Preparing for Your Roofing Project
A roof installation project is not something that should be taken lightly. Shelter is one of the basic human needs aside from air, water, and food. Without these four, your chances of survival are pretty slim. In other words, a damaged old roof that offers little protection from the elements can be hazardous to your health.
A good shelter needs a good roof to protect its occupants against the elements, including sun, rain, wind, and snow. It’s important to have a well-constructed and durable roof over your head to keep you and your family safe and dry.
When it comes to installing a new roof or replacing an old one, there are a few things you should know before getting started. Here’s what you need to do before starting a roof installation project:
Before climbing your roof and stripping the shingles off, you should sit down and think things through. Make a plan and prepare everything that you’ll need before you proceed with your roofing installation project.
Find a reputable roofing contractor
Do your research and read reviews to find a roofing contractor that you can trust. Read reviews and ask for referrals from friends and family. Once you’ve found a roofing contractor, be sure to ask them about their experience, licensing, and insurance.
Get multiple quotes
Don’t just go with the first roofing contractor you speak to. Find at least three reputable contractors and get their estimates of how much the roofing project will cost. Be sure to ask about the roofing materials they’ll be using, the timeline for the project, and their warranty information.
Compare prices and services for your roofing installation project. Be sure to go over the estimate in detail so you understand exactly what work will be done and how much the new roof will cost.
Decide if you can DIY
If you have the time and skills, you could install the new roof yourself. If you have an existing roof that needs some repairs, you could also do it yourself. This is a big project, though, so make sure you’re confident in your abilities before taking on the task. Be sure to follow all safety precautions and consult with a professional if you have any questions.
Get the necessary permits
In most cases, you will need to obtain a permit from your local municipality before doing any work on your roof. Be sure to check with your contractor and/or the local building department to see what is required before you get some work done on your old roof.
Choose the right roofing materials
There are many different types of roofing materials available on the market today. Some of the most popular ones include asphalt shingles, slate roofing, metal roof, and solar tiles. Each roofing material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to consult with your contractor or do some research before choosing the best material for your roof that fits your specific needs and budget.
Aside from the roofing material, you’ll also need a roofing system for your home. There are plenty of roofing system options so be sure to learn as much as you can before choosing the best one for you.
Use the right tools
In order to get the job done right, you’ll need to have the proper tools on hand. This includes a ladder, roofing felt, a hammer, nails, a utility knife, and a tarp. You may also need a power drill and screws if you’re using metal roofing. Be sure to consult with a professional to see what other tools you’ll need for your specific project.
Be prepared for the noise
Roof repair can be quite noisy, so take the time to inform your neighbors that there may be some construction noise during the day. It’s also a good idea to have some earplugs on hand for yourself and your family.
Ensure your safety
No new roof is worth life or limb. Installing asphalt shingles or any other new roofing material can be a daunting task so make sure to follow all safety precautions while working on your roof.
Inspect the roof first. Identify potential problems and make sure the roof is structurally sound. Wear protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a dust mask. A pair of roofing boots or shoes would be great. Using the right tools for the job will also help ensure your safety.
Keep children and pets away from the area, and make sure they’re not in the house while the roofing work is being done.
Be ready for inclement weather
Bad weather, especially one that brings wind-driven rain, can delay or even halt a roofing project, so it’s important to be prepared. If you’re expecting severe weather conditions, such as a hurricane, be sure to have a backup plan in place. This may include staying with friends or family or making arrangements to stay at a hotel.
Preparing your home for the roofing work
After all the planning and preparations have been made, it’s time for the more physical aspect of roof replacement. Installing shingles is a big job, but with the right tools and preparation, it can be a relatively easy process.
Depending on the type of roofing material you’ve chosen, the process may vary. However, most types of roofs are installed in much the same way. Here are the basic steps to installing a new roof:
Determine if it’s necessary to completely clear out the area where the roofing work will be taking place. A roof replacement project, for example, may include repairs to the roof decking or roof sheathing, as well as the ceiling. You’ll want to remove all furniture and other items that could be damaged during the work.
In the above example, dust and debris will likely fall from the ceiling, so it’s important to cover any items that could be ruined. Use plastic sheeting or old blankets to protect your belongings. Cover electrical outlets and switches with plastic bags or tape to prevent them from getting covered in dust or debris, too.
You can also cover the entire floor if you wish. That’d make cleaning after a lot easier. Plus, it can protect your floor from damage.
If you’re just replacing a few existing shingles on your roof that have been damaged or dislodged, you may not need to remove your stuff below. However, it’d be a good idea to still cover your furniture. Also, cover any vents or openings in the area to prevent debris from entering your home.
Move any cars or other vehicles out of the way so they’re not in the way of the roofing work.
If you have a pool, it’s important to cover it before you start work o your roof. This will help keep out any debris that may fall during the project.
Make sure there’s a clear path leading up to your house so the roofing crew can easily access the roof. Even if you don’t hire a contractor, you’ll still need clear access to move materials and equipment.
Remove any obstacles, such as garden hoses, lawn furniture, and children’s toys. Tell everyone in the household not to go near this path to prevent accidents.
Clean and prepare your roof
Once you’ve settled everything in and around your home. It’s time to get up on the roof and do some cleaning. A clean roof will give you a better idea of what needs to be done.
Cleaning the roof gives you a chance to check for any damage that needs to be repaired. It’ll also help prepare the roof when it’s time to remove and install asphalt shingles. Also, removing any debris from your roof will help prevent accidents.
All these can be done by the contractor but if you’re doing the roofing installation or roof repair yourself, you should take this step seriously to avoid potential safety hazards.
- Start by using a broom to remove any dirt, leaves, or other debris that’s on the roof. If there’s a lot of debris, you may need to use a garden hose to wash it off. Be sure to sweep all the way to the edge of the roof to remove everything. Clear the gutter of debris and secure the ones that have been loosened.
If your roof surface is covered in moss or algae, it’s important to remove them before installing new shingles. This growth can cause your new roof shingles to fail prematurely. You can use a stiff brush or a pressure washer to remove the growth.
Trim back any tree branches that could get in the way. Leaves can damage your roof so it’s best to trim the trees regularly or risk damage to your new roof.
Once you’re done cleaning, inspect the roof for any damage. Look for cracked, missing, or curling shingles. Keep an eye out for roofing nails that may have been dislodged or loosened.
Check the ridge cap, valley flashing, drip edge around the roofing felt, and the flashing around vents and chimneys. Make sure there’s no rust on the metal flashing and that the sealant is still in good condition.
Repair the ones that can still be repaired before proceeding with the actual roof installation. Otherwise, the new roof shingles may not lay flat or may not adhere properly, leading to leaks. If your budget permits, replace the damaged parts instead of just repairing them. This will give your whole roof a longer life span.
Removing old roofing materials
We’ve already discussed the most basic steps to take before starting a roof installation project. But since you have to know everything that needs to be done to get a better grasp of what to plan and prepare for, might as well touch on the subject of removing old roofing materials.
Identify the roof material
The first step in removing old roofing material is to identify the type of roofing that you have. The most common types of roofing are shingles, tiles, and slate. After determining the type of roofing you have, you can then find the appropriate removal method.
Remove the roof shingles
After you’ve identified the type of roofing, the next step is to begin removing it. You can do this by hand if the roof is not too large though you have to wear the right kind of gloves. Of course, it’d be better and safer if you use the right tools.
For asphalt shingles, you can use a pry bar to remove them from the roof. Be sure to work carefully so you do not damage the underlying roofing material.
For tiles, you will need to use a hammer and chisel to remove them. Again, be careful not to damage the underlying roofing material.
Slate is the most difficult type of roofing to remove. You will need to use a pry bar and hammer to remove the slate tiles. Be sure to work carefully so you do not damage the roof underlayment.
Start by removing any loose material, such as nails, screws, and other fasteners. Then, pry up the shingles, tiles, or slate from one end and work your way to the other.
After removing the existing shingles, remove the roof underlayment to expose the roof deck. Inspect your roof sheathing thoroughly looking for any damage.
Remove the roof underlayment
After removing the old shingles or other roofing material, the next step is usually to remove the roof underlayment. This is the waterproof barrier that protects the roof deck from water damage. It is usually made of felt paper or asphalt-saturated paper.
To remove the roof underlayment, start at one end of the roof and work your way to the other. Use a utility knife to cut the underlayment into strips. Then, use a pry bar to remove the strips from the roof deck.
Once you’ve removed the underlayment, inspect the roof deck thoroughly for any damage. Remove or repair the parts with molds, wood rot, and structural damages before installing new roofing.
Installing asphalt shingles or other roofing material
Now that you’ve taken out the old roof and repaired any damage to the roof deck, you can now proceed with the roof installation. This is the fun part where you can see your hard work pay off.
Start by installing a new layer of roofing felt or underlayment over the entire roof deck. Then install the new shingles one at a time. Start from one end of the roof and work your way to the other end before moving on to the next row.
Be sure to follow the package instructions on how to properly install asphalt shingles. Also, don’t forget to seal the outside edges and joints to prevent water infiltration.
Clean your work area
This goes without saying but be sure to clean up after you’re done with the roofing installation. Remove any roofing nails, screws, or other debris that may have been left behind. It’s also a good idea to sweep and hose down the area to remove any dirt or dust.
Don’t forget to clean up inside your house and around your property. As you clean your house and put your stuff back to where they were, watch out for debris that may have fallen during your project. Check the lawn for potentially dangerous debris, too.
Be sure to follow these steps before starting your roof installation project to ensure a smooth and successful job. Do more research if necessary. It’s always a good idea to learn everything you can before tackling a big home improvement project. Good luck!