Investing in a new roof can add long-term value to your home and improve its curb appeal. However, it can be a big undertaking.
The first step is checking the condition of your existing roof. This includes climbing up into your attic and looking for beams of light coming through or water damage. Talk with Roofing Longview TX experts to get started with your project.
Removing The Old Roof
This is the big step in a roof replacement. Roofing contractors will usually tear off the old roof before starting any work on your new one. This helps them inspect the decking and other elements and makes sure no leaks or damage may require a repair before installation. It also ensures that the new shingles are going on top of a smooth surface instead of over an older layer that might not shed water or have some sort of visible wear.
Tearing off the old roof takes time and a lot of material. It’s a good idea to rent a dumpster at this point, so you can keep everything centralized and organized. You should also cover up your shrubs, lawn, and driveway with tarps to prevent debris from falling or scraping up against them. It’s also best to do this work when the weather is clear, and several days in a row. If it rains before you’re done, it could cause serious water damage to your home and create a tripping hazard for people working on the ground below.
Begin at the ridge cap and start prying up shingles in 2 to 3-foot sections as you move across the roof. Work your tool under the shingles and the felt paper underneath and pry them loose. This should take some effort and time, but eventually, all the shingles will be removed. Once you’ve got the shingles off, you can remove the flashing around all the vents and other roofing elements as well.
Once you’ve finished removing the shingles, it’s important to sweep the entire roof and clean off any nail or shingle pieces that have fallen to the ground. You can then dispose of them or recycle them if necessary. If you’re concerned about the disposal costs, some companies will recycle shingles for free or charge you less than a landfill would cost to take them. They may even offer to pick up the trash for you afterward, which will save you a lot of hassle. Alternatively, you can have your local recycling center pick up the debris for you.
A robust, effective roof starts with properly installed underlayment. As a secondary barrier against moisture, the underlayment helps protect your home from water damage and extends the lifespan of the primary roofing material. Taking the time to properly prepare, measure, cut, and secure underlayment layers is essential. Each step, from ensuring proper overlaps to driving fasteners securely and sealing the overlapping sections, plays a vital role in ensuring that your underlayment effectively performs.
Before installing the underlayment, it’s important to make sure that the roof surface is free of debris, leaves, and other contaminants that may interfere with the adhesion of the underlayment. A thorough inspection is also critical to identify any areas of concern and address them before they become a larger problem.
Begin by measuring the area of your roof and determining the slope (or pitch). This information will help you determine which type of underlayment to use, as well as how much material to buy. A good rule of thumb is to purchase enough underlayment to reach the eaves, plus an additional 10 feet. It’s best to consult the underlayment manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing a specific type.
Once you’ve gathered the necessary materials, it’s time to start applying the underlayment. Ensure that the underlayment is free of wrinkles and bubbles and that it’s flat and even across the roof surface. This will ensure that subsequent layers adhere and provide optimal protection against moisture and other environmental elements.
Using the appropriate tools, install the first sheet of underlayment over the entire roof surface, positioning it so that it aligns with the edge of the roof deck. Using the recommended spacing, secure the underlayment to the roof deck with roofing nails or staples. Be careful not to overdrift the nails or staples, which can cause them to penetrate through the underlayment and into the roof structure.
Repeat the process with subsequent sheets of underlayment, always ensuring that they’re aligned correctly and positioned at the correct height and distance from the previous layer. Once you’ve secured all the underlayment sheets, apply roofing cement or a compatible adhesive along the top edge of the final layer’s overlap and press it firmly into place.
Many of the things that are installed on roofs like chimneys, skylights, and vents leave small crevices that allow water to seep in. To prevent this, flashing is a sheet of thin material that’s installed over these gaps to create an airtight seal and direct rainwater down the roof.
Roof flashing is typically made from aluminum or galvanized steel. It’s a necessary step to protect every roof from damage that can occur when there are holes in the roof. These openings are created by features like pipe boots, dormers, and chimneys. Without proper flashing, these areas can cause leaking and water damage to the inside of the home or building.
The first piece of flashing installed is the base flashing. This is the lower part of the flashing that sits against any vertical surface, like a dormer or chimney. This piece is nailed to the wall or roof and is covered by shingles.
Next comes the counter-flashing, which is the second part of the flashing and sits over the base flashing to form a continuous and watertight barrier. The final piece of flashing is the kick-out flashing, which is placed at the end of the step flashing to make sure that any water that flows off the roof is redirected into the gutter instead of running along the walls or shingle.
To install the step flashing, your roofing contractor will cut a piece of metal and bend it to a 45 angle around the corner of the roof where it meets the wall. They will then apply a bead of caulk where the flashing will overlap to make it waterproof. This is where a lot of leaks are caused.
When sizing the flashing collar for pipes, it’s important to ensure that it’s properly sized so that it can fit snugly over the pipe. If it’s too large, the collar can break off or cause fatigue failure. If it’s too small, it will let water in, causing leaks and flooding.
Once the flashing is installed, the roofing contractor will begin shingling the roof. They’ll start at the bottom of the roof and work their way to the peak, overlapping the shingles and flashing as they go. The installers will also add a layer of underlayment between the shingles and the flashing to protect the surface from damage.
Once the underlayment and flashing are in place, you can begin installing the shingles. Before you start, make sure that the weather is good and that your work area is free of tripping hazards. Remove lawn furniture, yard games, and other items that could get in the way while you’re working. If you have plants close to the house, put up sturdy tarps to protect them from falling shingle debris.
Shingles are designed to provide a durable and watertight barrier between the roof and the elements, so it’s important that you lay them out correctly. This step will help prevent leaks and other problems down the line.
Start by laying a row of starter shingles along the bottom edge of your roofline. Overlap the shingles on each side and the leading edge by about one inch. Then nail them down using roofing nails. Make sure that you use the proper nailing technique, and don’t forget to put a nail 2 inches away from each end of the shingle and 1 inch above each cutout.
When you’re ready to install the next course, cut a shingle down the middle and lay it over the two ends of the starter shingle. Nail it down with a single nail at each end and two more nails at the center. When you’re done, be sure to check that the shingle is properly secured and that there are no gaps or holes.
Continue this process with the rest of the shingles on your roof, being careful to overlap each new row by about an inch. Then finish with a final row of shingles on the ridge, cutting and nailing each one down as you go. Be sure to secure any metal flashing around chimneys, vent pipes, skylights, dormers, or other rooftop structures.
Installing a new roof is a big job, but it’s possible to do it on your own if you’re prepared and have the right tools. Having a clear understanding of the process will help you avoid mistakes that can cause serious damage to your home. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional roofer.