What Roofers Do

Roofers use a wide range of tools and materials to complete their work. They often collaborate with other construction professionals and must adhere to strict safety protocols when working at heights.

Roofers also use tarps and other waterproof coverings to protect buildings from leaks during construction or repairs. Roofers West Chester PA have excellent balance to prevent falls and have manual dexterity to handle roofing materials.



Roofers often install new roofs as part of their work. This is called a “reroof job,” and it involves completely removing the old roof and replacing it with a new one, as well as re-shingling some or all of the existing shingles to make sure they are properly positioned and secured. They might also install a metal roof or solar shingles. A roofer may be responsible for installing flashing to prevent leaks at the edges of the roof, as well as gutter systems and vents.

While roofing contractors typically use power nailing guns to speed up the shingle installation process, they still need to carefully measure and mark where the nails should go on the roof decking before nailing them in place. This is done to ensure the roof is watertight and air-tight, and that the shingles are properly positioned to provide maximum protection from rain, snow, and other weather elements.

Because they must work on rooftops and other elevated areas, roofers need to have a high level of physical fitness. They must be able to climb ladders and scaffolding, as well as stand for long periods while working on the roof. They must be comfortable working in various weather conditions, including hot and cold temperatures, high winds, and precipitation.

In addition to ensuring that all materials are in good condition, the roofer is also responsible for providing clients with advice on the type of roofing material that would serve their property best. This might include explaining the pros and cons of asphalt shingles, tile shingles, or metal roofs. In some cases, a roofer might even provide the client with a cost estimate for a new roof.

Homeowners can help prepare for a roof replacement by removing outdoor furnishings, covering plants with tarps, and keeping pets inside. They should also mark any sprinkler heads that are embedded in the ground to ensure that the roofers avoid them. In addition, homeowners should sweep down the interior of their gutters to remove any stray nails that might fall off during the roof replacement.


When roofs begin to show signs of wear and tear, or when a homeowner notices a leak, they call a roofing contractor to come out and take a look. Roofers are trained to inspect a roof, determine what caused the problem, and repair it to keep water out and heat in. They also know how to install a new roof or replace an old one when necessary.

Roofers will usually start the repair process by removing existing shingles or other roof material and disposing of it in a dumpster. They may also remove gutters and clean out debris from the roof, depending on the scope of the work required.

Once the roofers have removed the old roofing materials, they will cover the remaining roof with a tarp to protect it while the new roof is being installed. This will help to prevent rain from leaking into the home, and it will give the roofers a chance to examine the new installation for any problems before the weather turns cold.

The roofers will then replace or repair any shingle strips that are missing or damaged, and caulk or tarp any areas of the roof where water may be seeping in. They will also replace or repair any vent boots that are missing or broken, and they will install new flashing to seal the area around chimneys and dormers.

Leaks are the most common reason that homeowners call roofers, but they can also repair sagging or uneven roofs and improve ventilation. Minor repairs can often be completed within an hour, but a full roof replacement or extensive repair work may take multiple days to complete.

Roofers will also offer advice on how to maintain a roof, and they can recommend specific products to use to keep the structure in good condition. This is a vital part of the job, as roofs are constantly exposed to the elements and can deteriorate quickly if not properly cared for.

Homeowners should prepare for a roofing project by moving any outdoor furniture or ceramic landscaping away from the house, and by putting down tarps where necessary to protect the lawn from shingle debris. They should also bring pets inside and keep them away from the construction site, as hammers and strangers can be stressful for animals.


In addition to repairing and replacing roofs, some roofers perform routine maintenance on residential and commercial buildings. These services can include inspections, cleaning, and reapplication of caulking. Inspecting a roof for damage, rot, and leaks is an important part of maintaining the structural integrity of the building and ensuring that it is waterproof.

During routine maintenance, roofers may clean debris from gutters and downspouts, repair minor leaks, and re-caulk around chimneys and vent pipes. They may also repoint shingle flashing and replace cracked or missing shingles. Roofers are also skilled in identifying and addressing other roofing issues, such as deteriorating wood, insufficient ventilation, or improper drainage.

The type of maintenance performed on a roof will vary depending on the age and condition of the structure, as well as the climate in which it is located. For example, a roofer in an area with frequent snowstorms will need to trim tree branches that hang over the roof to prevent snow or rain from collecting and potentially damaging the structure.

Aside from assessing the current state of a roof, roofers can also help clients prepare for future repairs by recommending different options and estimating costs. This may include removing old asphalt shingles, for instance, and installing new slate or tile roofs instead. They can also install skylight windows and replace lead sheeting and cladding.

Depending on the scope of the project, roofers often collaborate with other construction professionals. When working on a new home, for example, a roofer might work alongside carpenters and electricians to ensure that all the necessary roof components are installed correctly. They can also be found working in industrial facilities, where they must adhere to strict safety protocols and specialized equipment requirements.

Because they are working in a highly unstable environment that is usually above ground level, roofers must be comfortable with heights and have excellent physical stamina. They must also be proficient with hand tools and be able to stand on ladders or scaffolding for long periods. In addition, they must be able to follow detailed instructions and technical diagrams when installing or repairing roofs.


A roofer’s responsibilities don’t end when they’ve finished their work on a home. They often work with homeowners and other construction professionals to ensure that all aspects of a project are met. This includes providing customer service to address any questions or concerns that may arise. They also collaborate with other tradespeople to coordinate schedules and materials. This helps to ensure that the roof is installed or repaired correctly and promptly.

Residential roofers typically work on single-family homes and multi-unit housing complexes. They use ladders and scaffolding to access the rooftops of these structures, and they must be careful not to damage or disturb any landscaping or outdoor furniture that may be near the roof. They must also be mindful of the weather when working on a roof, as rain or wind can affect their work.

Commercial roofers typically focus on larger-scale projects, such as office buildings and retail centers. These projects require more extensive roofing systems and larger crews than residential jobs. Commercial roofers must be knowledgeable about the specific requirements and regulations that govern commercial roofing. In addition, they must be able to accurately read blueprints and measurements.

Shingle roofers specialize in installing and repairing asphalt or fiberglass shingles. They are skilled at matching colors and textures to create a visually appealing roof that is watertight and durable. Tile roofers, on the other hand, use natural or synthetic slate, clay, or concrete tiles to create stylish and durable roofs.

Many roofers also offer services to install and repair other types of roofing materials, such as flat or low-slope roofs, EPDM, PVC, metal panels, and more. They are skilled in using a variety of tools, including ladders, power equipment, and specialized roofing tools like shingle removers and shovels.

Door-to-door sales are an integral part of a roofer’s job, and they must be courteous even if the homeowner is rude. A polite response can help to build rapport and may encourage the homeowner to hire the roofer for future projects. Being honest when discussing a prospect’s needs is also important. For example, if a homeowner states that they don’t have the money to afford a new roof right now, you should listen carefully, acknowledge their concerns, explore their options, and then respond by explaining your financing options.

Christine Beltran