So, you’ve decided you need a new roof. Whether your existing one was destroyed by the most recent weather disturbance or it just doesn’t look good anymore due to age and wear, you certainly need to know about the basics of roof installation. Even if you are not doing the installation yourself, it pays to know how proper installation is done so you know what to expect from your roofer.
There are quite a few things to learn about this matter, but to get you started, here are some roof installation dos that every homeowner should take note of:
Explore Your Options
The internet offers a vast pool of information on the most popular roofing options. You might have probably searched for them specifically yourself, in an attempt to know what each type has to offer. However, it will be wise to not immediately settle for the easiest or most obvious material choice. For instance, while asphalt roofing is widely popular and commonly installed, there may be other options that can better suit your specific needs.
Roofing materials available to you today include:
- Asphalt Shingles. As mentioned above, asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the U.S. They hold up well in a wide range of climate conditions and when properly installed, will require little maintenance. They are also easy to repair when damaged.
- Slate Shingles. Slate is a traditional roofing material known for its natural rigidity and rustic appeal. When properly maintained, it can last a hundred years or more.
- Fiberglass Shingles. Basically a type of asphalt shingles, fiberglass shingles are made of woven fiberglass base mat covered with waterproof asphalt coating and topped with ceramic granules that shield the shingles from UV rays. Because they use less asphalt, fiberglass shingles are lighter and thinner.
- Metal Roofing. Metal roofs come in shingles and panels. They can easily last decades when maintained properly, as well as increase a home’s energy efficiency and resale value. They work well in almost any climate but are best suited for warmer areas because of the roofing material’s thermal performance.
- Tile Roofing. Tile roofs are commonly made of clay or cement. Known for their natural durability and classic aesthetics, they perform best over homes in warmer climates.
- Flat Roofing. Also known as membrane roofing, flat roofs are continually gaining popularity among homeowners. They are generally easy to install and maintain, and offer a number of benefits particularly in terms of energy efficiency.
Install New Roof Over Recommended Decking or Surface
You need to make sure that the new roof is applied over the type of surface recommended by the manufacturer. Asphalt and fiberglass shingles and tiles, for instance, need to be installed over a base of solid sheathing such as plywood. Meanwhile, other materials require open sheathing or spaced boards that allow the material to breathe. If you’re looking at getting wood shingles, you should have this kind of roof decking.
Furthermore, you also need to check the condition of any existing roof structure prior to installation of new roofing layer. You need to understand not only the structural requirements of the new material, but local building codes as well. These things may seem a little complicated that’s why it’s best to work with a trusted and experienced roofing contractor.
Ask Your Contractor to Protect Your Home and Yard Prior to Construction
Roof installation or replacement is a huge project. Before old roofing material is torn off and the actual installation and construction begins, you need to make sure that your home, belongings, and even landscaping, are protected from debris and damage. Any reputable contractor will have this as a standard operating procedure, but in any case, just make sure that they properly cover windows and doors, as well as tender shrubs and plantings. The best way to protect windows and doors is to lean plywood sheets against them. Meanwhile, tarps can effectively protect landscape elements.
Plan for Gutters and Downspouts Properly
Now that you will have a new roof installed, it’s also the best time to consider getting new gutters and downspouts, too. Gutter installation should be coordinated with roof installation. As much as possible, it will be best to opt for a built-in gutter system, one that is readily integrated into the roofing system.
Install Skylights Before the New Roof
If you have been fancying getting skylights, this is the best time to do so! Skylights are best installed before a new roof is applied as proper flashing is critical in making sure that they won’t leak. Installing flashing alongside roof installation makes the job more convenient.
By knowing what goes into proper roof installation, you can ensure that your roof replacement not only lasts long but performs as they are designed to as well, giving you the best bang for your buck.
Steve Campbell has been specializing in the construction and roofing industries for the past 40 years. As the owner of Patriot Roofing, he is passionate about helping customers find the home improvement solutions they need, sharing his knowledge and experiences through his writing. Check out the company blog for updates from Steve!