Roll Roofing Part 1 of 2

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Roll roofing is a quick and easy roofing product to install. The material is simply rolled across the roof, nailed along the edges, and sealed with roofing cement. It’s geared for roofs with slight slopes, such as porches and garages.

 

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Overview

Roll roofing is a quick and easy roofing product to install. The material is simply rolled across the roof, nailed along the edges, and sealed with roofing cement. It’s geared for roofs with slight slopes, such as porches and garages.
Some manufacturers recommend using a roof primer prior to installing the roofing. Read and follow manufacturer’s directions. Your roof decking must be completely clean before the roll roofing can be applied. Any debris, even a small twig or leaf, can end up showing through the roofing.
Store the roofing in a warm, dry location until you’re ready to start the project, and choose a warm day for the installation. Roll roofing is best installed in temperatures above 45°F. If applied in cold weather, the material can crack.
The following pages show the three methods for installing roll roofing. The perimeter bond application is the fastest installation method and can be used on sloped roofs. The concealed nail application is best for roofs with a slighter pitch all the way down to a 1-in-12 slope, because it prevents water from penetrating under the nail heads. The double coverage method is used for roofs that are almost completely flat. The double coverage, using fully bonded selvedge roofing, offers better protection against water infiltration.
Roll roofing is used on roofs that have a slight slope. Installation is fast and straightforward, with the material rolled over a clean roof decking.

What You'll Need

Tools:

Utility knife
Tape measure
Chalk line
Serrated trowel
Straightedge
Hammer
Roll roofing
Galvanized roofing nails
Asphalt-based roofing cement

Materials:

Utility knife
Tape measure
Chalk line
Serrated trowel
Straightedge
Hammer
Roll roofing
Galvanized roofing nails
Asphalt-based roofing cement

 

Step 1

How to Install Roll Roofing (Perimeter Bond)

Nail drip edge along the eaves and rake ends of the roof. Sweep the roof decking clean. Center an 18"-wide strip of roll roofing over the valley. Nail one side 3⁄4" from the edge, every 6". Press the roofing firmly into the valley center, then nail the other side. Install a 36" strip over the valley the same way.


Step 2

How to Install Roll Roofing (Perimeter Bond)

Snap a chalk line 351⁄2" up from the eaves. Unroll the roofing along the chalk line, overhanging the eaves and rake edges by 1⁄2". Nail the roofing every 3" along the sides and bottom, 3⁄4" from the edge of the decking. Roofing nails should be long enough to penetrate the roof decking by at least 3⁄4".


Step 3

How to Install Roll Roofing (Perimeter Bond)

Where more than one roll is needed to complete a course, apply roofing cement along the edge of the installed piece using a trowel. Place a new roll 6" over the first piece. Press the seam together and drive nails every 3" along the end lap. Tip: Make sure the roofing is straight before nailing. Once it’s nailed, you can’t adjust it without creating wrinkles and folds. If it’s running crooked, cut it and start with a new strip.


Step 4

How to Install Roll Roofing (Perimeter Bond)

Apply 2" of roofing cement along the top edge of the installed course. Install the second row flush with the line on the roofing, overlapping the cement edge. Drive nails every 3" along the rakes and overlap, 3⁄4" from the edges. Do the same for remaining rows, offsetting seams at least 18".


Step 5

How to Install Roll Roofing (Perimeter Bond)

Cut roofing 1" from the valley center using a utility knife and straightedge. Be careful not to cut into the valley roofing. Apply a 6"-wide strip of roofing cement on the valley at the overlap. Place the main roofing over the cement. Nail in place every 3" along the seam.


Step 6

How to Install Roll Roofing (Perimeter Bond)

Install roofing in front of a vent pipe. Cut a square of roofing to fit over the pipe, with a hole in the center. Apply roofing cement around the edges of the square, then set it in place over the pipe. Overlap with the next row of roofing, notching for the pipe as necessary.


Step 7

How to Install Roll Roofing (Perimeter Bond)

Cut the roofing flush with the roof peak. Snap a line on each side of the roof, 51⁄2" from the peak. Apply 2" of cement above each line. Place a 12"-wide strip of roofing over the peak, flush with the chalk lines. Drive nails every 3" along the seams, 3⁄4" from the edges. Tip: Use modest amounts of roofing cement. Excess cement can cause the roofing to blister.


Step 8

Variation

Rather than install a strip over the ridge, extend the roofing on one side of the roof 6" past the peak, overlapping the opposite side. Nail along the edge to secure it to the decking. Do the same on the other side, overlapping the installed roofing at the peak. Apply cement along the seam, and nail in place.


Step 9

How to Install Roll Roofing (Concealed Nail Application)

Cut 9"-wide strips of roofing. Nail them in place along the rakes and eaves. Snap a chalk line 35 1⁄2" up from the eaves. Place the first course of roofing flush with the line.


Step 10

How to Install Roll Roofing (Concealed Nail Application)

Nail the roofing along the top edge only, driving nails every 4", 3⁄4" from the top edge. Roll back the side and bottom edges. Apply cement along the outside 2" of the strips installed in step 1. Set the overlapping strip back in place, pressing firmly to seal.


 
 

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