What Is a Rolled Roof and How to Install

What Is a Rolled Roof?

A rolled roof is a roofing material often used for buildings with low-sloped roofs.

It is a less expensive alternative to traditional shingle materials for re-roofing projects.

Rolled roofing is considerably cheaper, thinner, and less durable than asphalt shingles.

It can be used to re-roof over an existing roof, but careful preparation is required to remove debris and prevent damage.

Common applications for rolled roofing include lean-tos, shacks, gazebos, workshops, garages, and smaller buildings.

Different types of roll roofing, such as saturated felt infused with asphalt, can be used for additional support and protection.

The installation process involves preparing the roof surface, applying an underlayment for extra protection, measuring and cutting the roll roofing, and securing it to the roof surface.

It is important to consider the limitations and consult with a professional roofer to determine if roll roofing is the right choice for a specific project.

Key Points:

  • Rolled roofs are often used for buildings with low-sloped roofs as a cheaper alternative to traditional shingle materials.
  • They are considerably cheaper, thinner, and less durable than asphalt shingles.
  • Rolled roofing can be used to re-roof over an existing roof, but careful preparation is needed to remove debris and prevent damage.
  • It is commonly used for lean-tos, shacks, gazebos, workshops, garages, and smaller buildings.
  • Different types of roll roofing, such as saturated felt infused with asphalt, offer additional support and protection.
  • The installation process involves preparing the roof surface, applying underlayment, measuring and cutting the roll roofing, and securing it.

Did You Know?

1. Rolled roofs, also known as mineral surfaced rolls, were initially developed in the early 1900s as a more affordable roofing option for low-slope buildings.

2. One of the key components of a rolled roof is the granule surface layer, which provides durability and protection from the sun’s UV rays. These granules are made of crushed rock, ceramic-coated minerals, or even colored glass.

3. Rolled roofs are primarily used on structures with low-slope or flat roofs, such as sheds, garages, or mobile homes. They are less commonly found on residential houses with steeper roofs.

4. While traditional rolled roofs are typically made of asphalt or bitumen, there are variants available that use synthetic materials like rubber or thermoplastic, offering enhanced performance and longevity.

5. Rolled roofs can be installed with a torch-down method, where the rolls are adhered to the roof using a propane torch, or using a cold adhesive method, which avoids the use of open flames and can be a safer option.

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Introduction To Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is a cost-effective alternative to traditional shingle materials for re-roofing projects. It is a lightweight roofing material that is often used for buildings with low-sloped roofs.

Key features of rolled roofing:

  • Made of either organic felt or fiberglass mat saturated with asphalt
  • Faced with granular stone aggregate
  • Comes in rolls that are 36 inches by 33 feet in size

Installation process:
1. Careful preparation of the roof surface
2. Application of an underlayment for extra protection
3. Measuring and cutting the roll roofing
4. Securing it to the roof surface

Note: Rolled roofing provides a cost-effective option for re-roofing projects, especially for buildings with low-sloped roofs. Its lightweight nature, combined with its durability and easy installation process, make it a popular choice in the construction industry.

Advantages And Limitations Of Rolled Roofing

One of the primary advantages of rolled roofing is its affordability. It is considerably cheaper than traditional asphalt shingles, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners. Rolled roofing is also thinner and lighter than shingles, allowing for easier handling and installation. However, its affordability and lightweight nature come with some limitations. Rolled roofing is less durable than asphalt shingles and is more prone to damage from environmental factors such as wind, rain, and sun exposure.

It is important to consider these limitations and consult with a professional roofer to determine if roll roofing is the right choice for a specific project.

Benefits of Rolled Roofing:

  • Affordable option for budget-conscious homeowners
  • Lightweight and easy to handle and install
  • Limitations:
  • Less durable than asphalt shingles
  • More prone to damage from environmental factors

“Rolled roofing offers an affordable and lightweight option for homeowners, but its durability and susceptibility to environmental damage need to be taken into consideration.”

Applications And Uses Of Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing is a versatile roofing material that finds various applications. It is particularly popular for:

  • Lean-tos
  • Shacks
  • Gazebos
  • Workshops
  • Garages
  • Smaller buildings

The key advantages of rolled roofing include its affordability and ease of installation. These qualities make it a great choice for structures that do not require heavy-duty roofing materials.

For added support and protection, different types of roll roofing, such as saturated felt infused with asphalt, can be utilized.

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However, it is crucial to consider the roof pitch and design before choosing rolled roofing. Not all roofs are suitable for this type of material, so it’s important to evaluate compatibility beforehand.

Installation Process For Rolled Roofing

The installation process for rolled roofing involves several steps:

  • Preparing the roof surface: Start by removing debris and ensuring a clean and smooth surface.
  • Applying underlayment: Add an underlayment for additional protection.
  • Measuring and cutting the roll roofing: Measure and cut the roll roofing to fit the roof dimensions accurately.
  • Securing the roll roofing: Use adhesive or lap cement to secure the roll roofing to the roof surface, preventing wind-lifting.
  • Using nails for extra security: Secure the upper edge of the previous roll with nails to ensure a tight and secure installation.

It is highly recommended to consult with a professional roofer or follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific installation process.

Types And Variations Of Rolled Roofing

There are different types and variations of rolled roofing available in the market.

  • Bitumen roofing felt, which comes in various weight options and fiber content choices, is one option commonly used.
  • Additionally, modified bitumen sheets are often used for low-slope roofs. These sheets can be used to create a rolled roof either alone or in combination with built-up roofing felts.
  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR) is a type of rolled roof that consists of multiple layers of bitumen alternating with ply sheets. BUR roofs are popular for flat or low-sloped applications.
  • Rolled roofing can also be topped with different materials, including sand, stone waste, or left uncoated, providing various options for customization.

In conclusion, rolled roofing is a cost-effective alternative to traditional shingle materials for re-roofing projects. It is thinner, lighter, and more affordable than asphalt shingles, making it suitable for lean-tos, shacks, workshops, and smaller buildings.

The installation process involves:

  • careful preparation of the roof surface,
  • application of an underlayment,
  • measuring and cutting the roll roofing, and
  • securing it to the roof surface.

Different types and variations of rolled roofing, such as bitumen roofing felt and modified bitumen sheets, offer additional support and protection. It is important to consider the limitations of rolled roofing and consult with a professional to determine if it is the right choice for a specific project.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is rolled roofing?

Rolled roofing, also known as asphalt roll roofing or membrane, is a popular roofing material predominantly used in North America for buildings with low sloped roofs. It is constructed from materials similar to asphalt shingles, involving an organic felt or fiberglass mat saturated with asphalt and coated with granular stone aggregate. This combination creates a durable and waterproof barrier that protects the underlying structure from the elements. Rolled roofing offers a cost-effective solution for low-pitched roofs, providing long-lasting and reliable protection against harsh weather conditions. Its versatility and easy installation make it a favored choice for many homeowners and contractors alike.

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When should you use rolled roofing?

Rolled roofing is an ideal choice when dealing with low-sloped roofs, especially if the roof pitch declines up to 1 inch vertically for every 12 inches horizontally. This specific pitch, known as a 1:12 pitch, makes rolled roofing a great option. However, it is crucial to ensure that the concealed nail method of fastening is employed for proper installation. Rolled roofing provides an efficient and cost-effective solution for low-sloped roofs with a 1:12 pitch when installed using the concealed nail method.

What is a rolled paper roof?

A rolled paper roof refers to a type of roof made from asphalt-saturated felt paper that is rolled out and applied in layers. This roofing material is commonly used in low-slope or flat roof applications and is available in both organic and fiberglass variants. Organic roll roofing is made from recycled materials and offers good waterproofing properties, while fiberglass roll roofing has a fiberglass mat base that provides added strength and durability. With their ease of installation and affordability, rolled paper roofs are a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings needing a cost-effective roofing solution.

What are the benefits of rolled roofing?

One of the primary benefits of rolled roofing is its affordability. Compared to other roofing materials, rolled roofing is much more cost-effective, making it a great option for those on a tighter budget. Additionally, rolled roofing is known for its durability, with a lifespan of over fifteen years when properly installed. This longevity ensures that homeowners can enjoy a reliable and long-lasting roof without the worry of constant repairs or replacements. Furthermore, rolled roofing is incredibly convenient when it comes to transportation, as it is much lighter compared to other roofing materials. This makes it easier to handle and carry, reducing the stress and potential strain during the installation process.

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