Rubber Roofing

  • By Rebecca Bailey For the Herald
  • Saturday, April 12, 2008 6:30pm

With the recent surge of interest in using recycled materials, more choices are becoming available for eco-friendly upgrades to your home. If you are thinking about a new roof, you might want to consider installing a rubber roof made from recycled tires.

“The average rubber roof keeps 700 to 900 tires out of a landfill,” said Guy Golliver, marketing director at State Roofing in Monroe. They are fast becoming the most popular choice for homeowners.

Not only are these rubber roofs eco-friendly, but they also look beautiful and come with a 50-year warranty.

The rubber tiles are very durable, so they will last longer than most roofs. You can hit them with a hammer and walk on them without damage.

Unlike other roofs that crack, curl and rot from exposure to harsh weather and other environmental elements, these roofs hold up against those problems.

“They have the highest wind rating of any roof there is,” Golliver said. The industry has tested them for up to 140 miles per hour in wind resistance.

Energy efficiency is another feature of these roofs. The rubber tiles have a honeycombed back that creates an insulation barrier, reducing overall energy use.

This roof will keep your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Installation is uncomplicated, using a tongue-and-groove interlocking fit between the tiles for a tight seal. The tiles are lightweight, so structural problems are not an issue.

They are flexible and soft to the touch.

A roof’s aesthetics are as important as durability for most homeowners, and you won’t be disappointed. Called Euroslate and Euroshake, these tiles come in a variety of options. You can choose rubber tiles that look like weathered shake, redwood shake or a new shake. The slate rubber tiles come in black, gray, brown and other colors.

Other types of rubber roofs are available, but this is the only one made from recycled tires.

This roof is somewhat new to the market. GEM Inc. of Calgary, Canada, developed it from scratch and has been producing it for about seven years. They are the only manufacturer of synthetic slate and shake tiles in the world.

The company’s environmental objectives were to produce an energy-efficient product using recycled materials. Thus, rubber shake and slate tiles were born. Durability and affordability were factors in the design.

“There was not much in the industry that got us as excited as this one,” said Lance Smith, owner of State Roofing. “It was hard to come up with a product this good that was cost effective,” he said.

Initially, the first tile produced by GEM Inc. was the Euroslate, but Smith encouraged the company to develop what is now the Euroshake tile. “We live in the Northwest. If you can make us a shake, you can sell a lot more product,” Smith said.

He was right. People are moving away from using old-growth cedar shakes and now the rubber shake is State Roofing’s most popular product, Golliver said. State Roofing is the only distributor for these roofs in the Puget Sound region.