Unlike painting or patching, roofing is not something the average DIYer should try to tackle independently. It requires specialized skills, tools, and equipment.

Roofing

Before installing a new roof, the contractor will check the sheathing (support system) for any damage. They will then cover it with underlayment. Visit https://www.portcharlotteroofers.com/ to learn more.

When it comes to home upgrades, the roof is one of the most significant. It has to withstand the elements and protect all the other structures of your house. But beyond that, the roofing material is also a major aesthetic consideration. You’ll have plenty of style and color options to choose from, so you can match your new roof to the rest of your home.

Choosing the right roofing materials will depend on your goals, architecture and budget. A good roofer will be able to walk you through your options and help you find the best match.

Corrugated iron and Colorbond steel are durable, inexpensive materials that look great on a wide range of homes. They are especially well-suited for flat and low-sloped roofs. They can support solar panels, soffit vents and other accessories.

Ceramic tiles add a classic, elegant look to a roof. They can last 50 years or more if they are properly installed and maintained. They can be a bit slippery to walk on, however, so proper footwear is important.

Concrete and clay tiles add texture, elegance and durability to a roof. They’re also non-combustible and have a reasonable sound-reducing effect. They are very heavy, though, so they require special framing and will add to the overall cost and construction time.

Wood shakes and shingles add rustic beauty to a home. They are sawn to a wedge shape and have a rough edge that adds texture and character. They’re an attractive choice for Mediterranean, Mission and southwestern-style houses. However, they’re not as long-lived as other roofing materials and aren’t recommended in areas with high winds or a risk of wildfires.

Before installing shingles, it’s important to lay down a layer of felt paper. This will prevent the shingles from bonding to the roof sheathing and help absorb condensation. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear while working on the roof and to make sure your ladder base is secure before starting work.

Underlayment

The underlayment is a layer of material installed beneath the primary roofing materials. It protects the roof deck from moisture, which is essential to your home’s structural integrity and helps it hold up against harsh weather conditions such as rain, wind, snow, ice, and fire.

There are a variety of underlayment materials used in roofing installation, and choosing the right one for your project depends on several factors such as budget and roofing style. Many underlayments are designed for certain types of roofing, and it’s important to follow building codes regarding proper application. Some underlayments are also available with a built-in vapor retarder, and these can be especially helpful in humid regions.

Felt underlayment is a common choice for both new and re-roofing projects. It’s less expensive than other underlayment options, easy to work with using common tools, and provides a solid seepage barrier. The downside is that it can tear easily, and while it’s water-resistant, it is not waterproof. It’s also not ideal for low sloped roofs, since it’s difficult to manage water runoff on these surfaces.

Synthetic underlayment is another popular option for both new and re-roofing jobs. This type of underlayment is made from either a bitumen or non-bitumen membrane. Non-bitumen synthetic underlayment is generally a better choice for low-sloped roofs, since it’s easier to maneuver and requires less adhesives. Some underlayments are even designed to self-seal around fasteners, making them a convenient choice for most roofing installers.

Asphalt-saturated felt underlayment was the go-to underlayment for roofers until about 15 years ago, when synthetic products began to gain popularity. Also known as tar paper, this underlayment is made from varying blends of cellulose (natural plant fibers), polyester, and bitumen or asphalt. It has a flexible base layer that is drenched with asphalt for water resistance. However, it is not waterproof, and because of the volatile compounds that make it water-resistant, it will last shorter than other underlayment options.

If you choose a rubberized asphalt underlayment, it’s important to remember that while it is more durable than other underlayment materials, it cannot be fastened with nails or staples. This is because the plastic caps that cover these fasteners will melt under heat. In addition, when installing this type of underlayment, it’s critical to follow all safety standards for working on roofs, including wearing personal protective equipment, using fall protection devices, and using shoes specifically designed for roof traction.

Flashing

Many elements of construction go unnoticed, but flashing is one that performs critical work. Without it, buildings would experience a great deal of leakage and water damage. Flashing is a thin material that is installed at areas where the roof plane meets a vertical surface like a wall or dormer. This protects the underlayment and prevents leaks from seeping through the shingles and into the interior of the structure.

Flashing is made from a variety of materials, including copper, aluminum, and galvanized steel. It is installed in a woven pattern that is positioned half under and half over the shingles. It is nailed into place with roofing nails and then covered by a layer of caulking to ensure a water-tight seal. It is typically installed at the base of pipes, vents, skylights, chimneys, and other penetrations in the roof.

It is important to use the right flashing materials for your roof and the penetrations that you are installing in it. For example, chimneys require two types of flashing: base and counter flashing. Base flashing (also known as apron flashing) is the bottom piece that directs rainwater away from the chimney. Counter flashing, placed diagonally across from base flashing, is the upper piece that keeps rainwater from getting behind the chimney and into your home.

When you are installing flashing, it is best to use a roofing professional if possible because they will know the proper methods of installation for your specific roof. You will also want to make sure that you have the right tools and materials. To install flashing correctly, you will need hammer tin snips, a circular saw, a roofing nailer, caulking, and roofing nails.

When you are flashing a pipe penetration, it is important to chamfer the open end of the pipe. This is to create a beveled edge that will sit flush against the waterproof underlayment and shingles and resist moisture damage. Then, slide the flashing down the pipe, overlapping the shingle and extending past it at least 8 inches. Then, nail the flashing into place with the roofing nails. You should also re-caulk any areas where the flashing is exposed to prevent leaks from forming.

Shingles

Shingles are the final layer of the roof and are what provides your house with its distinctive appearance. They are incredibly versatile and come in a wide range of colors, shapes and styles to suit any taste. Shingles are durable and fireproof and offer excellent protection from the sun’s rays. If properly installed, shingles will last for decades.

Before installing the shingle course, you must first remove any old shingles and metal flashing. This can be messy and time consuming but is necessary to ensure the proper installation of your new roof. If you don’t remove the old shingles and flashing, rainwater can seep up under the shingles and leak into the house.

Once you’ve removed the old shingles, it’s important to lay down self-adhesive underlayment (ice barrier). It adheres tightly to bare roof sheathing and seals around nails driven through it. It’s available at most roofing supply companies and home centers. Most building codes require that it be applied 3 to 6 ft. up from the eave, though check your local code requirements.

When installing the shingle course, begin at the bottom of the roof and work your way up. When you reach the ridge, start at the left side of the roof and work toward the right. Snap horizontal chalk lines up the roof to help you keep your shingle courses straight. When nailing, be sure to use the proper number of nails per shingle as specified on the shingle package. Four nails is the standard, with six nails preferred in high wind areas.

To install the first row of shingles, called a starter course or strip, cut the tabs off three-tab shingles. Apply them with the self-sealing adhesive side facing up along the eave. This prevents rainwater from seeping up under the shingles as it drains off the roof.

Once the starter course is in place, nail the next full shingle course above it. Hammer one nail around 2 inches from each end of the shingle, and another nail about an inch above each cutout. The next shingle course should cover these nails by 1 inch vertically.