The Basics of Roofing Installation

Professional roofers have the training and tools to safely complete roofing projects. If you plan to do the work yourself, use a fall protection kit and a rope harness, and wear rubber-soled shoes for extra traction.

First, contractors lay an ice and water barrier and run underlayment along the entire roof surface. Then they install the first row of shingles, called starter strips, and fasten them with cap nails. Visit to learn more.Roofing

When it comes to roofing, there are many different materials that can be used. Some are natural products such as thatch and slate, while others are commercially produced. Some are even made from recycled materials such as rubber shingles.

Regardless of the type of roof, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. This includes having a ladder that’s tall enough to access the roof. A sturdy ladder is especially necessary for jobs with steep slopes.

Another important tool for roofing is a caulking gun. It’s much easier to use than a brush and it’s more efficient when dispensing caulking. This also helps make the job go faster.

Finally, a chalk line tool is useful for marking lines on the roof. This is particularly helpful when it comes to installing gutters.

Other types of roofing materials include metal shakes, shingles and tiles. Shakes are usually made from wood such as cedar or redwood, while shingles are thin wedge-shaped slabs of wood that are produced by precise sawing. Tiles are typically made from clay, granite, terra-cotta or slate. Metal roofing can be found in low-slope applications, as well as on steeper slopes. This type of roofing can be highly durable. Its longevity is often rated at 80 to 400 years. Metal roofing is also quite affordable. Corrugated galvanised iron, or corro for short, was once one of the most popular roofing materials in Australia.


An important part of the roofing process is inspection, a careful examination of the finished product. The roofing crew will conduct multiple inspections throughout the roof installation to ensure that each step is carried out correctly. This helps guarantee a high-quality roof that meets local standards and adheres to the manufacturer’s instructions for the roofing material.

A roofing inspector will also inspect the gutters and vents to make sure that they are free from clogs. A clean gutter system is essential to a well-functioning roof, as it can help prevent water damage and rodent infiltration. It can also help keep rainwater from pooling and causing water damage inside the house.

If the roof has penetrations, such as vents or chimneys, a roofer will install flashing to prevent water leaks. The flashing is usually made of aluminum or galvanized steel and installed over the joints on your roof to prevent water seepage. The roofer will then seal the flashing with a strong adhesive to keep out rain, snow, and debris.

Once the job is complete, your roofer will perform a final inspection. This inspection will confirm that the roof meets all of the requirements outlined in your contract, as well as checking for quality and adherence to building codes. Then, the crew will roll up their tarps and clean up your property, ensuring that no stray nails or debris is left behind.


During the roofing installation process, underlayment is added to protect the subfloor from moisture. Underlayment also acts as a buffer against noise. It is available in foam, rubber and cork. Prices vary based on material, features (such as moisture protection) and thickness.

Roofers will install a layer of underlayment, usually a felt paper, over the roof deck. They will tuck it under the existing shingles and fasten it down with nails spaced about 12 inches apart. The edges will overlap and nailing should be staggered to reduce the risk of leaks.

Leak barriers are important in areas of the roof that get a lot of water, such as valleys and around penetrations like vents. These self-adhesive membranes will prevent water from seeping up under lower shingles and into the house.

Some roofers will also add a drip edge, a strip of metal that helps guide water off the roof and away from your home’s fascia boards. It isn’t always required by local building codes, but it gives the new roof a finished look and reduces the amount of water that can drip directly down the side of your house.

Foam underlayment is popular because it’s affordable, easy to install and provides a comfortable cushion for your floors. However, it doesn’t provide much insulation or reduce sound transmission. Rubber and cork underlayment, on the other hand, are more expensive but provide additional benefits like extra padding and sound reduction.


Whether they’re asphalt, clay, slate or metal, shingles are the most visible element of any roof. The shingles shed rain and snow and protect the structure from wind and sun damage. They come in a wide range of colors and materials, so choose a color and style that fits your budget and complements the design of your home. You can install shingles on a simple roof yourself, but leave high and complex roofs to a professional roofing contractor.

Typically, the first course of shingles is installed with starter strips that help hold down the shingle below it. Once the starter strip is down, you can apply the rest of the shingles. You may want to ask about a warranty for the shingles you choose.

Most homeowners prefer light-colored shingles because they reflect sunlight rather than absorb it, helping to lower the house’s energy bills. However, you should check with your neighborhood association about the shingle color standards, as some neighborhoods have restrictions.

Wood shingles have a traditional beauty that looks great on cottage-style homes, coastal houses and historic buildings. Each shingle is unique, so they add character to your home.


Roof flashing is a thin barrier of galvanized steel or copper that professional roofers install to prevent leaks around chimneys, skylights, dormers, and other protrusions. It is also installed in the valleys, rake edges, and ridge caps of the roof to protect these areas from water penetration damage.

There are many different types of flashing, each with its own purpose. For example, continuous flashing is a long strip of metal that waterproofs the seam where a dormer or other protrusion meets the roof plane. This type of flashing has built-in expansion joints, which help it flex as the exterior temperatures change, so it won’t break or leak.

A roofing contractor may also use step flashing, which is a rectangular piece of metal that sits where the roof plane and a vertical surface meet, such as a wall or dormer. Roofers often install a base flashing and counter-flashing over the step flashing to ensure that water doesn’t seep into the joint.

There is also drip edge flashing, which a roofer will use to cover the area at the bottom of the fascia boards and rakes where the rain gutters will be. This type of flashing comes in a variety of shapes, such as L-shaped or F-shaped, and is designed to direct rainfall away from the decking and into the gutters. Finally, a roofer will cap the ridge of the roof with special shingles that are designed to prevent precipitation from seeping into gaps and cracks at this critical point.

Ridge Cap

The very top of the roof (known as the ridge) needs extra protection. Without it, moisture would seep into the house, leading to unhealthy mold and mildew, rot, water leaks, and structural damage. A well-fitted ridge cap shingle prevents this damaging moisture penetration, and it also provides a nice finish to the peak of the roof.

Installing ridge cap shingles is relatively easy and less time-consuming than installing a new roof with regular shingles. That’s because ridge caps are designed to fit perfectly over the ridge of the roof, overlapping the surrounding shingles. In contrast, regular shingles must be cut and bent to fit the curve of the ridge, which is often challenging and may result in gaps or inadequate coverage.

In addition, ridge cap shingles are typically thicker and pre-bent, making them more resistant to water and wind than regular shingles. In fact, a properly installed and maintained ridge cap can last up to 30 years or more.

If you’re in the market for a roof installation, find a roofing contractor with extensive experience with shingle and metal roofs and ridge capping. Ask to see photos of their previous work and read customer reviews. Look for certifications from reputable industry organizations, including the NRCA and RCRA. They should also be licensed, bonded, and insured to perform roofing work in your state. Also, be sure to choose a roofing contractor with a proven track record of performing quality and timely roof repairs and installations.