How to Roof With Recycled Rubber and Plastic That Looks Like Slate

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Recycled rubber roofs may be dusted with slate powder to provide a more authentic look.
Recycled rubber roofs may be dusted with slate powder to provide a more authentic look. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Environmentally conscious home owners will be glad to know that eco-friendly roofing materials have been made from discarded tires. Discarded tires are ground down, melted, mixed with slate powder or sawdust from timber mills and poured into a mold that resembles slate. The result is slate-styled tiles or tab shingles. Each manufacturer will provide special roofing instructions, but most roofing installations will follow a certain vein.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Pitchfork
  • Nail gun
  • Felt paper
  • Staple gun
  • Ice and water shield (optional)
  • Galvanized metal drip edge
  • Box cutter or razor edge
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk line
  • Rubber "slate" shingles or tiles

Put on work gloves and safety glasses. Pick up the pitchfork and slip the tongs under the current roofing shingles. Pry the shingles off with a back-and-forth motion of the pitchfork.

Nail any loose sheathing boards to the roof rafters with the nail gun.

Staple 30-lb.-weight felt paper to the roof starting from the edge of the roof working up. The top of the bottom-most page should be under the bottom of the next-up page to allow water to flow continuously down the roof. Staple the paper to the roof every 6 to 8 inches. Add ice and water shield over the felt paper if you live in a climate prone to ice and snow in winter. Installation of the ice and water shield is the same as the felt paper.

Press a galvanized metal drip edge to the edge of the roof. The drip edge has a bent bottom that slips over the edge of the roof and kicks water away from the house. Mark the top of the drip edge with a box cutter or razor blade. Press the drip edge to the other end of the same roof edge and mark it.

Measure 3/8 inch down from the marking for the top of the drip edge. Mark that spot. Snap a chalk line across the roof on this 3/8 inch mark. Snap another chalk line down the center of the roof from the top to the bottom, perpendicular to the other chalk line.

Install the galvanized metal drip edge and nail along the 3/8 inch chalk line.

Nail the rubber slate tile or shingle to hang off the edge of the roof by a quarter inch. Lay these tiles or shingles across the edge of the roof over the drip edge.

Measure and mark every 5 inches from the top of the first line of shingles up to the top of the roof. Snap a chalk line across these horizontal lines as you go. From the center line, measure every 6 inches and snap a chalk line vertically across the roof. Your roof will look like a grid and will help you to stagger your tiles and shingles across the roof.

Lay rubber shingles or tiles across the roof starting from the bottom and working up. Alight the top of the tile with the nearest chalk line. Stagger the placement of each tile or shingle so that the edges do not align with another edge of the tile or shingle below it. Nail each shingle or tile to the roof as you go.

Cap the edges of the roof along the tops and sides with cap tiles, which you can purchase from the rubber shingle manufacturer along with the shingles or tiles. Nail the first tile down. Nail every subsequent tile so that it overlaps the previous tile.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use of scaffolding is the safest method of working around your roof.

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