Every year in the United States the roofing industry grows by around 3.8%.
This means that every year more and more people need to have their roofs replaced. If your home and roof are getting older, you may want to know how to replace a shingle roof. Shingles are the most common form of roofing material you’ll interact with, so knowing how to work with them will help the most.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about replacing shingle roofs.
One thing you’ll need to research before you get started is what your local government or HOA requires. In a lot of cases, they will want the roof to have no more than one or two layers of shingles. This means that you’ll have to remove the old roofing materials before you put new shingles on.
The reason for these requirements makes sense because more shingles on the roof increase the chances for a leak. You don’t want to have to deal with water damage inside your home, and having multiple layers of shingles will increase the cost of roof repair.
You’ll want to take an inventory of the tools you have available, and compare it to a list of what you’ll need. This is a list of basic tools, you may find that you’ll need more than this.
The tools you can’t do without are:
- Roofing Nail Gun
- Utility Knife
- Shingle Removing Tool or Shovel
- Hammer Tacker Stapler
- Air Compressor
- Scoop Shovel
- Pry Bar
In addition to these tools, you’ll want to make sure you have a dumpster ready to go. The number of shingles that come off of a roof can surprise people. The removal and clean-up phase are vital, or else your yard will have bits of shingle and even screws or nails.
Strip the Roof
The first step when you begin roof replacement is to remove all the old shingles. This will also tear up and remove the felt paper that is underneath. As the roof becomes clear of shingles, check for damage on the decking or wood shake that is under the shingles.
If you notice any damage, you’ll have to replace those areas before you can begin to shingle the roof. Damage to the decking of your roof will often be noticeable in discolored sections, bulging or sagging sections, or rotted areas. If you see any of this, it is important to cut out and replace those sections of wood.
Apply Felt Paper
With the old shingles removed, you can now move on to the roof installation. The first thing you need to do is to apply a layer of felt paper to the roof. This will help to seal the roof, preventing moisture and water from reaching the wood.
Felt paper comes in rolls, and you will need to unroll it on the roof as you go. You can then use a staple gun or a nail gun to secure the felt paper to the roof decking. If this is your first time roofing, don’t worry too much about mistakes, felt paper is cheap.
Shingle the Roof
There are many different roofing types, but shingles are by far the most popular. Once your roof is covered with felt paper it will be time to begin to move to shingling the roof. This will require you to place the shingles and then put in one nail per tab.
Make sure that as you put on more shingles they overlap, this way they seal together and don’t allow for water to find its way into your home. If the roof is too steep to stand on you’ll need to anchor wood platforms to the roof so that you’ll have somewhere to stand while working.
You’ll want to make sure that the weather is right for roofing. You don’t want to roof in cold weather, because the shingles won’t seal together and can be blown off much easier. This is why summer is the best time to replace a shingle roof.
Prepare Peaks and Valleys
With peaks, you’ll need to cut shingles down to the right size so that they’ll fit. Often this means removing the first and third tab on an angle. Once you’ve done that, make sure to keep the shingles you’ve modified off to the side, you’ll need them later.
For valleys, there are two ways to take care of them. The traditional way is to lace the shingles together to create a valley, but that isn’t the preferred method these days. It is more common now to lay in aluminum paneling which is built for valleys, so that water doesn’t get trapped or seep into the roof.
Apply Peak Shingles and Finish Valleys
Now you can put the peak shingles you’ve made onto the roof. Remember they have to lace together to create a solid peak, so that water will flow off of the roof. Once the metal for the valleys is in place, make sure that they too are shingled in, so that there are no catches or places for water to invade the roof.
Be Ready to Make Mistakes
If you don’t know how to replace a shingle roof, prepare to make mistakes. Between the cost of tools and materials, there’s a reason why so many people turn to a roofing company. It is a lot less work, but also a lot safer to have the work done by a professional service.
Any mistake that you make and don’t correct can lead to a lot of expensive damage later.
How to Replace a Shingle Roof
Knowing how to replace a shingle roof is not the only thing required, experience helps a ton. Knowing what to do and doing it are two different things. Make sure to research in your area, and take all necessary steps for the proper installation of your roof.
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