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What are the pros and cons of felt roofing?

Felt roofing basically involves bitumen material. As you can expect, the roofing industry has been learning and growing. Several inventions have led to the replacement of the old felt roofing. That is particularly so with the old felt roofing being of bad repute for many. Tar paper as it was previously known could rot and crack with time leading to short lifetimes. Usually not more than 10 years before leaking became the norm. Better felt were invented to act as replacement of old technologies. APP and SBS are modern bitumen technologies that have gone a long way to ensure durability for felt roofing. It is laid in 3 layers with elimination of much jointing as possible. It is clearly visible that the felt roofing has its good side as well as bad side. See both sides hereof.

The pros

  • It’s cheap – it’s what most of the people want to hear. We all have different pocket muscles. Not a single person is however willing to spend more than necessary on roofing projects. Considering that modern times are economically hard, the essence of this point can’t be stressed further. When compared to other roofing options, felt roofing is the cheapest.
  • Suitable for many houses – it can easily be laid on roof of any detail or size. Modern bitumen technologies have availed contraction and expansion properties in the material used.
  • Easy to repair – repair is not just repair. Good repair should have some restoration properties and not isolating some roof sections. When a roof is patchy due to repairs, it looks bad. With felt roofing though, you can easily repair certain spots without affecting the aesthetics of it.
  • Appealing to the eye–the mineral finish tells it all. You can pick your best color out of the several availed. It is perhaps a better option over rubber if you are beauty oriented.


  • Anti-foot fall – while bitumen can be a suitable option for many roof projects, it’s probably not the best for places experiencing heavy foot fall frequently. That is particularly so in summer seasons when it’s hot.
  • Weak in damage resistance – the mineral surface can be easily worn out especially with heavy traffic during the hot season. High heels should be forbidden if the roof is to live longer. Ladders placed on the roofs should also bear protective pads below them.
  • Professional installation – getting started is not an easy task for felt flat roof. You will need to hire the best roofer to get the job done. Making a mistake in manpower selection can be lethal with regular leaks.

When felt roofs are well installed by a professional roofer and well maintained, they can last for over 30 years much like newer materials including GRP roofing.