D.I.Y. Roofing Tips That Make You Look Like A Pro
Written by: Jenn Greenleaf
The installation of a new roof is something an experienced do-it-yourselfer can accomplish, however there are some tips to keep in mind throughout the duration of the project. Even when the best tools are on hand and a crew of volunteers is available, the most experienced roofer can still make mistakes. This is especially true for those who are not roofers by trade. Therefore, in order to look like a pro, keep the following information in mind.
Keep the Job Area Protected
When roofing repair projects are in full swing, it isn't uncommon for debris, tools, and supplies to cause damage to the work area. However, there are ways to keep the job area protected by:
- Parking all vehicles away from the job site.
- Covering plants and shrubbery with tarps or burlap.
- Ensuring there are no pets or children in the work area.
- Making sure breakable items are removed from walls and shelving in the interior of the home.
- Flagging off where power lines are located.
- Putting tarps over pools, small decorative ponds and swimming pools.
Strip Material Off the Roof and Prepare Deck
The shingles and any underlayment that shows damage must be stripped off from the roof deck. The first layer of debris is stripped off using roof shovels. Then, once that is removed, pry bars are used to remove damaged roofing boards. All the material should be stripped off carefully so the remaining roof boards remain intact. Some professional roofers strip material off into a dump trailer, while others prefer stripping it off onto tarps.
Once the material is off, prepare the roof deck by replacing damaged roof boards first. Double check all the existing roof boards to ensure no damage has been missed. Once all initial repairs and inspections are complete, cover the entire roof deck with waterproof underlayment for long-term protection. Because this process takes several days, you will need additional tarps to cover up unfinished work areas.
Installation of Shingles
When shingles are not properly installed, the roof's lifetime is compromised. This is one of the biggest mistakes made during roofing repairs and replacements. Errors range from improper placement of the first line of shingles to improper nailing. Here are some tips:
- The starter strip of shingles goes along the edge of the roof and offers wind protection.
- Do not nail shingles on at an angle in order to prevent shingles from breaking or ice damns from forming.
- Make sure all nails are driven in all the way to prevent the shingles from peeling up or blowing off.
- If your roof has valleys that need shingling, make sure you know exactly how to do this because it is a primary area for leakage.
Don't Forget the Ridge Vents
In order to prevent hot and moist air from invading attic spaces, ridge vents are installed. Not only do these vents prevent possessions contained within an attic area from becoming damaged, but they also help with energy costs. Proper installation of ridge vents also extend the lifetime of the roof's structure. The best way to determine what size ridge vent is needed for your home is to contact your local Code Enforcement Officer. This individual will advise you about the size needed, proper installation methods, and proper safety codes.
Roofing is a Time Investment
In addition to the costs associated with roofing, there is a significant time investment involved. For those who are doing a complete tear-off, this project could take several weeks. Time investment depends on the weather, roof size, how much damage is encountered as material is stripped off, and how many people are working on the roof.
About the Author: Jenn Greenleaf is a freelance writer who is also the office manager for her husband's building and contracting business out of Boothbay, Maine.
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