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Old 01-25-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default Roof Material

What is everyone's thoughts on roof material: Alum vs rubber. I don't intend to be walking on the roof except for possibly A/C or antenna maint. Would appreciate your input.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:29 PM   #2
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I have fiberglass, I like it, G
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:38 AM   #3
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I think mines aluminum. No maintenance. I think those rubber membrane roofs require some maint. don't they?
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:57 PM   #4
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we had a corrugated metal roof on our shop. rusted and started leaking. had a roofing company frame around edges and in to 8' wide sections. they put 4' x 8' x 2" thick insulation down to cover steel. then glued down rubber roofing material. its lasted about 8 years now with no maintenance. its a black material. he told me they make it in white also. i'm going to put white on my motorhome when i get that far. he said he would sell me material at cost had help me at no cost. 102" wide and 31' long would be about $500.00.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:21 PM   #5
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I don't know. Do any of the t/c builders use rubber membrane roofs? I'd try to talk to some of the builders and see what they use? Hawk Engineering is a frequent poster here, maybe he'll chime in.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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I think some may still use rubber, we use rubber in certain residential and more commonly in commercial settings..Rubber is a good material but I don't think it will hold up as well as fiberglass or aluminum. UV seems to break down the integrity of rubber quicker than other choices. That being said rubber is easy to work with, and can be reconditioned easily....G
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:00 PM   #7
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I work in the commercial modular building industry, and we use EPDM rubber membrane roofing on a large number of buildings. It comes 45 mil. and 60 mil thicknesses, in both white and black. properly installed on a commercial building it can come with a 20 year warranty. I replaced the factory roof on my aging motor home with the 45 mil. white about 6 years ago, and have had no leaks or damage even with small branches falling on the roof during the winter. When i finally get around to building my T/C I will use the 60 mil for some extra thickness as i won't have to worry about the extra weight. I do carry a scrap piece of roofing about 2 feet square and some eternabond roofing tape in case of any roof damage on a trip. The eternabond patch can be applied on a cold wet roof if needed.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:02 PM   #8
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I decided to visit as many RV repair centers that were reasonably close to obtain their input. I posed the same question to all of them: If you were building your own RV which roof material would you use,rubber or alum? ( I did not mention fiberglass as I break out everytime I work with it)

Of the five places I visited, three said alum,two rubber. Most thought the alum would be more durable and less likely to be damaged by tree limbs. Two of the locations were in the process of of replacing rubber roofs on RV's.One had lost it's bond to the roof and was floping in the breeze,the other had a 3' rip from a tree limb ( new RV). One site said they had installed a rubber roof on top of an alum one at the custmer's request. They didn't know why since the roof was not leaking.(customer is always right)
Installation is pretty much the same.The surface needs to be clean,dry and smooth. Most warned not to use treated plywood or plwood sheathing.Both still contain moisture or chemicals that could prevent a good bonding. They reccomended kiln dryed plywood with one side sanded.(no knots or imperfections)
Cost for alum was only slightly higher than rubber.For my application 102" X 144" the alum is just over $500 (.040).The rubber was $386 for 63 mil.
The alum can be obtained in .024 much cheaper but I think thats to thin.
Given all the input I think I will use alum for my application since I am familiar with that and I have never worked with the rubber before.

Thanks everyone for your input! I learn something new everyday.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:31 AM   #9
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Yep, ALUMINUM! We have repaired lots of the rubber roofs for guys. We have used 024 and thicker depending on customer.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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Sorry for bringing up an old post, but I couldn't find an answer to a question I had. Anyhow, what is the typical thickness of the plywood substrate when using the rubber? And also, would you use the same for an aluminum roof, or just attach the aluminum to your framing?
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