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What Is Roll Roofing Is It A DIY Material?
November 12, 2018

Hold on, Rolled roofs?

Yup. We live in an age where we have created roofing material that can be rolled and loaded onto trucks for easy transportation in much larger volumes than we ever could have with regular roofing material. Architectural technology sure has come a long way.

What are Rolled roofs exactly? Well, they’re thick, durable, waterproof sheets made of organic felt or fiberglass mat, with asphalt mixed in for toughness, topped with a layer of stone aggregate to give it a rough, durable face. As the name states, they’re essentially roofing material (a substitute of sorts) that can be rolled over existing roof structures.

What are they even good for?

Rolled roofing is waterproof and can block light almost as well any other roofing material. Meaning, when it comes down to it, rolled roofing can perform just as well as conventional roofing, perhaps even to a better extent. And to top it off, the material is quite lightweight, easily transportable, easy to install and most of all quite inexpensive compared to other roofing materials. Which would mean it’s a quick and effective solution to all temporary roofing problems and that can be applied to almost any kind of pre-existing structure by a skilled roofing contractor that may not be performing as desired. For example, if you have a leaky roof, patching it up with rolled roofing material would be a quick and easy fix to the problem.

How viable are they?

The real trouble with rolled roofing is its lifespan. Sure, the material is pretty durable and can withstand quite harsh weather conditions in the first few months of installation (depending on the quality of the roofing material used), but that toughness eventually wears off leaving a roofing material that slowly, but surely, begins to deteriorate after being exposed to the elements. So as far as permeant solutions to roofing go, rolled roofing is most certainly out of the running. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good temporary roofing material. This is what the material is mostly used for, in places like covering up the patchy roofs of shanty homes, on flat roofs to patch up some wear and tear, and even as underside to shingles to make the roofs watertight to a greater extent.

Can you install them yourselves?

Rolled roof installation seems like a simple process, and for the most part, it is and can (with some proper tools and a little know-how) be installed by the average Joe. All you’d have to do is get up on your roof and carpet the surface with the material, preferably parallel to the eaves of your roof so that you cover your roof in the most effective way possible. The tricky part here is sticking the material onto your roof; you could go with the basic method of nailing it down or using a special cement to the trick (though I’d advise against the former since it reduces the watertight nature considerably), but most rolled roof mats are torch-able, meaning you can burn the material’s underside to melt and stick it on firmly. This is by far the best way to install a rolled roof, but it is inadvisable to try to do it yourself if you’re not proficient with a torch; you don’t want to hurt yourself or burn your house down accidentally.

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