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What’s the Process of Installing a New Roof?

Have you thought about roofing lately? In all likelihood, the answer is no. And if your roof is professionally installed and correctly maintained, that’s the way it should be. After all, if you’re thinking about your roof, it probably means there are issues and problems that need to be fixed.

At the same time, the average homeowner would do well to understand a thing or two about roof installation and maintenance. The home is an extremely important investment, after all — and roofing is an extremely important component of the home. Most homeowners find themselves caught by surprise when something goes wrong with the roof. Being in this position, with no knowledge of how a roof is installed or maintained, is likewise never ideal.

Let’s take a look at roofing installation in particular. But understanding how a roof is typically installed, we get a much better idea of what goes into a roof. And when something goes wrong, we have a better idea what to do.

The process of roofing installation

Let’s assume that materials and other structural variables have already been settled, and we’re moving directly to the process of building the roof. Let’s also assume that we’re building a Gable roof, as opposed to a “flat” or other type of roof. A Gable roof is the most common and popular design in the U.S., and looks like an upside down ‘V.’

Assuming all those things, our roof construction is going to involve four general categories. There will be many tasks in each of these categories, but knowing these four steps will go a long way toward enhancing our understanding of roofing.

1. Framing

This is the actual frame of the roof that goes up when the house is built, or is re-built for an existing home. The most basic and rudimentary first step toward building a roof is having a frame in place, and if this is not done correctly, a whole litany of future problems come into play.

2. Sheathing

This is the first solid layer of roofing material attached to the frame of the roof. The sheath most often consists of wood paneling cut with precision and carefully attached to the trusses of your roof’s frame.

3. Installing the “underlayment”

A second (and very important) layer of protection is known as underlayment. This is most often made of a material called roofing felt, which is actually an asphalt product that resembles tar paper. As you can imagine, the primary purpose of this layer is to waterproof your roof.

4. Installing the roof cover

The outer layer of roofing, consisting of shingles, is known as the roof cover. This is your first line of defense against wind, rain and other elements. There’s a definitely logic and system for installing shingles properly, and many DIY roofers run into problems during this stage.

Finding a roofer your can trust

Whether you’re building a new home, or re-roofing/repairing an existing home, problems can be avoided by contracting with a respected roofer. A strong online reputation means the roofer cares about your overall experience, and is more likely to be service oriented. It also means the company uses good materials, employs expert roofers, and is punctual with scheduling and budgeting concerns. Either way, you’re probably not going to repair your own roof. But you’ll save time, money and stress by understanding something about roofing in advance!