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The most common type of roofing is asphalt shingles.

It is popular due to its ease of installation, low cost, and relatively reliable life. To make installing a new roof even easier, or for temporary use, there is also asphalt roll roofing.

What is Asphalt Roll Roofing?

As the name implies, asphalt roll roofing is composed of the same material as asphalt shingles, available in a roll.

“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.”  -RGB Construction

»Related: Rolled Roofing (MSR): Basics and Costs of This Self-Install Material

How do I Install Asphalt Roll Roofing?

Asphalt roll roofing comes in a wide variety of styles, colors and textures, in rolls typically 36 inches wide by 36 feet long that weigh approximately 90 pounds. This 36’ x 36” roll is called a “square” and provides 100 square feet of roofing material. 

What is the cost for asphalt roll roofing?

It can run from approximately $50 per square.

Horizontal Strips

Roll roofing is installed horizontally in long strips, from the bottom of the roof upwards and parallel to the eaves

Overlapping Underlayment

Homeowners often lay the asphalt roll roofing material over an underlayment of 15# felt.  Each new roll overlaps the next, in the same way asphalt shingles do.

Lap Cement

Nails are not used along the bottom, as they would puncture the material. Instead, an adhesive or “lap cement” is used along the bottom edge of each roll to prevent wind from lifting it.

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Nail the upper edge.

The upper edge of each roll is nailed into place and this edge is covered by the next layer of asphalt roll roofing. Single-coverage asphalt roll roofing uses a 2” overlap on the upper edge.

What is the best roof type for asphalt roll roofing?

It is best used on a roof with a low, sloped pitch. A pitch of less than 2:12 is recommended, which translates to 2 inches of decline per 12 inches horizontal.

»Related: How to Apply Rolled Roofing

Drawbacks of Asphalt Roll Roofing

Homeowners like asphalt roll roofing for its ease of installation. It is a type of roofing they can do themselves.

However, it is best used for structures other than your home, due to its vulnerability and shorter life span. It may last between five and eight years as compared to 20 years for shingles. It is best used on garages, sheds and outbuildings.

“Since this product is rolled out and stuck together at the seams, this often causes problems where the rolls join. This increases the need for repairs and maintenance over the lifespan of the product.” -DoItYourself.com

Asphalt roll roofing is not as attractive as asphalt shingles or other types of roofing materials, and may not be allowed by a homeowner’s association.

When purchasing asphalt roll roofing, look for rolls that are not “out of round” or damaged. Imperfections in the roll may translate to problems like raised seams or ragged edges once it’s installed.

Want to Know More About “What is” Asphalt Roll Roofing?

When looking at the many types of roofing materials, you might find yourself asking, “What is asphalt roll roofing?”

At SmartRoof, we’ll be glad to go over the various types of roofing materials available to you. We’ll even help you pick out the perfect choice…and install it for you. As roofing experts, we work with homeowners throughout Northern Virginia and promise the best roof replacement around.

For more information about our roofing services, don’t hesitate to contact SmartRoof today.

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