Most homeowners don’t pay much attention to their roofs until they need a new one, which is one of the main reasons you should inspect your roof before winter. Are there places where your roof appears to be sagging? Are there signs of water damage or areas where you can actually see light showing through from the inside? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to re-roof your home.
Now, you can undertake a basic re-roofing project yourself if you have the know-how to get it done right and a friend or two willing to lend a hand. Before you round up your crew, however, do your homework first. Does your roof fall into the complicated range, requiring the work of a professional? Do you need new shingles only, or do you have any structural issues that require attention?
If you’ve done your homework and determined you have a basic roof with no structural issues and you want to tackle the project yourself, head to your local hardware store to begin selecting your materials. Think big when choosing new shingles and ask to view a full-size shingle instead of small swatches or samples. You’ll get a better idea of how the shingles will look when they’re spread across the roof of your house that way. I’d recommend choosing asphalt or fiberglass shingles because they’re durable and waterproof, and they complement a variety of home styles as well.
Metal roofs are popular in Northern Arizona because of their durability; they typically last two to three times longer than asphalt shingles. They are also made from recycled steel, so they’re better for the environment, too. Metal roofs come in corrugated, rib or clean lines and are available in a variety of styles and colors.
After you’ve decided which type of roof to install, clear the area around your house of any lawn furniture, tools, or other items that could be damaged from debris that may fall off the roof during the project. Tuck tarps around the edge of the roof to minimize debris on the ground, and cover windows and glass doors to prevent breaks, cracks or scratches.
Once you’re on the roof, remove all of the old shingles with a shingle scraper or heavy-duty crowbar. Then scrap away any debris from the surface area to ensure you have a nice, clean surface. Install metallic flashing in the valleys between interconnecting roof sections and in areas where the roof surface meets vertical surfaces. Then install underlayment (also known as “roof felt”) on top of the roof sheathing to provide a moisture barrier. Remember when you’re dealing with roof felt, it’s just like a carpet – the thicker the material, the better. A good, thick underlayment will keep moisture from infiltrating your roof, which will preserve your roof’s structural integrity and prevent mold infestation or other damage.
After you’ve completed these steps, it’s time to install the roof. For shingles, start at the bottom left corner of the roof and work your way up and around. Each row of shingles should cover the previous row by half. When you get to the top, secure shingles with stainless steel nails so the nails won’t be visible from the ground when you’re done. For metal roofs, it would be in your best interest to consult a licensed roofing contractor to insure proper installation. Ask a HomCo Ace Hardware Contractor Sales representative for a list of authorized installers.
As always, consult your local building department before getting started. Call a licensed professional if you need additional help, and remember to stop by HomCo Ace Hardware to talk to our expert staff members about your project. We’re here to help ensure your success from start to finish. FBN
Written by Mike Brackin