Homeowners want a traditional-looking house. True enough, classic house designs with high-sloped roofs introduce the perceived warmth of any home. In addition, this is something that not all types of rolled roofing material can emulate.

However, rolled roofing installation is faster if you compare them to traditional roofing materials. Contractors will roll out the roofing material. Then, they will overlap its seams. Lastly, they will install it using the built-in adhesive of the material or by using a heat weld.

After reading this post, Lake in the Hills IL homeowners will know more about:

  • The four types of rolled roofing material for residential properties
  • And the alternative traditional materials to help them make a good comparison of both categories

The Four Types of Rolled Roofing Material for Residential Properties

When we say types of rolled roofing material, most people think only of one thing: rubber roofs. However, there are three other of materials. Indeed, each has their respective rolled roofing lifespan, cost, and longevity.

However, if you ask about rolled roofing vs shingles curb appeal, the latter will definitely win. Undeniably, all rolled roofing materials are unappealing if you use them in high-slope roof homes. However, if you have a modern flat-roofed residential property, then these roofing materials will work effectively for your home.


Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is the scientific or industry name of what both contractors and homeowners know as rubber roofs.

Most rubber roofs use recycled rubber, sawdust, and slate dust during their manufacturing process. Then, machines flatten the melted material into thin sheets. Lastly, manufacturers dry them, test them to make sure they will perform up to standard, and then roll them before distribution.

Rubber membranes have the lowest roll roofing cost among all types of rolled roofing material. It costs about $0.4 per square foot. However, for all the advantages of its price, a lengthy and extendable lifespan of 15-20 years, durability, and speedy self adhesive rolled roofing installation, it only comes in the color black.

a traditional style flat roofed residential property

If you have a modern flat-roofed property, you do not have to worry about the lack of curb appeal from rolled roof membranes.


Thermoplastic polyolefin is the advanced brother of rubber roofs. Manufacturers make them from an EPDM base. However, they add talc and fiberglass instead of sawdust and slate dust during the manufacturing process. In turn, the membrane becomes more durable and has a longer lifespan than its predecessor.

However, TPO roofs cost a bit more. In fact, some stores can sell them for $5-$8 per square foot. Fortunately, they come in different colors aside from the default white shade manufacturers produce. In addition, they can live up to 25-30 years.


If you’re thinking of water pipes when someone says PVC, then you’re correct. However, polyvinyl chloride roofs have a different countenance and composition than PVC pipes. One, they have additives that strengthen their membranes against hailstorms and extreme weather. Two, contractors can melt them into the roofing structure for a watertight seal across the roof.

In addition, PVC roofs can carry heavy equipment such as HVAC units or anything its 300 PPI (pounds per inch) strength can handle. Therefore, it is safe to assume this membrane can withstand several hailstorms too.

Unfortunately, it costs as much as traditional roofing materials. A square foot of PVC costs about $13-$15. In addition, labor and special welding installation will make labor and installation cost a bit more too. However, you will have a durable roof with a lifespan of over 30-40 years.

a pile of pvc pipes

PVC pipes use the same base material as PVC roofs. However, PVC roofs have other additives that strengthen and give them better durability against extreme outdoor weather.

Modified Bitumen

Tar and gravel roofs use waterproof roofing materials and tar to attach each layer together for an impregnable roofing membrane. Unfortunately, tar is a smelly material and can introduce headaches and nausea for homeowners.

Modified bitumen manufacturers have created a ready-made waterproof-layer cake that is affordable at $9-$11 per square foot. Then, contractors will weld them using a heating element or torch on the roofing material.

Mineral surfaced roll roofing has a lifespan of over 20-30 years. However, just like rubber roofs and almost all types of rolled roofing material, they have poor curb appeal.

Related: When Should You Use Rolled Roofing?

Residential Property Alternatives to Rolled Roofing Materials

Tar & Gravel

Tar and gravel roofs are still excellent residential roofing material even for high-sloped roofs. However, they will still introduce noxious tar smells after construction. However, unlike all the types of rolled roofing material in the market, they’re resilient, easy to repair, and have high curb appeal.

While contractors will propose constructing additional roofing joists to support the added weight of tar and gravel roofs, they will deliver excellent resistance against hailstorms and extreme weather. In addition, their multiple layers guarantee excellent insulation and UV protection.

Asphalt Shingles

The traditional three-tab shingles are easy to install with nails and affordable enough at $10-$12 a square foot. Asphalt shingles have a lifespan of over 25-30 years. However, unlike other types of rolled roofing material, shingles have massive curb appeal and add greatly to the real estate value of a property.

However, asphalt shingles are only useful for high-slope roofed Lake in the Hills IL properties. If you have a flat roof, it is still best to use the types of rolled roofing material available in the market.

a contractor inspecting an asphalt shingle roof

Asphalt shingle roofs perform as well as roofing membranes. However, they introduce the traditional “homey” vibe of high slope residential properties.

Cedar Shakes and Shingles

Masons have used or hand-cut cedar shakes and shingles in constructing roofs since the 18th century. Today’s modern cedar shakes and shingles are either hand or machine-cut. If you compare them against all types of rolled roofing material, you’ll find they have better curb appeal and a longer lifespan.

Wood or cedar shakes and shingles can last up to 40 years of excellent protection. In addition, they introduce excellent insulation and protection against UV rays.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know about all the types of rolled roofing material available in the market, you can now make a proper decision on which roofing material to use for your Lake in the Hills IL property. In addition, you can use the recommended alternative high-slope roofing materials if you can’t decide among the four we listed here.

Lastly, always trust an excellent roofer when you have it installed, repaired, or replaced. In case you haven’t found a good and trustworthy contractor yet, you can count on Contemporary Exteriors to help you install both rolled roofing and traditional materials. With our years of experience providing excellent