July 5

10 Steps to Install a New Roof


When it’s time to replace your roof, the amount of information available can be overwhelming. Lots of websites and videos go into great detail on how to install a roof. It is always recommended that only properly trained professional roofing contractors engage in the installation of roofs, no matter the material used.

Protecting Your Home

install new roof

The roof is one of the biggest investments you will make in your home. However, when it comes to restoring or replacing it, you must decide if you need a complete roof replacement or just a repair. It is good to know what goes on during a new roof installation whether you hire a pro or not. Here are the basic steps to shingle a roof.

1. Safety

Safety is always first for any roofing project. Working at heights and walking on a roof presents hazards and risks. It is recommended that roofing work be done by qualified professionals who know the best way to shingle a roof and follow safe practices. These professionals have been fully trained in all aspects of roof construction safety. It's also important to review local applicable building codes and ensure the roof conforms to all requirements.

2. Deck Preparation

Before installing any roofing materials, make sure that the roof deck is smooth, properly fastened to the roof trusses, dry, and free of any gaps or holes. Having a clean, flat deck surface will help ensure that the newly shingled roof will appear smooth and flat when finished.

3. Start at the Bottom

In terms of roofing components, start with the bottom-most layer. What’s underneath the roofing shingles is extremely important. The first material installed is the drip edge. It provides a clean, sharp edge for the start of the roof and protects the lower edge of the roof deck from water damage. 

4. Underlayment 

The underlayment is applied as flat and straight as possible to the deck. It can prevent ice dams and strong winds. Any wind-driven rain blowing on the rake edge would cross the top of the drip edge and go on top of the underlayment.

5. Cover With Felt Paper

This is also referred to as tar paper. The felt paper helps remove the water that gets under the shingles and increases the roof’s fire rating. Staples are used to attach it to the deck. Each paper needs to overlap the one before to provide adequate coverage.

6. Cover The Valleys

Roof valleys direct water away from the structures.  If a roof is going to leak, it will most likely occur wherever the shingle layer is penetrated or meets a wall. These are the special areas that require flashing – an added layer of water-shedding material to help keep the water running downslope. Valleys can either be open or closed. Open valleys are not covered with shingles, closed valleys are.

7. Starter Shingles

Once everything that goes beneath the shingles has been properly prepared and installed, it’s finally time to shingle the roof. Before you lay the field shingles it’s important to install starter shingles. They are specifically manufactured for that purpose. Starter shingles are designed to create a barrier that keeps water from running in between the seams of the first shingles and creating a leak.

8. Install the Shingles

Shingles are applied in an overlapping pattern and secured with a nail gun. You must place nails in the proper location and drive them flush with, but not cutting into, the shingle. Nailing the shingles correctly is critical to the roof system’s wind resistance. Proper nail placement is also a requirement for the shingles’ limited warranty coverage.

9. Install Flashing

Flashing is placed around plumbing stacks and vents to help prevent leaks. It keeps a tight seal around chimneys, windows, and other structures.

10. Apply Hip and Ridge Caps

These are the top shingles at the very peak of your roof. Individual ridge cap shingles are used to straddle the ridge and shed water down either slope. Securing these shingles often requires longer nails due to having to go through multiple layers of shingles. Sweep any debris off the roof and seal all the exposed nails heads with suitable asphalt roof cement.

Trusted Roofing Professionals

You may consider restoring the roof yourself to help cut costs, but this is not the best option. The professionals at Brian Dawson Roofing are aware of the various building codes and underlay requirements. We have the equipment, tools, and experience needed to safely and properly install a new roof that will last for decades.


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