Back to Blog

Roll Roofing vs. Shingles: A Comprehensive Comparison

Comprehensive comparison between roll roofing and shingles for Rhode Island homes.

Choosing the right roofing material is a crucial decision that every homeowner has to make. It’s even more important in Rhode Island, where the climate can greatly influence the longevity and performance of your roof. As a trusted local roofing contractor in Rhode Island, Classey Roofing is here to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding Your Roofing Options

Image of a roofing company team in Providence, Rhode Island, diligently working on a roof replacement project. Workers are seen on top of a residential building, carrying out the task with precision and efficiency, signifying the professional services provided by the Providence Roofing Company.

When deciding on a roofing material, homeowners often find themselves choosing between roll roofing and shingles. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, the choice largely depends on factors like the local climate, budget, and personal aesthetic preferences.

Roll Roofing: An Overview

Image showcasing a team of professional Providence roofers, expertly handling a roof leak situation affecting an entire house. The picture captures the process of applying roll roofing as a part of installing a new roof. In the scene, a representative from an insurance company is also visible, closely evaluating the damage for claim processing during this comprehensive roof replacement project.

Roll roofing, a lightweight and durable material, offers an economical and easy-to-install solution for homeowners, particularly those on a tight budget or with low-slope or flat roofs. Composed of a fiberglass mat saturated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules, it provides decent resistance to weather conditions.

However, its durability and aesthetic options are limited compared to other roofing materials. Typically lasting between 5 to 10 years, roll roofing doesn’t offer a wide range of styles or colors, which may not be appealing for homeowners desiring a specific look.

What is Roll Roofing?

Image showcasing a beautiful new roll roofing project on a residential house. The picture captures the outstanding quality of the roof, highlighting the attention to detail and craftsmanship involved. The image signifies the excellent service provided by the roofing business, which includes providing accurate estimates, conducting repairs, and delivering a high-quality final product.

Roll roofing is a durable, lightweight roofing material that comes in rolls. It’s typically made from the same material as asphalt shingles, but in a larger, roll format.

Material Composition

Roll roofing is often composed of a fiberglass mat, saturated with asphalt, and coated with mineral granules. This composition offers a fair resistance against weather elements but might not be as durable as other roofing materials.

Typical Roofing Installation

Due to its easy installation process, roll roofing is a popular choice for low-slope or flat roofs, outbuildings, and sheds.

Pros of Roll Roofing

Image of a team of dedicated roofers in East Providence and North Smithfield, working diligently on a roll roofing project. The crew is part of a locally-operated business known for offering excellent service at a fair and competitive price. The quality of their work is exemplary, representing the excellent job done by this highly respected company."


One of the primary benefits of roll roofing is its cost-effectiveness. It’s significantly less expensive than other roofing materials, making it an attractive option for homeowners on a tight budget.

Ease of Installation

Another advantage of roll roofing is the ease of installation. It requires fewer materials and less time to install compared to traditional shingle roofing.

Cons of Roll Roofing

Image of a damaged roof that highlights the cons of roll roofing. Despite the challenges, it's evident that the best roofing contractors have done an amazing job with the repairs. The image underscores the complexity and the indispensable role of skilled roofing companies in managing such challenges.

Durability Issues

While roll roofing is economical and easy to install, it’s not the most durable option. Typically, a roll roof can last between 5 to 10 years, depending on the weather conditions.

Aesthetic Considerations

In terms of aesthetics, roll roofing offers limited options. It doesn’t come in a variety of styles and colors like shingles, which might not appeal to homeowners looking for a particular look.

Shingles: An Overview

Image displaying a residential home roof covered in freshly installed shingles, demonstrating the high-quality work of a roofing doctor. The detail and precision in the shingle layout are evident, indicating the professional expertise of the team.

Shingles, one of the most prevalent roofing materials in the U.S., offer homeowners a variety of material options, from asphalt and wood to metal, tile, and slate.

With their visual appeal and myriad of styles, colors, and textures, they allow for customization to match any home aesthetic. Particularly, asphalt shingles are favored for their longevity, lasting between 15 to 30 years with proper maintenance.

However, shingles come with higher costs than roll roofing, and their installation, maintenance, and repair require more labor and expertise, making them a more substantial investment.

What are Shingles?

Image featuring a residential home roof adorned with newly installed shingles, a testament to the craftsmanship of the best roofing contractors. The meticulous arrangement and secure placement of the shingles highlight the team's exceptional skills and commitment to quality.

Shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials used in the U.S. They consist of individual overlapping elements, usually flat and rectangular, that are laid in rows from the bottom edge of the roof up.

Material Varieties

Shingles come in various materials such as asphalt, wood, metal, tile, and slate. However, asphalt shingles are the most common due to their affordability and ease of installation.

Visual Appeal

Shingles are visually appealing and come in a variety of styles, colors, and textures, allowing homeowners to customize the look of their roof to match their home.

Advantages of Shingle Roofing

Image showing a well-constructed shingle roof, with a group of the best roofers from a family-owned company in the background. They are discussing the pros of shingles in comparison to other roofing materials. The company's policy of offering flexible payment plans is also highlighted, making them one of the best in the business.


Shingles, particularly asphalt ones, are known for their longevity. With proper maintenance, asphalt shingles can last between 15 to 30 years.

Variety of Styles and Colors

As mentioned earlier, shingles offer a wide variety of styles and colors. This variety allows homeowners to achieve the desired look and feel for their homes.

Disadvantages of Shingle Roofing

Image illustrating the discussion of the disadvantages of shingles among homeowners and customers in Central Falls, RI. The time frame for shingle installations is being addressed, highlighting the concerns raised by homeowners regarding the duration of the roofing project.

Cost Factors

Although shingles are relatively affordable compared to other materials, they are more expensive than roll roofing. Additionally, the cost can increase depending on the style, color, and type of shingle chosen.

Installation, Maintainance, and Roof Repair

Installing shingle roofing requires more labor and expertise compared to roll roofing. Also, while shingles can last a long time, they require regular maintenance and occasional repair to ensure they remain in good condition.

Roll Roofing vs. Shingles: A Side-by-Side Comparison

A table showing the comprehensive comparison between roll roofing and shingles in consideration of the following factors: material composition, visual appeal, cost, installation, maintainance, sustainability, and weather resistance.

While both roofing types have their merits, the choice between roll roofing and shingles largely depends on your specific needs and circumstances.

Generally, roll roofing is a more cost-effective solution, ideal for homeowners on a budget or those with low-slope or flat roofs. On the other hand, shingles provide better durability, aesthetic appeal, and a longer lifespan, albeit at a higher cost.

The Influence of Rhode Island Weather on Your Choice of Roof Design and Roofing Contractors

Image depicting a residential home in Rhode Island, enduring extreme weather conditions. The focus is on the roof, which is subjected to the challenges posed by the volatile climate. The image serves as a reminder of the importance of robust roofing materials and expert installation to withstand the unpredictable Rhode Island weather.

The unique Rhode Island weather, characterized by cold winters and warm, wet summers, can greatly influence your choice of roofing. Both roll roofing and shingles can stand up to these conditions, but shingles often fare better in the long run due to their superior durability and resistance to harsh weather.

How Classey Roofing Company Can Help

Image displaying the exceptional work of Classey Roofing Services on a residential home in Rhode Island. The well-executed roof repair signifies their high-quality craftsmanship. The company's policy of offering free estimates is also represented, highlighting their commitment to transparency and customer service.

As one of the leading roofing contractors in Westerly, Rhode Island, Classey Roofing is committed to providing top-notch roofing services to our clients.

Whether you decide on roll roofing or shingles, our team of experienced professionals is here to help. We also offer free in-home estimates and affordable roof financing options to ensure your roofing project doesn’t break the bank.


Roll roofing vs. Shingles: A comprehensive comparisson.

Choosing the right roofing material is no small task. However, with a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of both roll roofing and shingles, making an informed choice becomes much easier.

If you need more advice or assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Classey Roofing, your trusted local roofing company in Rhode Island. Book your free in-home estimate today.

What To Expect
Discover the Difference
Best Customer Experience

No more runaround from the insurance company or phone tag with the permit office: We’ll handle the paperwork.

Quality Roof Installations

From the first conversation to the last nail driven, we guarantee excellent work at a fair price.

Factory Certified Installer

Our CertainTeed Preferred Contractors receive regular training on the latest tools, techniques, and safety concerns.

Industry Leading Warranties

Enjoy peace of mind long after your roof work is done with our extended warranties.

Upfront Pricing

No surprises, ever. The price you’re quoted is the price you’ll pay: No hidden fees, no sneaky surcharges.

Easy Financing

Budget shouldn’t be a barrier to a safe, secure roof. Our financing plans make it easy to find the perfect fit.