When it comes time to replace your roofing shingles with new ones, there are some rules and recommendations you should follow to help make the job easier and safer. If you are doing part or all of the replacement of your roof and hiring out any of the remainder work to a professional company, you will want to keep yourself and any friends safe who are helping you. Here are some tips to make the work easier and safer while ensuring the work completed is done the proper way to install your new roof.
Begin by Removing the Old Roof Materials
The first step to replacing your roof is often the one most skipped to save time and work. Replacing new shingles over your old layer is acceptable, but it can cause problems later on. When you don't remove the old shingles, you cannot inspect so you can repair and replace any old and damaged under-layers and roofing deck.
Removing the old shingles will reveal the condition of your roofing felt and the plywood beneath that. If your old roof had any water leaks that you were unaware of, it could have caused moisture damage to the wood of your roofing deck, leading to dry rot and an unstable and weak roof. Over time, you don't want your roofing deck weakened, which can lead to larger moisture problems and a collapsed roof structure.
Rent Appropriate Equipment and Tools
To help you remove your one or more layers of old shingles and roofing felt, you can rent or borrow a roofing shovel, which has a serrated edge with teeth that grab underneath the shingle nails as you pry the shingles from your roof. This roofing shovel also has a fulcrum welded onto its back to use as leverage on the roof as you pry up the old roofing materials. Begin at one side of your roof to scrape and pry up the shingles and roofing felt. Use a push broom to help sweep all the materials down and off your roof.
It is especially helpful to rent a large dumpster to collect the debris from your old roof. Position the dumpster just below the eaves of your roof, so you can push all the old roofing materials directly into the dumpster. Lay several large tarps onto shrubbery and landscaping on either side of the dumpster and around the perimeter of your home's roof. This will help collect other debris that accidentally falls from your roof and can help collect old fasteners from your roof.
A magnetic broom is another invaluable tool to help you during the removal and later clean-up from your roof replacement project. You can use the magnetic broom to sweep over your lawn, landscaping, and other surfaces around your home to pick up all nails, staples, and other bits of metal that can cause harm to someone or puncture a vehicle tire.
If your roof is especially steep, you may want to rent safety harnesses for you and others helping you with the removal and installation on the roof. You can also nail roof jacks onto your roof's rafters and install a length of lumber onto the jacks to help give you a small platform to provide stability while you are working on the roof. This can be helpful for keeping your roofing materials on the roof while you install them.
Install New Roof Materials
Once you have the old roof removed and replaced any damaged roofing deck, you can begin by installing a new roofing felt. If you live in a northern climate that has snow and ice, it is recommended, if not required, to install an ice and water barrier along the lower section of your roof. This will prevent any ice dams and snow melt from penetrating beneath your shingles and into the roofing deck during the winter.
It is recommended to install the ice and water barrier up at least three feet from the edge of your roof and install it along any valleys where slopes of two roofing planes intersect. As you install each layer of roofing felt and ice barrier upon your roof, you will want them to overlap by at least five inches.
Use these tips to help you successfully replace your home's roof.