Do you want to know how to roof a house?
Roofing your own home looks easy, but it is hard work. You are up there doing backbreaking work, and you cannot hide from the hot rays of the sun and other natural elements.
You have to be physically fit, and you do not suffer from vertigo or have acrophobia (fear of heights). This kind of work is for people who do manual labor.
Before attempting this grueling task, try to do this first: Climb the roof. If you can easily walk around without any difficulty and fear, then you can do it. If not, you need to hire a professional.
After finding out that you are up to the task, try another exercise. Visit a home center and attempt to carry a load of shingles on your shoulders and walk back and forth. It is the most laborious part of the work.
If this does not discourage you and you feel you can do it, why not try it? Carrying shingles can be tiresome, but you can skip this step by having the supplier deliver them to the roof and have them dispersed across the peak of the roof.
Before having them delivered, be sure you have already removed the old shingles. Having both the old and new ones might be too heavy for the trusses.
The tools and materials needed for roofing a house
- Air hose
- Air compressor
- Circular saw
- Caulk gun
- Chalk line
- Extension ladder
- Roofing nailer
- Tin snips
- Work gloves
- Utility knife
- Vent flashing
- Valley flashing
- Step and dormer flashing
- Self-adhesive waterproof underlayment
- Roofing nails
- Hook blades
- Drip edge
- Asphalt shingles
- Felt underlayment
Check if roofing your own house is necessary
Evaluate first if your roof needs to be replaced. Here is a checklist:
- Is your roof leaking water when it rains?
- When you look up in the ceiling, do you see wet spots or stains?
- Are your neighbors replacing their roofs?
- Does your roof appear to be worn out and old?
- Are there prominent bald spots on the shingles?
- Are the shingle granules on the roof gone?
- Can you find sand (which came from the granules) collecting in the gutters?
- Can you see discoloration and dark streaks?
If you answer yes to any of these, then you might think about replacing your roof.
How to stay safe while roofing your house
When roofing your own home, you need to make measures to keep yourself as safe as you can. In doing this line of work, you not only need to be able and fit, you also have to have good common sense and make great judgments. Here are great roofing tips that you should follow about safety:
- Get a “fall protection kit,” which includes a rope, hook, and harness.
- If you think that your roof is too high and steep for you, then leave it to the professionals. If you have to choose in saving money by doing a potentially dangerous job or spending a great deal yet being safe, the latter is always the best option.
- Do not set foot on any of the rungs on the ladder right above the roof.
- Build a sturdy scaffolding to set up the drip edges and the starter shingles.
- When the roof gets wet, they become slippery. Be sure that the soles of the shoes that your wear are made of rubber to get good traction.
- Do regular roof sweepings to keep debris and dirt away.
- People staying on the ground level should put on hard hats. Accidents sometimes occur and tools often are cast out a dropped from the roof.
- Do not leave ropes and chords astray on the roof surface and make sure no one will walk on them, which might cause accidents.
- Make sure your ladder can hold your weight plus eighty more pounds.
- Increase the length of the of the ladder about three feet above the edge of the roofing so that you can hold on to it and can easily get on and get off the roof.
Materials needed for putting a roof on a house
Before doing the arduous task, it is essential to have the necessary information about the many materials for roofing your home. Each material kind has a particular quality that makes it superior from the others, like the pricing, durability, and how long it will last. Discover which kind is within your budget and will be effective in providing the best overhead protection from the natural elements.
Gravel and tar
In ancient times, tar and gravel was the primary roofing material utilized. They are mixed with flattened stone and installed by the carpenters of old-style houses.
In the current times, both materials combined to make a substance that is both resistant to corrosion and waterproof. Although it has a large amount of density, it is also durable. If you use this for roofing, it can last about forty years and is not costly.
It is a durable roofing material that can protect against the harsher elements of nature like heavy rain, snow, and ice. It is not difficult to set on the roof. You only need staples and roofing nails and can incorporate them with shingles or any shake-type. It can last for about twenty years and does not cost as much.
Asphalt is primarily used in constructing bridges and decks and can last for more than fifty years. It is a type of indestructible material and is quite expensive due to that. It also necessitates supporting jousts to make it work to its optimal level.
EPDM or Ethylene Diene Monomer
Many building contractors recommend this type of material in roofing a house. It is an affordable option and is made of a thick and durable membraneous material. It has the capability of blocking ultraviolet rays and can provide good insulation. It can last for more than thirty years.
TPO or Thermoplastic polyolefin
It is a composite of EPDM but stronger. It is dense and sturdy enough to withstand snow, rain, and ice. It has a sealing capability to prevent leakage and is flame-retardant. It is an expensive roofing material and can last for more than twenty years.
PVC or Polyvinyl chloride
This material has a lot of uses and can be utilized for roofing. It is known to be a strong and durable material for roofing that industrial and commercial entities used. It is quite costly but can last for more than thirty years.
Are you thinking of how to roof your own house with a strong material? Metal is a good option. Either steel or aluminum is a durable material that can last more than fifty years. Repairing metal roofing is an easy process, yet it is costly roofing material.
Remove the worn out shingles
Before installing new shingles, flashing, and underlay, you have to take out the old shingles. You have to dispose of the old nails or hammer them flat to the roof. Bulging nails will split the newly laid shingles.
If you have things close to your house that you are worried about which might get hit by debris from your roof work, move them farther away. You can also cover them with large tarps.
It is difficult to remove the underlay, so it will be alright to leave it as it is. Place large trash bins close to your house so you can throw the old shingles from atop the roof.
Can I reroof my own house?
You absolutely can. Check first if you need a building permit from the local government and if the roofing task does not go against any ordinances and laws in your neighborhood. If not, then you can start.
At this stage, the roof has been stripped clean. Then along the eaves, nail the flashing and the drip edge on the level.
Harsh weather conditions like snow and heavy rain can push the liquid up and underneath shingles that are set up sturdily. The worse thing that can happen that will damage the roof is snow that accumulates in the edges of the roof. It will damage the roof by letting water gradually penetrate the shingles and drip inside the house.
To stop the seepage of water into your home, apply an “ice barrier,” which is a type of adhesive waterproof underlay. The way it works is that it bonds to the sheathing and adheres tightly around the driven nails.
In some places with frigid weather, their building codes require the homeowners to apply their ice barriers three to six feet from the eaves.
Then cover the remaining portion with a #15 or #30 asphalt felt underlay. There is a two-inch overlap between each layer. The felt material will keep the roof deck from becoming too wet and make it resistant to fire.
Look for the central location of the roof, at the topmost of the eaves, and lay down the chalk line vertically. Professionals use this demarcation to start shingling, placing them away from the line going to the rakes. However, shingle makers want homeowners to start shingling from the left rake.
After loading shingles on the roof (the first ones are called “starter strip”), cut the edges off and apply them on top. Use an adhesive strip along with it, facing the eaves. Ensure that it slightly extends beyond the drip edge for about ¼ to 3/8 inches.
The starter strip functions for protecting the roof by conforming within the spaces beneath the joints of the first row of shingles. The adhesive material sticks the edges of the strips in its place.
Lastly, nail the shingles over the starter strips. Utilize four nails for each shingle or six nails in windy locations. Once all the shingles are in place, lay down chalk lines horizontally to ensure that each row is straight.
Do not forget to expose five inches of the shingle edges wherein the bottom portion adjoins the topmost cutout.
How to roof a house: The first step is to set up the drip edge
The crucial thing in roofing a house is installing the metal drip. Check on your local building official if it is required by law. Even when it is not needed, it has many benefits.
It hinders the shingles from coiling up at the edges, it provides the edges of the roof a beautifully-finished appearance, and it does not allow any liquid from going down the fascia boards.
Before setting up the underlay on the roof, secure the drip edge that provides coverage for boards right on the overhang. The entire extent of the boards is not entirely straight, so you do not have to put up a chalk line. You only need to hold tightly the drip edge in a direction opposite the boards. Secure through the decking by hammering roofing nails every few feet.
On the gable ends of the roofing, set up the drip edge. Do this after the underlay is already secure.
Begin the installation at the gable’s bottom portion and work your way upwards. The drip edge sections should be overlapping a few inches apart. Cut the drip edge to the right size with tin snips.
Bind the underlay
Let out the underlayment from the plastic covering. As you roll it out, be sure that the self-stick portion is exposed to the roof surface so that it will automatically adhere to it. It protects rain and ice dams.
Take out the bottom backing and pull out the lower half. Then bind the bottom portion of the underlay to the surface of the roof. Be sure to follow the guidelines from the manufacturer of the underlayment for the right overlap.
Bring out the second roll of underlay and do the whole process again like the first one.
Ice dams accumulate on the roof and can find a way to penetrate the shingles and leak into the house. Harsh winds can blow itself and liquid underneath the shingles.
The “ice-and-water” underlay (which is another name for the self-sticking underlayment) can stop the seepage of ice and water because it binds to the roof and creates a seal. It sticks and covers the nail indentions and halts water from coming in the nail openings. The plastic backing has a way for the underlay not to stick to itself.
Make sure the bottom edge of the roll is lined up to the outermost part of the drip edge. Use the bottom backing to pull the roll across, and when you pull, be sure it is lying down flat.
If the angle of the roof is low-pitched, you can lay down long portions at a time. However, on inclined roofs, it can drop away from the eaves, so only bring ten feet of underlay.
It is very crucial to remember very underlay material is flat on the roof before fastening. There might be clumps and ripples that can be detectable from people below.
In a warmer climate, the underlay will readily adhere to the roof deck without using fasteners.
In a colder climate, utilize a nail gun or stapler in fastening the upper portion of the underlay until you reach the bottom part. When the temperature increases, the roll’s adhesive component will become stickier.
Always remember that, in an extremely hot temperature, its sticky nature will be tricky. In places with severe weather, the underlay must be set up about two feet from the outside walls. It implies that with two eaves, you will need two rows.
Two underlay portions on similar rows should overlap in about six inches and each strip covers two inches of the strip below. The rules are different in other places, so if you are confused, ask your local government’s building official.
Blanketing the roof with felt
How hard is it to roof your own house? It is going to be easy if you have the right know-how and materials like felt, which you need to roll over the underlayment.
Before completely unwrapping it, pound many staples together of the exposed portion. Then roll the remaining felt onto the surface and staple it in place.
Do not skimp out of staples and put them at least twelve inches apart. Felt paper with few staples will tend to break and tear.
Roll the felt at the peak of the roof, and be sure to extend it over the other side. Do the same process on the opposite side of the roof.
It is also called “builder’s paper” or “tar paper.” It has many purposes. One, while still in the middle of the job and it suddenly rains, it can keep the home dry.
Another, it serves as protection for the shingles from the resin substance in the decking. It also helps get rid of any liquid the goes underneath the shingles.
If you purchase a roll of felt, it is only available, either in fifteen pounds and thirty pounds per roll. In most situations, fifteen pounds is enough. Thirty pounds of felt is only applicable if, for unknown reasons, you want to leave the felt on the roof for a few days. It will wrinkle up anyway and lose fifteen pounds in the process.
It does not pull apart easily, and it is stable enough to walk on when working on more inclined portions.
Roll out another bundle of felt and drive staples evenly. Be sure to staple a lot at the center portion, which will help you in finishing up all the rolls without any difficulty due unbuckling of some felt.
If this is your first time unrolling felt onto a roof, do not do a fifteen or thirty foot bundle first. Practice with ten feet portions to be safe until you are used to it. If it becomes too windy, do not climb on the steepest part and unroll a thirty-pound bundle.
Be sure to drive a staple in every square foot of the felt. Do use it sparingly because not enough stapling can break apart when walked upon by people, which can result in accidents. Do not tread on felt, which is not stapled yet. You can also hammer in nails to make it more secure or in windy weather.
When you reach the peak point of the roof, unroll the bundle and drape it over where you are and towards the other side. When you work on the other side of the roof, do the same process. Doing this will make everything watertight.
At this stage of your roofing task, your building inspector might want to examine what you have done. Or you can just take a picture of your roof and show it to him. Ask the inspector when will he come around to inspect again so you can prepare.
Making sure the valley is waterproof
Before continuing, make sure you have all the necessary tools for roofing a house. The aluminum flashing should be set up over the underlay. If you need to install more, lay them down straight in their proper position before hammering nails on them.
The portion at the peak is called “roof valleys,” and they accumulate a lot of water, so they need to be doubly protected. So fold the flashing back towards itself and cover the ends with the underlay. Put it as tightly as you can, then nail it on the edges.
Cover the entire roof with felt, and make sure to overlap with the underlay. When trimming the edges, be careful not to cut into the underlay.
When replacing your roof, avoid doing it in either very cold or very temperatures.
The cold would make the shingles not bind each other and can be damaged easily by wind.
The heat will make the underlay get too sticky, and hard to make it properly work. The shingles will become too flaccid and can easily be poked by stepping on them.
Starting with the shingles
How to put shingles on a house? Begin setting up the starter shingles half an inch from the drip edge. Its purpose is to stop any liquid to get within the shingle joints and accumulate on the underlay, which prevents leakage. These are smaller in size than the regular shingles.
Start with the regular ones at the bottom row with the edges touching the starter shingles. Make sure the seams are staggered. Then finish each row going up and make sure the joins do not line up.
Use nails to hammer it into place, not a staple gun. It needs four to six nails per shingle.
Putting the ridge in place with the last row of shingles
After inspecting that all the shingles are in place and firmly nailed, you need to focus your attention on covering the ridge. Lay down chalk lines to ensure that the ridge cap shingles are not deviated and straightforward.
Hammer them in place with long nails since you will be using many shingles on top of each other. Since these to topmost shingles, consider windy occurrences that will blow over the shingles, not into them.
Cleaning and sealing
You are in the last stages of knowing how to roof a house. Put away any remaining tools and sweep all the dirt and debris from the roof.
You need to make sure that no nails are protruding, which might cause damage in the future. Do not use a silicone sealant because it is not capable of withstanding the wear and tear of natural elements.
Do not also use a sealant that is an asphalt based because will become dry once exposed to the heat of the sun.
The best sealant recommended by experts is called “Lexel,” which is as sticky as glue, as clear as silicone, and can last for many years. These portions need maintenance, so have them inspected by a professional every couple of years.
Is re-roofing a good idea? It is. It is a very difficult undertaking, and more than likely, professionals are adept at handling this type of task. There are many difficult instances that you might not handle, like setting up the flashing, installing roofing material around chimneys and vents. It also takes a particular technique and lots of practice in setting up things on the roof of a house.
These are incredibly hard and laborious tasks to enact. It can cause you a lot of pressure and stress to make everything in its proper place. One mistake may lead to another, and all will fall like dominoes. An example is that the kind of shingles can bend out of shape if you have installed them in summer. So you need to seal it properly to avoid that mishap. The result might be you might overspend money just to repair a draft in your attic.
Each type of roofing task takes dedication and patience. Each will take hard work and a bit of luck. If you are driven and inclined to install all the right materials on top of the roof and follow the correct procedure, then you will end up with a final product that will last a lifetime.