When you think of all the parts that go together to make up a house–walls, doors, the foundation, etc–there’s no denying that the roof is one of the most important.

Think about when you talk to people and they say that they’re thankful to have a roof over their head. Obviously, they mean that they’re happy to have a home, but in a more literal sense, there’s nothing quite like having a sturdy roof on top of your house.

That’s why maintaining your roof is one of the most important projects you can undertake. Whether you’re handy and can re-shingle or replace a roof yourself, or you need an introduction to roofing and you hire the expertise of local roofing contractors, you can’t go wrong making sure that your roof is intact and in good shape.

Re-roofing Versus Roof Replacement

If your roof needs work, one important question you need to ask yourself is whether you need to re-roof or do a total roof replacement.

Re-roofing is less expensive and is simply the process of layering a set of brand-new shingles over existing shingles on your roof. It’s important to note that re-roofing can only be done once. It can go fast and depending on what kind of shingles you put on, you might not have to break the bank to complete the project.

Roof replacement is just what it sounds like; tearing everything off down to the bone and putting on brand new felt paper and shingles. The good part about a roof replacement is that it can be done no matter how many layers of shingles might already be on the roof. But it can be more expensive.

Re-roofing can be a good idea if your roof is in good overall shape with some very minor issues to deal with. Re-roofing should not be done if you got major issues to deal with such a sagging or rot. If you add a new layer of shingles on top of your old ones, all you’re doing is glossing over the problem without actually fixing it. It should also be noted that if you reroof, you need to re-roof your entire roof because you want your whole roof to have the same thickness.

Know Your Limits

One of the first things you’ll learn in your introduction to roofing is that you need to know your limits. Make no mistake, working on your roof is not an easy project, no matter which way you go. There are lots of obstacles, not to mention the fact that you need to be comfortable with walking up and down the ladder and working on top of your home. If you’re not comfortable, put in a call to local roofing contractors. They’ve got experience, they’ve got the know-how and they’ll be able to get your roof in good shape again.

Get To Know Your Roof

No matter what kind of roof you have, there are many different parts to the average roof including many that you may not know about. It’s easy to look at a roof and just see shingles and gutters, but your roof is much more than that.

Before you do any kind of work, make it a crucial part of your introduction to roofing to learn a little bit about your roof. Learn what flashing is. Learn about eaves and fascias. Have a local roofer explain the importance of downspouts, drip edges, and rafters. This will make you more familiar with your roof and make you more aware of what you will need to do and look for if you’re going to work on your roof yourself.

Learn About Shingles

Part of your introduction to roofing involves knowing the right kind of roof shingles to put on your house. If you know next to nothing about roofing, then you will learn quickly about the many types of shingles.

  • Asphalt shingles–These are generally the most inexpensive and commonly used shingles for roofing. They have a shorter lifespan than other kinds of shingles, about 20 to 30 years, but they can also help you meet energy star standards for a cool roof.
  • Metal roofing— This kind of roofing works great if you have a flat or a steep roof. The benefit here is that your roof can be either solid metal or made out of constructed metal. It’s another relatively inexpensive option and can last up to 50 years.
  • Slate shingles– These are very durable and have a lifespan of up to 50 years. But they can be a little bit more expensive.
  • Tile roofing—If you want a roofing material that’s going to hold up under harsh conditions, tile roofing is the way to go. It holds up well against damage from hurricanes and earthquakes and is also fireproof. Tile roofing contractors can re-roof your house to stand up to the elements, especially if you live on the coast.
  • Wood shingles–These are more expensive than asphalt shingles, but they can give your home a more natural appearance. Choosing hardwood shingles such as cedar or redwood can give your roof a lifespan of 30 to 50 years.

Ultimately, the shingles will choose will determine what kind of roof you’re going to have. Whether you’re re-roofing or building a brand new home with a brand new roof, you need to think about cost, availability of material, and installation requirements.

Practice Good Roof Maintenance

There are a lot of things you’ll learn in your introduction to roofing and one of the most important is doing regular roof maintenance. Since a roof is such an important part of your house, you need to make sure that it’s in good working order, the same way you would check on your plumbing system or your backyard pool.

With that in mind, here’s some easy tips for roofing maintenance:

Stay Safe

One of the biggest lessons you’ll learn is the need for safety. Whether you are doing some maintenance on an existing roof or putting up an entirely new one, you need to be careful at all times.

Even if you’re confident you can repair something as small as a leak, the last thing you want us to end up in the hospital. So it’s important to remember to be patient and take your time. If the weather isn’t great outside, wait for a nice day before you make any repairs.

If you want to stay even safer, wear a harness when you’re working on the roof, have a partner to work with, and make sure you wear shoes that aren’t going to make you slip.

Clean Gutters And Spray

You’ll find as you work on your roof for that one of the most common areas where roof leaks occur are your gutters and it’s because they’re clogged. The best thing to do is get up on a ladder and clean the gutters out yourself, grab a pair of gloves, and clean out any leaves and other debris. You can even use a leaf blower if you got one to clean out your gutters that way.

If you’re checking for leaks, one thing you can do is spray a roof in different locations to try and find a leak. If you’re going to do this, make sure it’s not in the wintertime as it’s very easy for water to freeze on your rooftop.

Be Observant

As a homeowner, admittedly there’s a lot to keep track of. When it comes to your roof, any introduction to roofing starts with learning to keep an eye out for any shingles that look faulty or look cracked or missing shingles. Keep an eye out for loose nails too and any other problems that might be fairly obvious.

Part of good roof maintenance means also having your roof regularly inspected. It’s recommended that you have two inspections a year; one after summer and one after winter since those are usually the two hardest seasons for the average roof.

Putting A New Roof On A House

So you’ve thought it over, you’ve learned from some experts, and you have gotten a pretty good introduction to roofing. You’ve decided you want to put a new roof on your house and you want to try it yourself.

As previously mentioned, putting a new roof on your house is no easy task and requires a lot of patience. Local roofing services can put a sparkling new roof on your house with the shingles you want and make sure no detail is overlooked. But if you think you’re up to the job, here’s how you can pull it off successfully:

Get A Permit

In any introduction to roofing knowledge that you get, you’ll learn that before you get to work, you need the necessary permits. There’s nothing worse than starting a roofing job and then having to stop because you don’t have all the necessary paperwork squared away.

Every city and township has different building codes and permit requirements, so get the permits you need and learn the building codes before you get your hands dirty.

Get Your Materials

Before you start your roofing job, you’re going to need all the right materials. You can save yourself time and frustration by gathering all that you need ahead of time. Make sure you’ve got the proper safety gear, but don’t forget about a hatchet and shovel, pry bars, tin snips, shingles, saws, and anything else you might need.

Tear Off Your Old Roof

The best roofing company can make putting up a new roof seem like clockwork. If you’re the one doing it, your best bet is to get a dumpster to throw all the old shingles in as you take them off. Don’t forget to remove all the nails too.

Put Down Felt And Drip Molding

The next step in your project is to drip molding into your roof’s gutters. You’ll need to align the molds and your installation nails before nail the molding in. The same thing does for your roofing felt. Mark off six-inch spaces with chalk and then spread out your material across your entire roof services.

Make Your Roof Valleys Waterproof

You’re going to need to install self-sticking underlayment on your roof decking to waterproof it.

Put Down Shingles

If you’ve followed all the steps, you’re stepping well beyond a basic introduction to roofing. Now it’s time to bring some life to your roof by putting down shingles. You’ll want to put down a row of starter shingles that run about half an inch past the roof’s drip edge. This first row of shingles helps keep water from getting in the seams of the shingles and helps stop leakage.

Once you’ve put the starter shingles down—which are smaller than regular shingles—start putting down your full shingles. As you put them down, you’ll want to stagger the seams. Each shingle manufacturer is different and has a different nailing pattern, but you can figure on putting five or six into each shingle.

It can be a tricky step to complete, so take your time. If you’re having trouble, re-roofing services might be your best friend as they can help you make sure the shingles get put down on a correct pattern.

Cap The Ridge

With the shingles down, you’ll need to cover the ridge, using longer nails to fasten it correctly.

Seal The Roof

Once everything is put down and the roof is cleaned off, it’s time to deal with your roof. You can use silicone roof coatings, but depending on the type of roof you have, you might want to use an asphalt sealant to better protect your roof from exposure to the sun.

Keep Your Roof In Good Shape

With an introduction to roofing, you’ll learn all the knowledge you need to re-roof your home, adding brand new shingles or you’ll have the knowledge you need to put a whole new roof on your living space. Either way, you’re now armed with the knowledge you need to keep a roof over your head, literally, and protect it from all kinds of elements.

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