Rubber Roofing Shingles
Rubber roofing shingles are a new technology that incorporates recycled products and creates shingles that resemble more traditional shingle types (such as cedar shake, tile, and slate). These rubber shingles closely resemble the "real" shingles, but are available at a fraction of the price and a fraction of the overall weight. Rubber shingles are made of recycled rubber tires, plastic bags, pvc pipe, etc. These shingles also frequently incorporate recycled parts of other materials -- for instance, shingles made to look like cedar shakes will often include saw dust from saw mills, slate-like shingles will include actual slate dust from recycled slate shingles.
Rubber shingles are a great alternative to standard roofing materials, especially on historical homes. For home owners that want to preserve the integrity of the look of their home, rubber shingles can easily mimic the look at a fraction of the cost. They are also excellent for withstanding pests, resistant to breaking or cracking, fire resistant, providing waterproofing options for roofs, as well as providing great insulation for the home.
How are Rubber Shingles made?
Rubber shingles are made using recycled tires. The tirewall section is removed from the tire and the tread section is cut into sections. The actual tread is buffed off from the section and the rubber shingle is coated with either sawdust or slate dust. The tread pieces are left in fairly large pieces so that the shingle benefits from the steel belting originally found in the tire. A plastic tab is attached to the shingle to facilitate the actual nailing of the shingle to the roof.
Other rubber, or synthetic, shingles are made of recycled materials heated and injected into high pressure molds. These shingles imitate cedar shake, clay tile or slate shingles, but at only a fraction of the weight.
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How long do Rubber shingles last?
Rubber shingles are very sturdy, flexible and strong. Standard warranties for the rubber shingles are at least 30 years, although some manufacturers offer a 50 year warranty or even a lifetime warranty.
Common problems with Rubber Shingles
Because rubber shingles are so sturdy, there are few problems with their actual shipping, use, installation, or long-term effectiveness. However, rubber shingles are expensive, especially when compared to other low-grade shingle materials, like asphalt. They are far more cost effective and lighter in weight than slate tiles, but they are easily at least four times the cost of asphalt shingles. They may be more effective over the life of the home and require fewer repairs or replacements than asphalt shingles.
Rubber Shingle Ratings
Rubber shingles carry a Class A fire rating, which indicate how well the shingles will resist an external fire. (Class A provides the greatest fire resistance.)
Rubber shingles are favored by the insurance industry.
Rubber shingles are rated to withstand an 80 mph wind.