How to Roof a House the Right Way

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When your home is ready for a new roof, you need to trust it is installed correctly. Your roof is the crowning glory of your home and the structure that protects you, your loved ones, and your belongings from the elements. It is also one of the biggest financial investments you will make in your home.

Let’s look at how to get your roof done right from beginning to end.

Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Do you find shingles in your yard after a strong wind? Is there a flourishing moss garden on your roof? Have you noticed signs of leaking? If so, it’s likely time for a new roof.

Roofing materials and processes have come a long way over the years, and you may be surprised by all the options you have as you start this process. Built Strong Exteriors offers free estimates and welcomes the opportunity to explain all the choices you have available to you.

Can You Put a New Roof on Your Home Yourself?

Yes, you can. But, please proceed with caution. Watching DIY videos to learn how to roof a house, doesn’t make it easy or safe to do it yourself. Roofing is not something that you are going to get done in one day and is not something you should do alone.

Before you commit yourself to a DIY roofing job, consider these questions:

    • Are you afraid of heights? If you are, this is not the job for you.
    • Are you in good physical condition? Climbing up and down a ladder carrying heavy materials and equipment is a must for this job.
    • Can you handle the weather? You are going to be right in the thick of the elements when you are working on your roof.
    • Do you have proper help? Roofing a house is not a job that should be done alone.
  • Are you confident you can meet the conditions of the product’s warranty? Some manufacturers will not honor a warranty if a licensed roofer doesn’t install the product.

If these questions make you hesitate, you might want to consider hiring a professional to get the job done.

If you feel comfortable proceeding, then here are some basic tips that will make the job easier and safer.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Before you start buying materials and renting equipment, take the time to see what needs to be done. Climb onto your roof and look around.

Knowing what is involved in the job will help you plan your work accurately. If you need to replace a few shingles, that is a quicker job. But if your roof is sagging, missing a large number of shingles, or is in overall poor condition, you need a comprehensive plan to complete the job well.

Pre-order Materials and Equipment

Before beginning the actual work, be sure to do the following:

    • Pull all required permits
    • Measure and order materials
    • Schedule a dumpster service
    • Recruit helpers
  • Consider the weather forecast

Safety First

Safety must be your number one priority during the roofing process. Falls from roofs and injuries from falling debris or nails left lying around are common. Below are some steps that will keep you, your family, and your helpers safe: how to

    • Purchase a fall protection kit. These kits consist of a rope, harness, and hook and are available at a home center for around $100.
    • If your roof is wet, it is going to be slippery. Wear shoes with soles that are created to give you extra traction.
    • Anyone on the ground near the house should wear a hard hat. It’s highly likely something will fall from the roof, and hard hats protect others from serious injuries.
    • If you have a very tall or steep roof, don’t roof your own house. Call a professional who is trained to work with scaffolding and has additional safety equipment.
    • Keep the roof free from debris while you are working on it.
    • Make sure no one is in the area when you are getting ready to toss something off the roof.
  • Be sure your ladder can support the weight of your heaviest worker plus 80 pounds.

Time to Get Started

If you have your safety gear ready, then here is basic guide for how to roof a house.

The first step is to rip up the shingles and asphalt felt underlayment and throw it into the trash container. Be sure to call out a warning before tossing anything off the roof.

Because Minnesota gets so much precipitation, it is crucial to prepare your roof properly for these elements. Apply a self-adhesive waterproof underlayment. This barrier sticks tightly to the bare roof sheathing and creates a seal around the nails when they go through.

Next, you will cover the roof with the asphalt-felt underlayment, No.15 or 30 depending on your local codes. Make sure that each layer overlaps the other by two inches. After this is done, nail your drip edge along the sides of the roof, making the top pieces overlap the bottom pieces.

These two layers help ensure that your roof deck will remain dry, and they provide a barrier if wind and rain cause some of your shingles to move or lift from your roof.

Applying the Shingles

It’s time to start laying the shingles. Shingles can be installed in one of two ways: racking or stair-stepping. Check the recommendations for the shingles you are using. Carefully read the instructions for placing and nailing the shingles correctly to get the best outcome. Most manufacturers call for using four nails per shingle, or six nails in high-wind areas.

Use caution as you move your materials up and down the ladder; shingles are heavy. Have a safe, convenient place to keep them near you as you work so that you do not have to do more moving around than necessary.

Using a chalk line will help you keep your installation orderly and precise so that your roof looks great and functions well.

Prefer a Professional?

This article provides a very basic and generalized overview of the roofing process and is not intended for use in an actual roofing application. This information can vary depending on roof style, manufacturer and Village ordinance. It is worth it to call a professional and at least get an accurate idea of the scope of the job ahead of you. If you have any concerns about a DIY roofing job, Built Strong Exteriors is happy to talk to you about taking this job off of your to-do list. Our expert staff will get it done for you.