Roofing Installation Is Best Left To The Professionals

Homeowners can tackle some major renovation projects, but roof installation is a job best left to professionals. It requires working on the structure of your house and putting in roofing materials that will protect it for years to come.

First, your roofing crew will inspect your roof’s flashing and drip edges. They’ll remove any that are rusted or damaged. Click to learn more.


A roof is a crucial part of any building that protects against rain, snow, sunlight, wind, and temperature extremes. The materials used in roofing construction can affect the durability and longevity of a roof and add or detract from the aesthetic appeal of the property. Professional roofers will advise you on the best roofing materials for your home and neighborhood.

Wood roofs are a traditional option that can give your home a rustic and natural look. They comprise shingles and shakes and are typically made from pine, red cedar, cypress, or redwood. Shingles are milled to a uniform length and thickness, while shakes are hand-split to resemble wedges. Both are highly durable and resist decay, but shingle roofs have a shorter lifespan than shake roofs.

Metal roofs are another long-lasting and visually appealing choice, with a lifespan of up to 50 years. They are available in galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, and PVC. They can be coated to resist corrosion and UV rays and are a good choice for areas with high winds or hail storms.

Tile roofs are a beautiful option that can give your home an antique or modern feel. They are usually made from clay, granite, or terra cotta but can also be constructed of concrete. They are incredibly durable and can withstand heavy winds and rainstorms, but they are often expensive.

Choosing the right roofing materials for your home can add value and ensure a longer life, but you must consider your budget and regional climate. Choosing the right material for your roof can also help you qualify for manufacturer warranties, which will cover repairs and replacements.

A roofing underlayment is a secondary layer of protection against the elements. Its primary purpose is to protect the roof sheathing from water penetration and keep it in place. It also adds some insulation value and can help reduce energy bills.

Depending on the roofing material, underlayment may also serve to resist fire. The roofing material manufacturer recommends its use and may be required under certain conditions, such as a shingle roof system over wood sheathing.

Many different types of underlayment are available, and the choice depends on several factors, including building codes and jurisdictional requirements, as well as the roofing contractor’s experience and comfort level with a specific type of underlayment. The underlayment should be compatible with the roof sheathing and the roofing material.

One of the most common types of underlayment is traditional felt, also known as tar paper or roofing felt. Saturating sheets are made of an organic mat or paper with asphalt to help increase their waterproofing properties. This underlayment is fairly inexpensive and easy to work with, but it doesn’t have a long lifespan and can tear easily.

Synthetic underlayment is typically more expensive, but it offers several advantages over traditional felt, including higher wind resistance and longer service life. It is usually lighter in weight, and it can be rolled out without folding or curving. It also features a high-traction walking surface, which makes it safer for roofing contractors to walk on during the installation process.

Most synthetic underlayments are self-adhesive, but in some cases, it is necessary to use fasteners, which should be avoided. For this reason, it is important to use plastic cap nails or staples instead of standard roofing nails to prevent holes in the underlayment.

Flashings prevent water intrusion into a roof structure by redirecting water, penetrating damp and debris build-up away from potential infiltration points. Flashing is installed by overlapping pieces of the same material as the roofing or wall cladding and can be shaped to fit crevices or contours. It can be used on roofs and walls, and surfaces such as gutters susceptible to leakage and rot. Flashings can be made of either plastic or metal, but for longevity, they should be made from the same material that clones the building to ensure compatibility and prevent corrosion.

Metal flashings can be made from aluminum, galvanized steel, zinc, or copper. It is important to use a compatible metal as run-off from or contact with incompatible materials (such as pressure-treated timbers, wet plaster, and concrete) can accelerate the rusting of coated steel flashings. Lead is also an acceptable roof flashing material as it is malleable and takes solder well. However, it is only commonly used for step flashing on slate roofs and for counterflashing around chimneys due to its durability and resilience.

The most common types of flashings include:

Shingles are the defining feature of a roof and are available in various colors and textures. Their lightweight design makes them easy to install on a roof that may be too steep or unsuitable for heavier materials such as clay tiles. They also allow homeowners to personalize the look of their homes, with asphalt shingles offering a wide range of styles that can be easily blended into any design aesthetic.

Whether you are installing new shingles or re-roofing your existing home, you’ll want to make sure that you are properly prepared before beginning the job. This includes removing old shingles and flashing, cleaning the gutters, and preparing the ground beneath your roof to protect plants and furniture from nails that might fall and poke. It’s also important to protect any movable items in the yard with large tarps. This will help keep the thousands of nails that will rain off the roof from tearing holes in your yard or damaging your house.

When installing a new roof, start by laying the underlayment on the entire roof. Once this is done, install the first course of shingles, the starter course. This is made from cut-to-length three-tab shingles and has a self-sealing strip along the edge. The shingle should be placed so that the bottom edge overlaps the top edge of the next shingle by about 1/4 to 3/8 inch. The starter course will also help to seal the gap between the eave and drip edges of your house.

Once you’ve finished the starter course, start nailing the shingles down, using either a hand or power hammer and roofing nails. You should use four roofing nails per shingle or as indicated by the manufacturer’s instructions.

Although they’re not as noticeable as shingles and flashing, nails play an important role in roofing installation. That’s why choosing the right nails is crucial, as they can make or break your roof’s long-term integrity and functionality. Roofing nails differ in size, type, and material, but they all have one thing in common: they feature a diamond-shaped point specifically designed to keep the sheathing or OSB intact when the nail punctures through it. This is an important feature because failing to nail the sheathing properly can lead to raised tabs, buckling, and blow-offs.

There are many different types of roofing nails available, but square and round cap nails are the most popular. These nails have large heads that offer superior holding power for fastening house wrap, sheathing, and underlayment materials. They’re also galvanized to resist corrosion and come in hot-dipped or electro-galvanized finishes. Hot-dipped nails are immersed in a melted zinc solution, while electro-galvanized nails have a thinner zinc coating created using electricity and a chemical solution.

Stainless steel roofing nails are less prone to rust than aluminum options and can secure harder roof tiles like slate and ceramic. They’re commonly used in coastal regions and areas with high precipitation levels.

You can also use regular nails to install flashing, but the best option is to choose roofing nails that are galvanized to resist corrosion. These nails have a capped head that helps seal out moisture and come in hot-dipped or electric-galvanized finishes.

Helen Foss