How Long Does Roll Roofing Last

When it comes to choosing a roofing material, we have to take into account the longevity of these materials. One of the most abundant and most common roofing material in the United States are asphalt shingles. These shingles have a felt interior with layers of asphalt placed on top to give it protection against heavy rain and harmful UV rays. 

But what if you’ll want rolled roofing instead of having your standard asphalt shingles? You can have rolled roofing which is basically using the same material as asphalt shingles; the only difference is that this is manufactured with rolls of around 18 – 36 inches wide. 

But how long does roll roofing last? Does it have the same life expectancy as asphalt shingles? We will be discussing rolled roofing in detail.


In most cases, you won’t see rolled roofing on residential homes and commercial buildings; rolled roofing is usually used on extensions to your main building such as storage shacks, barns, and chicken pens. Compared to asphalt shingles which are normally used on your standard roofing pitch, rolled roofing is mostly used on low-sloped roofs and flat roofs that range from 0.5/12 to 4/12. 

To make the long story short, the rolled lifespan has a maximum lifespan of 15 years. However, you’ll be able to see signs deterioration after 5 years. This is to be expected from single-ply roofing which usually has a lower life expectancy than strip shingles. Since rolled roofing is more delicate than other forms of shingles, it’s generally not used for main structures and should be used on secondary structures instead. Rolled roofing compensates for its limited lifespan by being one of the cheapest roofing materials in the market. 

Naturally, regularly checking on your rolled roofing and conducting much-needed repairs and maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your roof. It’s recommended that you have a qualified and licensed roofing contractor inspecting your roof for damages. 


Homeowners are advised to install rolled roofing during warmer weather conditions. Naturally, almost any building material will expand if exposed to higher temperatures. Rolled roofing is not an exemption to this and will usually buckle if installed under the wrong conditions. Installing your rolled roofing on warmer weather can give you a more accurate representation of what it will look like on warmer temperatures. 

Another known drawback to rolled roofing is that the granular coating will eventually break and wrinkle over time which can cause more wear and tear that will lead to leaks. 

Types Of Rolled Roofing

Just like asphalt shingles, rolled roofing has a variety of different styles that you can choose from. In most cases, these types are designed for different conditions and preferences. There are around four basic types of rolled roofing.

Smooth-surfaced Roll Roofing

This type of roofing is designs for flashing to seal roofs and gaps to stop water from seeping inside the decks of eaves and valleys. 

Saturated Felt

This type of rolled roofing is usually used as an underlay for roofing systems and other roofing materials. 

Specialty-eaves Flashing

This type of sheeting material is automatically self-adhere to your roof. This is intended for the application of specialist flashings along the eaves of your roof. You’ll usually see this in colder regions when ice dams and clogging usually occurs in gutter and drainage systems.

Mineral-surfaced Rolled Roofing

As the name suggests, mineral-surfaced rolled roofing has a top layer that’s covered with a mineral surface.  This gives it a rough mineral granule feel that imitates the texture of most shingles. 

Installing Rolled Roofing 

The installation of rolled roofing will depend on the slope of your roof. You can apply rolled roofing using an exposed nailing system or you can have a concealed nailing system. Exposed nailing systems are usually used in roofs designed for agricultural or industrial use. Generally, exposed nailing systems are cheaper than concealed systems since it doesn’t last as long as its concealed counterparts. A concealed system is more durable since it’s designed to resist the effects of weather. 

When it comes to installation time, this will take a few days to install. Exposed roofing installation is generally easier and consumes less time while a concealed roofing system will take longer to install. 

Ultimately, rolled roofing has a maximum lifespan of 15 years. If you want to extend the lifespan of your roof, it’s recommended that you repair and conduct regular maintenance on it, especially if your roof is situated in harsh weather conditions.