If you are looking at the roofing projects around your home that either need to be initiated or finished, but you are not ready to go full steam ahead with the cost of typical shingle materials and the added expense of a contractor, you may want to research less expensive options for re-roofing. Roll roofing is one alternative, but you probably need to investigate it before you think about going the do-it-yourself route with preparation and installation, as it just might not be that easy.
Rolled roofing isn’t exactly like laying a piece of sheet linoleum, so before you buy infinite rolls of it, research the advantages and disadvantages of the product and determine whether it is something that you want to pursue.
So, what is Roll Roofing?
Rolled roofing (MSR) is a mineral surfaced oil-based asphalt product that is available in 100 square feet rolls and weighs about 75 pounds per roll. It can be found in almost any home improvement outlet, hardware store or online source. Though roll roofing is similar to asphalt shingles, it is considerably cheaper, thinner and less durable.
Some homeowners choose to apply MSR on their home rooftops, and those that do can use it to re-roof over an already existing roof, but it has to carefully prepared ahead of time with the removal of any debris, gravel or residue from the previous roof covering to keep from damaging or puncturing the rolled roofing. Other more common applications for rolled roofing are often used for different structures, like lean-tos, shacks, gazebos, workshops, garages and smaller buildings.
Installation involves placing rolls that are cut into long strips at certain lengths for the various portions of a roof, which when set for placement are situated in a horizontal position. There are different types of roll roofing that are used in varying approaches, such as saturated felt that is infused with asphalt for additional support and protection.
Rolled roofing is designed for use on roofs that are low-sloped, so check to make sure your roof is adaptable to it for installation. The pitch of the roof and the vertical and horizontal will determine whether the roof is designed to handle the process.
Handling rolled roofing is quite a bit easier and more convenient than having to move regular asphalt shingles from the ground to a rooftop, which can be awkward and hazardous. Most roofing contractors have to use equipment, such as forklifts and other machinery to move shingles to a roof area. With rolled roofing, particularly when you do the work yourself, and have the assistance of a friend or helper, you can get the rolls to the roof without a lot of effort or machinery.
Pros and Cons of Roll Roofing
• It is inexpensive in comparison to composite/asphalt shingles
• Usable with low-incline roofs (not recommended for flat roofs)
• Fast application – can be rolled out in a few minutes
• Transportable – regular shingles are heavy and awkward while rolled roofing is lighter, compact and sealed in a 75 pound roll
• Unattractive and may not be allowed in HOA communities
• Limited color choices – usually black and sometimes green
• Not durable – roll roofing is comparable to a large, extended shingle that is unable to adapt to the expansion and contraction that a regular shingle would, plus roll roofing can tear and deteriorate through structural shifts and changes and, with time, bald areas and loss of granules can occur
• Limited lifespan – may last 5 to 8 years in comparison to the approximate 20 years of life with asphalt/composite shingles
• Poor resale – homes with roll roofing do not retain value and potential buyers are repelled by it
Rolled roofing isn’t for everyone and every roof, so if you have questions concerning where and when to use rolled roofing, or if you just have questions in general, fill out the online contact form, and a trained representative will help answer any questions you have concerning rolled roofing.