Part 1 of the series “Putting a New Roof on Your House” focused on determining whether or not you need a new roof on your house. Part 2 provides a list of various roofing products available on the market today. Part 3 explains how to replace your roof effectively. Below is an outline of the basic steps required to take when installing a new roof on your house. However, it is recommended that you consult with a professional roofer before starting on your project.
Step 1: Do You Know Your Local Building Codes? Before you even begin your project, you will need to understand the building codes for roofing on houses in your area. Local area building codes specify what types of roofing materials are allowed, for example. Codes are typically based on the worst weather conditions that occur in your area (e.g., tornadoes, hurricanes, snow storms, etc.). Once you know your codes, you will need to obtain the appropriate building permits.
Step 2: Obtain Appropriate Building Permits: Building permits are necessary to ensure that your project meets specific rules and regulations in order to maintain safety. Such permits will require you to provide: proof that you own the structure, construction and elevation drawings, and an application for the permit.
Step 3: Purchasing Roofing Product: Part 2 of this series offered a description of the more common roofing products available on the market today. Once you have selected the type of shingles that you want to add to your roof, you will need to calculate how much of the material to purchase. There are different methods to determine how much product to purchase. One way is to measure the length and width of each of your roof’s sections, then add the areas together. Once you have calculated this number, divide it by 100. This will give you the number of squares that will cover the roof. Take the number of squares and multiply the number by 3. This will provide you with the number of shingles you will need, since shingles are sold in bundles. Three bundles should cover one square. One square on a roof equals 100 square feet.
Step 4: Getting Ready: At this point, for safety reasons, you may want to have a professionally certified roofer work on your roof. Each roofer should be wearing work glasses, gloves, and rubber-soled boots to keep traction on the roof itself. The professional roofer may use a scaffold and roofing jacks to work on the project. If you are hiring a professional roofer, or you are doing the work yourself, it is a good idea to rent a large trash container or dumpster. You can throw all the old shingles and other materials into the dumpster, making the workspace safe and cleanup a breeze.
Step 5: Start! Now you are ready to remove the old roofing materials. Begin at the peak and work your way from one side of the roof to the other. Work with another person for safety reasons and to make the project move faster. There are roofing shovels and garden forks that are particularly designed to remove roofing material. Every so often, shovel the debris into the dumpster. This is heavy, dirty, back breaking work, so take your time. You will also need to remove any metal flashing that is around vents, chimneys, and other areas of the roof.
Step 5: Clean! After all of the old roofing material, nails, metal flashing, etc. has been removed, the next step is to thoroughly clean your roof. A broom should be sufficient to remove any dust or dirt. At this point, you can also fix any loose boards and replace any damaged areas of the roof.
Step 6: Start the Install: You will need to install an ice/water barrier and an asphalt felt layer to the roof prior to adding new shingles. Most roofers use an automatic hammer-type stapler, stapling the barrier and layer to the underlayment itself. Once the barrier and asphalt felt layer are installed, add a layer of asphalt roofing paper following manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 7: Continue the Installation: Before you install new shingles, you will need to install drip molding. This is added to the outside (perimeter) of the roof with roofing nails. Then add any flashing to the roof if you have roofing sections that make a valley. You are now ready to add new roofing shingles!
Step 8: Shingle Installation: You are finally ready to install the shingles. It is recommended that you add chalk lines 6-inches apart so that you install shingles in a straight line. Install shingles according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 9: Roof Adhesive: Put roof adhesive over any exposed nails. Add ridge shingles (also known as “caps”) with the adhesive for a finished look.
Step 10: Complete the Job! Once you have finished your roofing project, go over the roof with a roller magnet. The magnet will pick up any left over nails.
After you have completed re-roofing your roof, sit back and enjoy your work! To maintain your roof in good condition, inspect it on an annual basis, and your roof should last you for many years to come.