Roll Roofing

Roofers with Roll RoofingRoll roofing is sheet roofing that is manufactured in rolls and installed in overlapping strips on a roof. It is easier to install than other kinds of roofing. Instead of nailing one shingle at a time it is simply rolled out and secured. Because of the ease of its installation it is quicker and therefore costs less to install than other roofing types.

Although available in a wide range of materials, most roll roofing is made of asphalt. It is also common for roll roofing to be a composite of one or more materials. This is done to improve its performance and durability. Tear resistance, adhesion, slip resistance, flexibility and water absorption are some of the qualities that manufacturers improve upon by using composites.

Types Available

Smooth Surface Roll Roofing: Covered with ground talc or mica, this smooth surface roll is used as flashing to seal intersections and protrusions. It is also used at the roof’s eaves and valleys. Another use for it is as an extra sealant on any area of the roof. Smooth surface roll roofing is also referred to as coated felt.

Saturated Felt: This type is asphalt, organic-based felt. It is used as an underlay between the roof deck and the roofing material. It comes in a large variety of weights.

Specialty-Eaves Flashings: This is self-adhesive, polymer-modified bituminous roll roofing made for special flashings purposes. This is designed for use where there is a large amount of ice build-up or pooling water. It is suitable for any type of roof.

Mineral-Surfaced Roll Roofing: The top surface of this roll roofing is embedded with small rocks and granules of minerals. It is commonly used as a primary roofing material on small buildings such as sheds, barns and supply buildings. It is a favorite in rural areas.


It must be a warm day to install roll roofing. If it is cold the roofing will be stiff and brittle. It needs to be laid out one whole day prior to installation. This is to help it lay flat. The sun exposure will cause it to heat up and lay flat once it is softer from the heat. There are two installation methods.

The first method involves the use of hot asphalt. The alternative and increasingly popular is the cold method that uses a spreadable adhesive. The adhesive is spread out and smoothed, and then the roll roofing is laid on top of it.

One advantage to roll roofing is that it can easily be installed without using any nails. Nail holes are often the cause of small leaks in a home’s roof. Roll roofing can be installed using adhesive or can be heated to adhere to the structure. Torches are often used to heat the roll of material when it is applied to the structure for better adhesion.

Roll roofing and the supplies required to install it is available at any hardware or home improvement store. It can also be ordered on-line. Roll roofing can last six to twelve years. Always shop around for the best deal. Compare on-line prices, types and materials. Make sure to get a good warranty.

Best Usages

While roll roofing is less expensive and easier to install than traditional roofing shingles, it generally has a much shorter life time expectancy then that of a properly installed shingle roof. It definitely has a place in the roofing market though. Roll roofing is perfect for smaller jobs like sheds and smaller barns where the life expectance of the structure may not be as high as that of a home or office building.

Roll roofing is also a popular alternative when building on a tight budget. It can be installed very quickly and at a reasonable price. Roll roofing is commonly used when replacing the roof on porches, garages, sheds and low cost housing.

Photo by tanais, Creative Commons Attribution License