How Rubber Roofs Work

By: Rosalind Jackson

Care of Rubber Roofs

One of the biggest advantages of installing a rubber roof on your home is that it will last for a long time with much less maintenance required than with a traditional asphalt or slate roof. Depending on the quality of the rubber roofing system you have installed on your home, your rubber roof may require a very limited amount of maintenance -- some roofing systems claim that they will never crack or leak if installed properly [source: The Home N' Garden Center].

­However, if there is a problem with your rubber roof -- whether as a result of faulty installation or a breakdown in the rubber, it's usually a quick and simple fix. Like any roofing material, rubber expands and contracts as temperatures fluctuate. For leaks and cracks in the rubber, simply cover them with a latex tape or sealant. If a portion of your roof is especially wrought with cracks, you may want to consider patching it with new rubber shingles or with a smaller roll of rubber roofing.


To be safe, many homeowners with rubber roofs opt to coat the entire rubber roof system in liquid rubber or a similar liquid sealant to prevent upkeep and maintenance down the road [source: Gupta].

Now you are equipped with the basic knowledge of how to install and care for rubber roofs. For more complex rubber-roofing systems, it's probably wise to hire a certified contractor to install it for you; however, flat roof and other simple roof designs can easily be installed on your own.

To read about other home improvement topics, check out the links on the following page.

Rel­ated HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links


  • ChikyMiky. "Installation of Your Rubber Roof." (Accessed 12/14/2008)
  • Firestone. "Over 1,000,000,000 sqm of proven performance." (Accessed 12/14/2008)
  • Gupta, Rachna. "Benefits of Rubber Roofing Systems and Rubber Shingles." (Accessed on 12/14/2008)
  • The Home N' Garden Center. "Rubber Roofing: A Top Alternative." (Accessed on 12/14/2008)
  • InfoPlease. "Goodyear, Charles." (Accessed 12/14/08)
  • KidCyber. "Rubber From Trees." (Accessed 12/14/2008)
  • Keon, Philip. "Self Installed Rubber Roofing: Proper Prepping Is Essential." (Accessed 12/14/2008
  • Old House Web. "Roofing: Rubber Roofs." (Accessed 12/14/2008)
  • The Roofery. "Rubber Roofing Shingles." (Accessed 12/14/2008)