How a roof is installed?

shingle roofing on a red house

Can you put a new roof on top of an old roof?

When you purchase a home, you’re making an investment in your future, and protecting your future and the present is important. That is why you need to make sure every aspect of your home is safe and in good working order, including the plumbing and the roof. From trenchless plumbing technology to a new roof installation job, you want to get the best job possible because your future is riding on the outcome and performance of both.

There are some that believe a new roof installed over the old roof will make the roof more waterproof and provide a layer of installation, the mindset of ‘more is better’. This couldn’t be further from the truth though, as it many times can cause more problems. So why do homeowners do it? 

It is a money saver. When you have the old roof tore off, the average size home, this is about a $1,000 or more additional cost. However, while it is easier and less expensive to leave the old roof, a new roof installation still requires some prep work. There is the old flashing, misshapen shingles, ridge caps, and vents that have to be removed before the new roof installation can begin. 

So, while you may save some money by skipping the tear-off, eventually, this will catch up to you when the next new roof installation comes along, cause you’ll have two tear-offs to be done before they install the new roof. Save $1,000 now but expect to spend $2,000 or more in about 10 years, because that new roof will not last as long when installed on an existing roof.

How long does it take to roof a house?

Most homes of average size can take three to four days, which includes removing the old roofing. Other factors that can affect the time to roof a house are:

Style and type of roof installation materials

  • The size of the house
  • The tear-off
  • The roof decking
  • Additional issues like property owner association policies or historical significance 

What is included in roof replacement? 

There are various roof installation types, and when getting quotes for your roof, get a quote from several contractors before making your decision. Each quote should include the following: 

  • The Shingles – This is the visible part of a new roof installation you see from the ground and the material should come with a manufacturer’s warranty and the roofing contractor’s guarantee. You have choices to make such as colors, material types, and more, in which the contractor should review the options with you when providing a quote. 
  • The Flashing – This part of the new roof installation is thin strips of metal that are installed around the chimneys, dormers, pipes, vents and where walls are located or roof pitch changes. This prevents water from seeping under shingles and avoiding water damage.   
  • The Underlayment – Every new roof installation should include underlayment in the quote. This is a protective material that goes between the decking and the shingles and is often a felt paper material. They reinforce it with fiberglass to add strength that will resist tearing. It is a layer of waterproofing. 
  • The Drip Edge– If this is not on a quote, request it be added in or the roofing material manufacturer may not honor their warranty. This is a metal strip that is applied along gutter lines and eaves to stop water from getting seeping under the shingles which can damage the deck plywood. Drip edging protects the fascia and can add years to the roof life expectancy. 
  • The Ice and Water Shield – This protects your home from the elements and in northern areas, the protection against ice and water is essential and any new roof installation should include this as part of the job. This barrier against ice and water allows water to flow properly so that damage from high winds, rainstorms, and ice dams is minimized or eliminated. 
  • The Valleys – This is where two sloping planes of the roof meet and water runoff. Because of the amount of water that flows through the valleys, it is important they have extra protection and a new roof installation should include this protection. 
  • Ridge Vent -Without these vents, moisture builds up in the attic and rooftop, damaging the roof and the structure of the house. A new roof installation can have a variety of ventilation systems, and the ridge vent is the most popular. 
  • The Gutters – These aren’t mandatory, but it is worth the extra expense if you’re having a new roof installation job. Gutters take the rain that flows off the roof and sends it to the downspouts, which redirects it out and away from your house. This protects the roof and the foundation and your landscaping. 
  • The Fascia and Soffit – With any new roof installation, replacing the fascia and soffit are recommended, especially if having gutters installed since this is where they attach. 
  • The Plywood and Sheathing – Under all the items we’ve listed here, this is the decking that everything attaches to. This makes the solid structure of the roof.

What are the steps to roofing a house?

Every roofing contractor will have their own variations of these basic roof installation guidelines, but the basics are: 

  • Confirm and identify building codes
  • Apply for permits.
  • Purchase roofing materials.
  • Tear off old roofing
  • Install drip molding, flashing.
  • Mark nail spacing with chalk.
  • Complete new roof installation.
metal tile roof with ice dams

Can you replace your own roof?

You can, but why? Roofs are not a safe place for an inexperienced person to try their hand at being a DIY homeowner.  While there are videos online that show you how, and you can take a short class at most home improvement stores, think about your safety first and then think about the lack of warranty you’ll have if you do your own new roof installation. 

The roofing materials available today for homes is almost endless. Each contractor you interview will have the choices they work with, and some of those options to consider are:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Clay Tile
  • Concrete
  • Metal roofing
  • Solar tiles
  • Stone-coated steel
  • Slate
  • Rubber slate

As we stated in the beginning of this piece, your home is an investment and the roof is protection for that investment.  Make sure you are working with an experienced, licensed roofing contractor and get everything in writing. Follow up with check their references and if possible, do a drive-by of those houses.  Need roof installation in League City, TX? Call (281) 338-7663 today!