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Reliability and durability of soft roofing depends on compliance with the technology of its installation. In the presented article you can get acquainted with common varieties of soft roof and, in more detail, with the characteristics of shingles. This review contains information about the device of the roofing pie and its some important components, including the sheathing and ventilation.

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A popular option for country house building is shingles

About the origin and specifics of soft roofing

A few more decades ago, expensive ceramic tiles and more democratic slate and galvanized steel were among the most common roofing materials. Installation of roofing was time-consuming, took a lot of time and was carried out by several workers. The development of technology has presented an alternative to classic materials - soft roofing, simplifying the process of construction of the roof.

These modern developments are derived from roofing material, roll material with waterproofing properties. The production of ruberoid was straightforward: the roofing cardboard was impregnated and then covered with bitumen and an additional layer of sand protecting it from sticking together (sometimes with asbestos dressing). The first soft material did not cope well with the low and high temperatures and other vagaries of mother nature; its low wear resistance made it take to develop a new generation of coatings.

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Good old roofing material

The concept of a soft roof unites several classes of flexible roofing materials, modified roofing materials, produced in the form of roll, plastic and piece coatings. All of them have improved consumer qualities. Like the progenitor, they are flexible, lightweight, and excellent in protecting housing from weather vagaries; many are able to effectively transform the roof. Due to the improved composition (with the addition of polymer components), the lifespan of a modern soft-roofed roof has increased several times.

5 basic varieties of soft roof

Manufacturers offer the following classes of soft roofing materials, focused on various ways of laying:

  • Rolled coatings based on bitumen . Their predominant scope of application is industrial buildings and residential structures with flat and low-pitched roofs (when the angle of the slope does not exceed 3º). Rolled materials are successfully used for waterproofing roofs, they are laid in strips, and the adhesion is ensured by fusing.

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Installation of a soft build-up roof
  • Polymer membranes . Also supplied in roll format, but are composed of an additive - polymer modifier applied over the reinforcing base. The new component improves resistance to high temperatures and allows you to maintain ductility at low. Bitumen-polymer membrane materials have good adhesion (adhesion to the surface), high mechanical strength and the ability to recover in places of minor damage. If the roofing carpet is chosen correctly, the bitumen-polymer roofing will last at least 20 years.

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Laying the polymer membrane
  • Roofing mastics and emulsions . They have a limited area for full use, since they are a polymer or bitumen-polymer mixture and correctly fit only on a horizontal surface. More recently, such materials have been used only as a waterproofing or bonding layer in a roofing carpet. Today mastic is increasingly being used as a full-fledged independent coating. Depending on the type, it is applied by pouring, spraying or using a spatula (spreading over the surface). For the reinforcement are layers of fiberglass.

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Roof under bitumen mastic
  • Baseless materials . Refer to the roll roofing; A widely known representative of this class is plastic film (plain or reinforced). Baseless materials are known for their plasticity, durability and biostability, which makes them an important component of the roofing pie (as the inner layer) of both flat and sloping roofs.

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Deaf steam barrier - plastic film
  • Shingles . Basically, these are piece products of modified roofing material. The material has the form of flexible sheets with a curved outer edge. If the roll and mastic materials are suitable for use on the roofs of houses in the avant-garde style or high-tech, then for buildings in the most common, classical style, bituminous tiles are usually chosen. It is able to elegantly imitate natural ceramics, slate tiles and wooden shingles.

Features of shingles

Although piece material is less elastic than roll coverings, other properties make it a popular option for private construction. The device of a soft roof looks like a three-layer structure:

  • Base . The basis is fiberglass, which, although it cannot boast of high tensile strength, but it weighs little and is quite elastic.

  • Coverage . Coating material - bitumen, natural or modified. The composition of the latter includes a polymer additive that increases the elasticity and frost resistance of products. On the back of each product there is an adhesive strip for attachment to the base (during storage and transportation it is protected by a film).

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Structure of shingles
  • Outer layer . To increase the service life, outside shingles are covered with colored basalt or shale. The use of granules increases the strength and durability of the material; a layer of powder protects the bitumen base from the sun, precipitation and mechanical damage. One of the reasons for the prevalence of soft tile roofing is the rich color palette and various cutting forms that open up wide design possibilities.

Builders note the following advantages of shingles:

  • Low weight , thanks to which soft roof is transported and unloaded without major costs . An additional bonus is a reduction in the load on the roofing system of the roof and the entire building.

  • Universality of installation of a soft roof . The flexible tile is successfully laid on the roof of any shape.

  • Efficiency . On any surface, the percentage of waste will be minimal (not exceeding 5-7%).

The advantages of shingles during operation are the following properties:

  • Strength . Resilient shingles are immune to ultraviolet radiation, corrosion, precipitation and temperature changes.

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Broad design possibilities
  • Durability . It depends on the number of layers of shingles. Standard single-layer material is designed for 20 years of impeccable service. The most durable, three-layer coating guaranteed to withstand 50 years of operation (which does not exclude routine inspections and maintenance).

  • Tightness . The material is characterized by almost complete water resistance.

  • Sound insulation . Soft tile roof perfectly absorbs the sound of rain and hail.

  • Zero electrical conductivity.

  • Just th care.

The disadvantages of a soft roof are its high price (when compared with traditional materials) and a number of rules that must be observed during installation.

About the advantages of shingles in the following video:

On our website you can find contacts of construction companies that offer roof repair services. You can directly communicate with representatives by visiting the low-rise country exhibition.

Rules for using soft tile

When choosing a roof covering with a soft roof, you should have an idea about the features of a flexible tile. When conditions change (non-compliance with the installation rules), these features can turn into cons, and the same material will serve different times in different conditions. The main differences between soft tile and other roofing materials include the following facts:

  • Soft tile is not suitable for use if the roof slope does not reach 12 ° (on a flat surface increases the risk of water retention and leakage).

  • It is impossible for the eyes to objectively determine the quality of the coating and the foundation of the bituminous shingle. Material should be purchased from a reputable manufacturer, with the purchase by studying the certificate labeling and warranty. Soft tiles offered at a suspiciously low (below the market average) price are always suspicious.

  • The laying of the soft roof is carried out only on a solid, moisture resistant base . To do this, you will have to purchase plywood sheets, a rabbeted or edged board, or OSB sheets, which will increase the total cost of the roofing carpet.

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Installing shingles
  • Installation looks simple, the main thing is the laying process prevents deformation of soft tile (which, in the absence of experience, is not so difficult to do).

  • Installation in the frost is difficult , since in such conditions the adhesive layer does not provide proper adhesion. So that the roof is still sealed, the packages with the material are previously kept in a warm room (at least 24 hours), and during installation they take out 5-6 packages in the air.

  • Repair of a soft roof may be much more complicated than mounting . After laying the shingles, under the influence of sunlight, stick together, forming a uniform cover. If over time one of the tiles gets damaged, due to the adhesion of the material, it will be necessary to replace the section of the roof, and without the help of a specialist you cannot do.

About the installation of the roofing pie in the following video:

It might be interesting! In article on the following link read about the flexible roofing TechnoNIKOL Shinglas.

Features of laying the roofing pie

Bituminous shingles occupy leading positions in the use in private construction, leaving the rest of soft roofing materials far behind. This success is due to the successful combination of its qualities: the insulating capabilities of the roll coverings, the solidity of the self-leveling roof and the aesthetics of classical materials (ceramics and wooden shingle). If the attic of a dwelling house is supposed to be made warm, a solid moisture resistant base and shingles will not be enough. In this case, additional layers will be required, and the roofing cake will have a more complex structure, including the following layers:

  • Vapor barrier . It protects the roof system and the layer of insulation from wet steam penetrating from the room.

  • Thermal insulation layer (optional). Helps maintain a stable temperature inside the dwelling.

  • Thermal insulation . Its role is successfully performed by a layer of basalt or mineral wool.

  • Waterproofing membrane . Protects rafters and insulation from precipitation.

  • The batten and counter lattice . They fixed a solid solid base under the asphalt roof.

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Standard roofing pie
  • Roof base . On the crate fits solid OSB, plywood or boardwalk. Since the reverse side of the soft roof is covered with an adhesive layer, there is no need to apply mastic or glue to the base. If the angle of inclination of the roof structure exceeds 18 °, an additional waterproofing layer is laid on the base . If the slope is more gentle, structurally reinforce weak areas that are subjected to intense stress by waterproofing: areas around chimneys, cornices, overhangs, skates, and valley.

  • Lining carpet . Protects soft shingles from mechanical damage; serves as an additional barrier to the path of wind and moisture.

  • Soft roof . It gives the house a finished look. Elements are glued one by one, glue, nails or screws are used additionally for better fixation. At installation of cattle surfaces use ordinary (shaped) tile; for skates and eaves choose universal, ridge-eaves. The energy of the sun's rays heats bitumen, tiles are sintered, turning into a single sealed roofing sheath.

About errors in installing shingles in the following video:

It might be interesting! In the article on the following link, read about a soft roof of PVC membrane.

Some nuances of the arrangement of a soft roof

The composition of the roofing pie is important for long-term trouble-free operation of the roof. If you use unsuitable materials or change (reduce) the number of layers of the roofing pie, the consequences will not keep you waiting. The construction of the roof will become worthless; you will get leakage, condensate, damp insulation and requiring replacement, rotten elements of the roofing system.

In order for the roof to serve its time perfectly, you must use additional recommendations during installation, including the following tips:

  • Soft roof urgently needs ventilation . Hydroprotection of the roofing pie not only reliably protects the structure from raindrops, but also prevents steam from escaping. Failure to ventilate will lead to the accumulation of condensate inside the cake and its leakage.

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Arrangement of ventilation (ridge products)
  • Types of ventilation . The roof ventilation system can be passive, when ventilation layers (open channels) are formed between the layers. When arranging the forced version of the roof structure is equipped with a factory-made ventilation system. Such a system is not only able to effectively ventilate the roofing space, but also to launch forced air circulation in the attic and in the attic.

  • Bypassing the stove pipe . An important technological subtlety is a soft roof, all types of which serve as a quality substitute for traditional tile, unlike the latter, should not adjoin the chimney.During installation, the chimney is carefully insulated around the perimeter; The conditions for ensuring the fire safety of the roofing pie are governed by SNiP regulations.

  • Mixing shingle . When mounting it is recommended to mix bitumen elements from several packages. Shades from different packs (even in one batch) may differ slightly. Mixing will allow you to evenly distribute the tone on the surface of the roof, avoiding abrupt transitions from tone to tone (which always catches the eye). This will be useful in the future if you need to pick up the material for repair.

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Arrangement of the junction to the pipe
  • The roof of the flexible roof exceeds many roof coating strength (easily tolerates hail), resistance (to wind gusts) and solidity. In order for these remarkable properties to be preserved as long as possible, it is necessary to carefully care for the roof during operation . To clean the roof of snow choose a wooden spade (it does not damage the protective basalt dressing on the shingle). It is convenient to remove summer dust and dirt with a stream of water from a hose.

It can be interesting! In the article on the following link read about Finnish Katepal shingles.


In many countries, shingles are considered the best option for arranging the roof of a country house, practical and aesthetic. Soft-roof buildings have a stylish look and are characterized by excellent performance characteristics. If you want to get a high-quality, durable and effective coating for your home, you should entrust the installation of the roofing pie to specialists of a specialized construction organization familiar with all the subtleties of the work.

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