Of all the components of modern buildings, roofs face the worst of the weather. They are constantly exposed to the elements, so they are made to withstand rain, wind, and snow. All of the forces against them lead to wear and tear over the years of use. Although re-roofing can sometimes extend the life of residential and commercial roofs, all roofs have to be replaced after a few decades. No matter the roofing material used, the basic process of installing a new roof is the same every time. This article covers the four basic steps roofers take when installing a new roof.
Unlike re-roofing, installing a new roof can only happen after all of the old roofing materials have been removed. Roofers tear off all of the roofing, flashing, and underlayment to expose the structural components of the roof. Typically, they use prybars to strip out roofing nails and weather-worn screws. Fully intact screws can be removed with power drills and reused. When the underlying structure of the roof is revealed, roofers also check the roof for water or insect damage before moving on with the first installation steps.
2. Flashing Installation
Roof flashing directs water away from joints in roofing materials so it can drain into the gutters. Flashing looks like v-shaped pieces of sheet metal, and roofers install each piece with roofing sealant that secures each piece of flashing in place and keeps water from seeping underneath it. Chimneys and skylights require specialized flashing pieces that bridge the gaps between them and other roofing materials. Without carefully installed flashing, the structure of the roof could eventually rot out.
3. Underlayment Replacement
Installing roofing underlayment is the next step in waterproofing the roof. Flashing is typically installed along seams, edges, and protrusions in the roof; underlayment is installed everywhere else. All roofing materials are at risk of letting some water behind them, and underlayment provides an extra layer of protection beneath them. Underlayment is typically made from plastic that doesn't react to freezing temperatures or larges amounts of water.
4. Roofing Installation
After the roof is cleared and fully prepared for the final roofing materials, roofers install the visible part of the roof. The materials they use here include corrugated sheet metal, asphalt or slate shingles, and roofing tiles. Shingles are installed with roofing nails, metal roofs are installed with screws, and tile roofs are installed over nailed-in wooden battens. Roofers pay close attention to the placement of roofing materials to ensure they let the water run off of them instead of letting it seep past them.
To learn more about roof replacements, contact a roofing contractor in your area.