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How to Roof a House

homeowner roofing a house

Do you have the chops to roof a house?  Consider these things before you dive into this labor-intensive project:

  • Are you comfortable walking around on your roof?
  • Can you use heavy equipment and tools?
  • Could you carry a bundle of shingles up a ladder many times?

If you’ve answered, “yes” to these questions, then get ready, because you’re going to learn how to roof a house.

First Step: The Permit

Before you do anything, check with your residential local building codes and obtain any necessary permits.  The last thing you want is to start roofing only to be stopped because you lack the paperwork.  Every city, municipality, or township can have different building codes, and it’s up to you to meet them before you start roofing your house.

Second: Gathering Your Materials

Getting your materials, equipment, tools, and safety gear ahead of time is part of the preparation. It makes roofing a house go smoothly and as efficiently as possible.  You’ll need various safety gear like slip-resistant boots and a harness.  Equipment you’ll need includes roofing hatchet and shovel, pry bars, chalk line, tin snips, hammer tacker, saws, power nailer, saws, framing square, and roof adhesive.

The biggest aspect of this preparation is what you’ll be using for your roofing material.  There are numerous types to choose from and helpful guides, online resources, and knowledgeable contractors you can ask to determine what’s best for your home. Options range from asphalt, slate, metal, and even ceramic.

Third: Tear Off the Old Roof

roofers removing old roof and installing a new one

You can’t install a new roof without tearing off the old one first.  Rent a large trash container ahead of the roof removal so you can speed the cleanup process along by tossing all of the old shingles into it.

Remove all of the old nails (or pound them flat so they don’t interfere and tear your new shingles) and work your way downward for easier removal.  Old underlayment may not want to come off, so it’s okay if it has to stay.

Fourth: Drip Molding & Roofing Felt

Drip molding guides rain right into your gutters.  You’ll start by aligning the drip molds and installation nails by 12-inch spaces, marking the spaces with your chalk line.  Then, nail the drip molding.

The same amount of application is then used to apply your roofing felt.  Use your chalk to mark 6-inch spaces between the installation nails.  Then, spread out the roofing material across the entirety of the roof’s surface, allowing it to overlap by ½-inch to create a seal.

Five: Waterproof the Roof Valleys

Roof valleys collect and channel a lot of water and will require more material for protection against moisture damage.  You’ll need to install self-stick underlayment on the decking.  If possible, get a second person to help you with this application because it becomes much easier.

Once the underlayment is applied to the roof valley, nail the outside edges.  Keep in mind that when installing your shingles, you’ll want to avoid getting any closer than 8 inches from the valley’s center.

Six: The Shingles

asphalt shingles

Now it’s time to bring the roof to life.  Start by installing a row of starter shingles that will run ½-inch past the drip edge. Your starter shingles prevent water from getting in between the seams of the shingles and collecting on the underlayment, which in turn, also stops leakage.  These shingles are half the size of your full shingles.

For your full shingles, begin by lining up the bottom of your first row with the bottom edge of the starter row, staggering the seams.  Next, you’ll decide on the reveal, which can vary on roofs from 5-inches to 6 ½-inches. Keep staggering your rows and ensure that the shingles’ seams don’t line up.

Every manufacturer is different, so your shingle brand may have its own specific nailing pattern.  Typically, shingles require about four to six nails, with the nails penetrating the decking beneath by about ¾-inch.  Your technique should be nailing directly into the shingle, straight, flush with its surface.  Remember: never trust a staple to do a nail’s job!

Seven: Capping the Ridge

When your shingles are complete, it’s time to cover the ridge.  You might need longer nails to fasten the ridge because of its thickness, as you’ll be using extra shingles.  Apply the top ridge cap with winds in mind, installing it so that the winds will blow over it rather than directly into them.

Eight: Sealing

After you’ve cleaned off your roof, you’ll seal any exposed nails on your vents and stack flashing.  Preferably, avoid silicone sealant as it isn’t durable and asphalt-based sealants because they’ll dry out from sun exposure.

The Hard Work of Roofing a House

Roofing a home isn’t an easy project.  There are other obstacles to consider, too, like working around vents and stacks, installing step and dormer flashing, and the technique and practice behind installing roof felting.

Many steps take patience, practice, and dedication.  All of the steps take hard work.  If you’re willing to put in these ingredients to roof your house, you could end up with an end result you can be proud of—for a lifetime.

However, all the labor-intensive work and heavy lifting can cause you a lot of stress and pressure to get the job done right. One misstep and your roof will not be the same. For instance, your asphalt shingles can warp during the summer if you don’t apply the sealant strips correctly. In the end, you’ll spend more money on repairs and you’ll feel the draft coming through your attic.

Sometimes it’s better to leave it to the pros to get the job done. At Feldco, we have a strong reputation for great products, service, and installation. Our asphalt shingles are made with a breakthrough design and triple-layer protection to keep your home energy-efficient year-round.

What separates us from the competition is the great service and professional installation. That’s why many homeowners choose Feldco. We simply provide everything that homeowners need and we support them every step in the process. Our factory-trained installers are ready to replace your roof. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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