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How To Install Roll Roofing

At True Blue Roofing & Siding, we take home improvement seriously.  We care about keeping people informed on home improvement topics, including roll roofing.  Roll roofing is a commonly used low-cost option for roofing that uses rolls of composite material.  While it is not the most visually appealing roofing option, many choose it for smaller structures like sheds, garages, or buildings with flat roofs.  It is a popular DIY option due to the ease of install; as the name implies, this roofing can simply be rolled on.

Roll roofing comes in several different material options; these materials will vary in look, durability, and price.  Depending on your preferences for those three factors, you may favor one material over the others.  Common roll roofing materials include modified bitumen asphalt, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), and EPDM rubber.

Installing Rolled Roofing: Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin on your DIY roofing journey, you’ll need to be sure you have all the necessary tools and materials for your project.  You will likely need more than one person for this job, and be sure to do it on a day when the roof will not be wet.

You’ll need:

How To Install Roll Roofing at Home: Instructions for Rolled Roof Installation

1. Clean The Roof

Before you begin, you’ll need to be sure the roof is clean and dry.  Pull out any old roofing nails and sweep away any debris.  Do not try this installation while its raining or when the roof is wet.

2.  Chalk Line Measurements

Measure 35″ inches up from the bottom of the roof.  Mark this measurement horizontally with your chalk line; be sure the line is straight across.

3.  Apply Roofing Cement

Using a trowel, scoop roofing cement onto the edges of your roof, starting with the bottom.  You’ll want the layer of cement to be approximately a quarter of an inch thick.

4.  Cut Your First Row of Roofing

When laid out, your roll should cover the area from the bottom edge up to the 35″ chalk line.  Using your utility knife, cut the roll to the length of your roof so that it will reach from one end of your roof to the other.

5.  Apply Roll Layer

As you roll the first layer out over the roof, be sure to stretch the material to smooth any wrinkles or creases.  Push the roll into the cement to secure it.  Then, hammer the layer down with your roofing nails, spacing them 10 inches apart from each other and about one inch in from the edge of the roll.

6.  Repeat Steps 2 through 5

Mark a second chalk line 32″ up from the original line, and apply a fresh layer of roofing cement to the next area.  Cut, roll, and nail in the same fashion.  Ensure each row overlaps by three inches for proper coverage, and nail through both layers in the overlapped portions.

7. Seal Nails and Edges

When you’ve covered the entire roof with roll layers, cover the nails with roofing cement to seal them.  Then, trim any excess off the edges of the roof.  When you’re done, be sure to test that the edges are cemented down.  If you can lift up the layer of roofing from the edge, apply more cement.  This will prevent water leakage.


Now you know how to install roll roofing at home!  Roll roofing is a great option for DIY roofs, and can be a great deal easier than shingles.  If your rolled roofing install didn’t go to plan, consider reaching out to a proper roofing contractor.  Here at True Blue Roofing, we handle any type of roof repair or replacement project with our expert team.  Installing roofs on Western Washington homes is our job!  For more helpful home improvement tricks and tips, as well as more DIY instructions, read another article from our blog!  To request an appointment with our team, give us a call or use our site contact form.

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