Roll roofing is made up of a continuous roll of felt or fiberglass permeated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules that resemble colored sand. Essentially it’s the same ingredients used in asphalt shingles, just in a rolled form. The biggest benefit of roll roofing is in time and money. It’s very inexpensive when compared to asphalt tabbed shingles and goes on very quickly. Unlike asphalt shingles that need to be placed one by one, roll roofing is simply rolled and cut to fit.

Roll roofing is often used on secondary buildings such as sheds or barns as opposed to residential applications. It is ideal for structures with low pitched roofs, though it may sometimes be used as an inexpensive or temporary material on homes. It also works well as a covering on flat or nearly flat porch roofs or other extensions.

Roll Roofing Requires Proper Installation

In order to get the most from roll roofing it needs to be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It should only be used over a clean, sound roof structure, nailed at specific intervals and properly sealed with roofing mastic.

While roll roofing is also durable it doesn’t have the same longevity of shingles. Depending on the type, asphalt shingles can last as long as 30 years while roll roofing has a lifespan of 6 to 12 years. Roll roofing can also be quite fragile and needs to be handled with care. It should never be installed in temperature below 50 degrees since it can crack.

Roll roofing is often the roofing choice of do-it-yourselfers because it’s easy to roll out and attach but because this type of roofing material can so easily develop problems if improperly installed and has a short lifespan to begin with, it is imperative that the job be handled by a professional roofer. Problems include bubbles, wrinkling, cracking and bald spots due to the loss of the top coating of granules. These can all occur as the roof ages but they can also be caused by improper installation. Start with quality installation and you’ll get the longest life possible from your roll roofing.