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spdorsey 04-05-2012 09:29 AM

Please advise on how to install a low-slope roof
I have a lean-to roof that slopes down about 11 inches over 9 feet. It's not flat by any means, but not steep either. I just reframed it and installed 1/2" plywood.

I need to re-roof this section myself. I have never done this before. I purchased a roll of roofing material and some felt paper from the local superstore.

Can anyone advise me on what materials to use, what order to apply them in, and how to apply the metal flashing edges?

I appreciate all responses.

OldNBroken 04-05-2012 09:47 AM

Step one: Acquire proper roofing material

spdorsey 04-05-2012 10:33 AM

All due respect, but that doesn't help much at all.

joecaption 04-05-2012 10:44 AM

What he's suggesting is roll roofing is one of the cheapest, shortest lasting most prone to leaking roofing materials you can buy.
You would be far better off with metal, or EPDM, anything but roll roofing.
If you look around in the roofing area you will find dozens of people with leaking roll roofing roofs asking how to fix them.

spdorsey 04-05-2012 10:48 AM

Well, I'm happy to return the materials if that's the case. It would have been helpful for him to point that out.

I'd rather not use metal, I really don't like the look of it. The original lean-to (before I tore the roof off and re-framed) was rolled material, and it held up for ten years without a leak. But if there's something better that isn't too expensive, I'm happy to listen to the options.

I'm looking for a list of materials, and a how-to on application. What order they go onto the roof, where the glue goes, and such. I'm finding a lot of how-to articles and videos for this, but few or none apply to low-slope roofs. That's why I posted here in the first place.

Michael Thomas 04-05-2012 01:03 PM

Are you certain it was "rolled roofing" ("selvage roofing")?

In my area (Chicago) that would have an expected service life of 4-5 years under roof with that slope.

There are modified bitumen roofing materials with a granular coating that appear very is similar to "rolled roofing", one difference that aids in identification is that unlike rolled roofing you should never see nails or other fasteners at the laps.

shazapple 04-05-2012 01:15 PM

Metal would be easy, long lasting, and most DIY friendly. At such a low slope it would be difficult to see from the ground, and if you've ever seen Modbit or EPDM it ain't that pretty. You would apply it same as a steeper sloped roof but be sure to install ice and water shield over the entire roof.

I would ask around town to see if you can get Modbit (Modified Bituminous) or EPDM. Modbit goes down in 2 layers and EPDM with one. The easiest DIY application of these would be glue (which is made by the same manufacturer as the membrane). Not much use in me explaining much more if you can't get it locally though.

OldNBroken 04-05-2012 01:34 PM

SPDorsey, one of the most DIY friendly roofs for your situation with plenty of instructional aids out there would be a self-adhering modified. Look into Certainteed Flintlastic SA or GAF Liberty. Was in a hurry earlier but figured that post would get you started in the right direction.

spdorsey 04-05-2012 04:03 PM


So I can place these products directly on top of the plywood and call it done? No glue or anything else needed? If so, that's fantastically easy.

I'm having a hard time finding either of those items in my area (95125).

I don't need ice dam materials or anything like that, it never freezes here in California. We get maybe 2 hard rains every year, and lots of sun in the Summer. We have maybe 5, 100 days every year.

OldNBroken 04-05-2012 06:57 PM

It is a peel-and-stick system. For your area I would recommend going with the nail-base and cap sheet. No need for the mid-ply. The system is a little pricey but makes up for it with the ease of installation. Pretty sure you have an ABC and a MacArthur in your area. You could check with them how to obtain it. Or go to your HD and they will order it from them for you.
If you have a hammer, knife and common sense that's about all it takes. Oh, and rent an 80 or 100# linoleum roller from your local center when you have it installed, it really helps.
I prefer the Certainteed FlintlasticSA myself, but I've heard the GAF is good also.

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