Published on August 15th, 2013 | by Henri


Rubber sheeting is best solution for low-slope roof

Q.    We are going to re-shingle our roof with dimensional shingles. A section of the roof on the front of the house has a low-angle slope and was covered with an extra-thick rubber sheet 10 years ago. Although in good shape, the black rubber sheet is an eyesore. What would look better on this low slope roof to lessen the eyesore and go with dimensional shingles? When recovering the low slope section, should the rubber sheet be taken up first or can the new covering be laid over it?

A.    I assume that the extra-thick rubber sheet is either Trocal or EPDM. That is the best thing to put on a flat to low-slope roof. These roof coverings have a life expectancy of 20 years or more, depending on exposure to the local elements (sun, freezing temperatures, etc.) I don’t think you can improve on that. When time comes to replace the black-rubber sheet, consider doing so with a white one if you think it will improve the looks. Be aware that it will soon turn grayish from air pollution.

How low is the slope of the roof? If it is 2-in-12 or steeper, you may want to try removing the rubber roof, lay an ice and water protective membrane, which adheres to a clean sheathing and nail the same shingles as for the main roof. Ice and water protective membranes self-seal around nails, but you are still taking a chance.

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