Unlike an interior home remodel, the process for replacing a roof is far less intrusive – and it takes far less time. Replacement time for an average residential shingle roof is around two to three days, metal roof replacement runs around three+ days, and slate and tile roofs can take as long as a week.
Is Replacing A Roof In Your Future?
Here is a general outline of what it takes to replace a roof from start to finish.
Find a qualified roofing contractor
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to hire a licensed, reputable contractor. Your roof is one of the most critical structural systems in your home because it protects the entire kit-and-caboodle.
In addition to preventing leaks and moisture infiltration that leads to structural damage, a well-built roof improves whole-home energy efficiency and comfort.
Before hiring a contractor for the job:
- Meet with at least three, so you can compare estimates and get a feel for their professionalism and integrity
- Verify they’re licensed, bonded, and insured (you can check licensing at your local building department)
- Check their references, using recent homeowners with similar roof replacement projects
Removal of the top layer
First, we’ll begin removing the first layer (shingles, tile, metal, slate, etc.), to get rid of the old materials. We’ll put up barriers, tarps and protective layers to ensure none of the demolished material or debris harms the exterior of your home, plants, shrubs, passersby, etc.
Repair or removal of the bottom layers
Old school roofers used to remove the notably damaged portion of the roof, or repair them and then lay the new materials right on top of the original layer. While this might work for a basic roof repair, this is not how we replace roofs anymore. In fact, most building departments will not even allow roofers to install a new roof directly on top of an old one.
Odds are, your roof is twenty years old or more, or you wouldn’t be replacing it already, and much has changed since then in terms of materials, energy efficiency, and roofing protocol. In most cases, your entire home benefits from a brand new roofing system to reinforce attic ventilation and insulation, to install better waterproofing materials and new flashing, and to seal or repair existing penetrations before laying the new materials.
Install weather and waterproofing layers
Once the new plywood is laid down, we’ll install ice dams that prevent the water from melting icicles or ice from backing up into the sheathing. We’ll also lay down asphalt roofing paper on the plywood sheathing. This material acts as a moisture barrier, so we install it in layers from the outer edge of the roof to the peak. That way, any water that makes its way through the upper-layer to the barrier will wick down from layer to outer layer, never making contact with the sheathing.
Valley flashing and drip edge installation
First, we’ll nail down drip edges over the asphalt roofing paper eve and gable sides of the roof. Then, we’ll install valley flashing wherever two roof planes come together to form a valley-like angle. This isn’t necessary with flat roofs.
Tab shingles and flashing
Next, you’ll see us lay down the tab shingles. As with the asphalt paper, we begin at the eves and continue up towards the peaks. Then, wherever leaks could potentially enter the home – vents, chimney, skylights, and solar tube penetrations, etc. we apply the flashing.
Install ridge or attic venting
Attic ventilation is essential to prevent condensation that leads to moisture accumulation and leaks. Ridge vents run along the roof ridge and are the most common way to exhaust hot air and prevent ice dams. If you own an older home without a ridge vent, your roofing contractor will recommend installing one now, or he’ll advise that you update your attic ventilation system accordingly via roof or gable vents.
Clean-up and inspection after replacing a roof
The roofing team should be cleaning up as they go, so the job site is always tidy when they leave. At the end of the project, the remains of debris and unused roofing materials are loaded up and hauled away, the protective layers are taken down, and your new, beautiful roof is on display. In most cases, the roof will need to be inspected and signed off by the local building inspector.
Let Us Help You With Your Roofing Needs
Is your home suffering the visual and physical side effects of an outdated roof? Contact us here at Dr. Remodel & Roofing. We are licensed, Little Elm contractors who are proud of our loyal roster of satisfied customers.