other roof types, and being likely to shrink.

However, these aren’t the characteristics under focus as we look at rubber roof lifespan. This brief introduction paves the way for that and more.

Types of Rubber Roofs

Rubber roofing encompasses a variety of materials briefly mentioned earlier, like EPDM, TPO, rubber shingles, and PVC.

Each material has advantages and disadvantages, hence the need to compare before choosing what will be used for your roofing project.

There’s also the cost factor to consider and, most importantly, the lifespan of each type. This has been discussed in greater detail below.

So, have you decided on the type of rubber roof to install yet? If you’re yet to decide, further comparisons are needed.

You’ll have to consider the pros and cons of each, working down to the longevity of the different rubber materials and durability.

Besides the lifespan of rubber roofs, we’ve touched briefly on other relevant aspects of rubber roofing that might be helpful.

Rubber Roof Lifespan

How long do rubber roofs last?

The answer depends on the type you’re looking at. Rubber roofs generally last around 10 to 50 years, with an average lifespan of about 20 to 30.

You might wonder why the difference in longevity is significant. That is due to a variety of factors shown below. To better understand rubber roof longevity, we consider each type mentioned.

For example, rubber shingle roofs have an average lifespan of 15 to 30 years, while TPO roofing systems have an average longevity of 10 to 30 years.

EPDM Roofing Life Expectancy

EPDM roofing will last an average of 20 to 30 years, while PVC roofing serves an average of 10 to 15 years. This (PVC roofing) has the least lifespan compared to other rubber roofing materials.

Factors Affecting Rubber Roof Longevity

To better understand rubber roof longevity, you’ll need to understand the underlying factors that play a part in determining how long it serves.

These include whether it was professionally installed, exposure to adverse weather conditions, not maintaining regular maintenance practices, and UV radiation from the sun.

Let’s briefly discuss these.

i. Who Installs your Rubber Roof

Who installs your rubber roof is crucial to its overall longevity. In other words, your rubber roof’s lifespan is partly determined by how well it’s installed.

This is why it’s best to have an experienced roof contractor or professional handle your installation. Now, not all roofing contractors are the same.

Some specialize in certain types of projects, like rubber roof installation.

Make inquiries and independent findings about the contractor’s qualifications, experience, licensing, willingness to provide references, and willingness to write an estimate.

A good contractor should be bonded and insured.

ii. Exposure to Adverse Weather Conditions

Exposure to adverse weather conditions is one factor that plays a role in determining the longevity of rubber roofs. This boils down to the climate of your area or region.

Climatic conditions in Florida will differ significantly from a place like Alaska.

This impacts significantly on rubber roofing as heat and moisture play a role in determining how this roofing material is affected.

iii. Not Practicing Regular Maintenance

Homeowners not practicing regular maintenance may play an indirect role in their rubber roofs not meeting expected lifespans.

A deliberate effort must be made to ensure your roof’s condition is in good shape.  This includes calling for scheduled inspections and maintenance.

Professional roofing technicians or contractors provide such service.

iv. UV Radiation from the Sun

Continued exposure to UV radiation from the sun is inevitable and takes its toll on your rubber roof. This leads to rapid deterioration, which leads to brittleness or cracks.

Of course, this condition eventually results in leaks. Rubber roofs are designed with this in mind, which is why a lifespan is given.

You’ll need to have the top changed when this happens.

Signs Your Rubber Roof Needs Replacement

Do you have a rubber roof installed already and wonder what signs point to the deterioration of your roof? Several such symptoms include ponding of water, splits & cracks, blistering, and loose seams.

Leaks, shrinking of the roof membrane, and more frequent repair calls than necessary are additional signs that show your rubber roof has served out its term.

Extending Rubber Roof Lifespan

Having identified multiple factors affecting rubber roof lifespan, it’s necessary to offer valuable tips on extending its longevity.

Thankfully, various ways exist to achieve this, including quickly fixing leaks, scheduling inspections, and going for quality materials during installation.

Also, consider your region’s climatic condition before deciding what rubber roofing material to use.

Membrane Roof with the Longest Lifespan

Most homeowners will be interested in maximizing their options in choosing a membrane roof type to install. In other words, you may be interested in determining which membrane roof type serves the longest or has the most extended lifespan.

So, is there a particular roof membrane that fits this description? Not really. Most membrane roofs will last anywhere from 15 to 50 years.

On average, these will serve for about 23 years. As earlier stated, the lifespan mostly depends on the quality of installation, how frequently it is installed, and the climatic condition of your area.

To put things in perspective, there are cases where membrane roofs have served for only a decade and instances where they’ve remained functional for up to 5 decades.

With this information, choosing your preferred membrane is up to you. However, professional advice is paramount when researching the lifespan of membrane roofs.

Consider seeking the opinion of professionals like roofing contractors, roofing associations, local building contractors, and home inspectors.

There are also tons of helpful online resources to explore.

How Membrane Roof Lifespan Compares with Other Roof Types

How do membrane roofs compare with other roof types when looking at the lifespan? Here, a lot depends on the material they’re made from.

For example, membrane roofs come nowhere close to concrete tile roofs with lifespans of 100-plus years. Other roof types outperforming membrane roofs include slate and clay tiles, which also serve 100-plus years.

There are others, like synthetic slate and copper panel roofs. Because they’re made from more durable material, they will likely cost more to install.

Consider making your inquiries to determine what serves your needs best. It’s also necessary to seek professional help and also weigh your options.

We must also state that roof membranes may serve better under certain conditions than these other roof types.

Improving or Maximizing Membrane Roof Lifespan

The lifespan of membrane roofs can be improved by regular maintenance. In other words, having a maintenance schedule does a lot to keep membrane roofs in excellent working condition, thus extending their lifespan.

This can be achieved through routine cleaning using a soft-bristle broom to clear debris. This should be extended to the gutters to prevent moisture accumulation.

After storms or other adverse weather conditions, it’s best to inspect your roof membrane for any damages. These professionals can spot any abnormality and provide the needed fixes.

With this knowledge of membrane roof lifespan, you can take better care of your home’s roofing. As mentioned severally, involving a professional’s services will help extend your roof’s lifespan.


In answering the question ‘how long do rubber roofs last,’ we’ve gone through several details, including factors affecting longevity.

More importantly, we’ve included helpful information on extending your rubber roof’s lifespan. Using this guide, you can better care for your roof, thus extending its longevity.

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