Rolled Roofing Materials 

There may be a solution if you are not happy with the complexity and cost of replacing your roof with traditional shingle-type roofing materials. Rolled roofing is the easiest and most affordable roofing material. It is also one of the few roof types that homeowners can do themselves, though in limited ways.

There are multiple types of rolled roofing available, depending on how many areas you want to cover and the weather conditions in your area.

The lifespan and durability of rolled roofs can be affected by different factors. This article will help you understand the basics.

Rolled Roofing

Before we start with roofing materials, let’s first discuss what are rolled roofings? It is a roofing material that is composed of a felt foundation with two or three layers of asphalt composite. Some rolls can be self-adhesive while others need to be nailed on the roof.

Most people choose rolled roofing over shingles for low-pitch roofs. This is usually because it is cheaper.

Roll roofing costs can vary depending on the material. Its cost ranges from $1.50 to $6 per square foot — making most people choose this roofing for its cheaper price. For flat surfaces, architects prefer metal or rolled roofing because it offers better insulation and coverage. 

Rolled Roofing Materials

Flat roofs come in rolls. Although it might seem like they are easy to apply, the process of handling them can be quite difficult. A roll typically measures 6 to 20 feet in width and 100 feet in length. Most rolls are made of rubber or a mixture of several materials.

Here are some of the commonly used roll roofing materials:

  1. Rubber Roofing

The cheapest option among the other rolled roofing materials. It is made of slate dust, sawdust,  or recycled tires — and is generally used in residential areas. This material is easy to install by simply overlaying the sheets on a flat roof. Rubber roofing has three main benefits: It’s inexpensive, easy to maintain, and durable.

  1. Asphalt Roofing

This can be made from a fiberglass mat or thick organic felt with an oil-based mineral surface. The roll is soaked in asphalt then covered with mineral granules. This gives this roofing material the ability to reflect sunlight —  as well as impact resistance.

Even if this roll is inexpensive, its durability is nothing compared to rubber. However, it can save you time and money as it is quick and easy to install.

  1. EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) Roofing

This material is a good alternative to rubber roofing. It is made from a combination of three materials — slate dust, sawdust, and recycled tires. EPDM roofing is lighter than rubber roofing but still has the same durability — making it comparable and better than rubber. The adhesive seams make it affordable and easy to install. This seals out any potential leaks and prolongs the material’s life.

  1. TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) Roofing

Due to its cost, this rolled roofing material is very popular. It is made from a mixture of ethylene-propylene and polypropylene rubber. Though its manufacturing process can vary from one company to another — causing a difference in its quality and durability.

Overall, TPO roofing is quite durable. TPO roofing is less expensive than EPDM and it offers heat resistance for its white color. In addition, it is also resistant to mildew, algae growth, and corrosion.

  1. Bitumen Roofing

Another type of asphalt roofing is the bitumen roofing material, which has been made available in rolls. It is available in self-adhesive or cold-press adhesive with the seams bonded together. A bitumen roll that is properly maintained can last up to 20 years and outlasts all other roofing materials.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Rolled Roof


  • Cheaper than shingles and it’s easier to install.
  • Great way to cover low-incline or flat roofs.
  • The majority of rolls include adhesives which make the application much easier. Using nails on flat roofs is not advisable to prevent leaks.
  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Can be cut into strips to make rakes or eaves.
  • Can be laid on an existing roof as the extra layers serve as insulation.


  • Generally available in black. Some materials might be available in green, gray, or tan colors.
  • Roll roofing is less durable than shingles.
  • It doesn’t add any aesthetic value to your home.
  • Shingles can last 20-40 years if they are maintained properly, while rolled roofs last 5-20 years.
  • This lowers the house’s resale price.

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