Important Tips on How to Install Roll Roofing!

For financial reasons, most homeowners decide to purchase the most affordable material they can find for their roof covering. Roll roofing material has become popular with homeowners because it is easy to install and comes in sheets from the manufacturer. It is expected to last from five to ten years. Installing this material on the exterior of a roof is easily accomplished if the homeowner knows some of the important aspects of its components as well as the process and preparation for installation.


There are four different types of materials currently available: eaves flashing, smooth surface, mineral surface, and saturated felt.

  • Eaves Flashing – Eaves flashing is a polymer -modified bituminous material with self-adhesive features designed for areas where ice develops or water pools.
  • Smooth Surface – The smooth surface variety consists of mica or talc and is designed for extrusion flashing and overlapping seals. It is used specifically for the valley and overhang of the roof and works with every type of house covering as an extra sealant.
  • Mineral Surface – The mineral surface type consists of small rocks and mineral granules. It is commonly used on smaller structures such as small barns, large sheds, and storage buildings.
  • Saturated Felt – The saturated felt variety has an organic asphalt base and is usually laid between the deck and one of the other types of roll materials listed above.


Before installation, the surface of the roof should be thoroughly cleaned of any small stones and twigs. These unwanted objects may damage the covering, causing it to tear and possibly result in its failure. Apply the primer to the entire surface using a sprayer or paint roller. It is important to remember that this product should be installed only when the temperature is over 45 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid cracking and other damage.


Usually, these rolls can be applied on either flat or steep structures. For a flat covering, a double layer is required to minimize moisture penetration. The following is a summary of the process used to install this material on these two types of structures:

  • Flat Structures – A drip edge should be placed along the rake and eaves, applying cement at the bottom about two inches up and cover that with a 9-inch-wide starter strip. At the top of that strip, place 1-1 / 4 inch galvanized nails every 3 inches. Place the first roll on top of the strip and fasten with 3-inch nails followed by the securing the sides and bottom with cement. Overlap each row 17 inches and repeat the process all the way across the roof. Overlap any horizontal seams by 2 inches and cut material as necessary with a utility knife. By staggering the material every 18 inches between each row, potential leaks can be minimized on the horizontal seams.
  • Steep Structures – On a steeper roof with a lower chance of leakage and water pooling, only a single layer of the roll covering is needed. Using the same type of nailing technique as above or using exposed nailing will allow the job to be completed more quickly. Normally, the remaining rows must overlap by two inches, and the drip edges and starter strips required should be positioned just as they are on a flat covering. The vertical method is helpful if the house-top is very steep and could pose a safety risk during installation. Hang the roll material lengthwise from the ridge line to the eaves and apply cement, nailing all the strips along the ridge line at once.

Homeowners should follow the tips listed above to install roll roofing or better yet, enlist the help of professionals to perform this task. Although these steps may sound easy, there are many risks involved if the homeowner decides to do this procedure themselves. Therefore, to avoid possible accidents and ensure quality roof installation, homeowners should seek the services of a professional contractor. These tips will hopefully provide enough knowledge to know if the job is being properly handled!