Steps in Roof Installation

roof installation

To determine roof pitch, you will need a ladder that can reach the edge of your roof, measuring tape and a carpenter’s level. Be sure to place the level so it reads about 12 inches.

Water and ice barriers, also called underlayment, are installed next for extra protection against moisture damage. These are nailed down with close nails around the edges and then spread out more towards the middle. To learn more, Visit Website.

As part of the process of replacing an old roof, it is necessary to remove all existing shingles and roofing components. The shingles themselves can be rolled up, but most contractors prefer to tear off the roof sheathing and all materials underneath it as well, so that the new shingle installation is done on a clean surface. This step is usually a two-person job and should be completed when the weather is not too bad. It can take some time to carefully dismantle and dispose of an entire roof, so the contractor will need to work in 2 or 3 foot sections, taking extra care around chimneys, skylights, and other features.

Before getting started, the contractor will set up several roof jacks on the roof to support him while working. This is essential for the safety of everyone involved, as it helps prevent the old shingles and roof components from sliding off of the roof during the process. The contractor will also cover any shrubbery or other landscaping near the house with tarps to prevent damage from falling debris. The tarps should be placed down before starting the process of tearing off the shingles, as they will catch most of the loose nails and other debris.

Start at the ridge cap, and then work your way down the roof, pulling off the shingles in 2- to 3-foot sections. This will save you some back strain as you move down the roof, and it will help prevent some of the shingles from ripping off the felt paper beneath them. Once you are at the eaves, remove any remaining flashing around plumbing vents and other structures.


The underlayment is a crucial layer of protection between your home’s framing and the roof covering. There are a number of different types, and each offers its own specific benefits. For instance, foam underlayment is easy to install and offers cushion, insulation, and moisture protection. Cork underlayment, on the other hand, provides natural mold resistance and sound reduction. If your budget is tight, there are also acoustical underlayments made from recycled granulated rubber tires that can be used to quiet noise.

Before laying your underlayment, you’ll want to ensure that the subfloor is flat and perfectly dry. This will give the underlayment a solid foundation, and it’ll also help prevent any leaks. Next, make sure to lay your underlayment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some underlayments come with pre-attached adhesive, which can save you time and effort, while others require you to use a separate product for this purpose. Finally, make sure that your tools are in good condition and that you’re wearing proper safety equipment like a hard hat and eye protection.

Most underlayment is nailed to floor joists with a nail gun, but some can be glued as well. The best way to secure the underlayment is to start with the longest side of the room and work your way out. When you’re done, check the underlayment to ensure that it’s not lifting up at the edges or the corners. If it is, you can reattach it using underlayment tape or duct tape. This process will keep the underlayment in place while you’re installing flooring or other finishes.


Before the shingles go on, it’s important to make sure that the underlayment is well-nailed. In addition to keeping the roof deck dry, this step helps prevent shingle failure due to nail penetration. Nails should be hammered flush with, but not into, the underlayment. Proper nail placement is also a factor in the shingles’ wind resistance. Four nails per shingle are recommended, though six are preferred in high-wind areas.

The first row of shingles is called the starter course. It is a strip of three-tab shingles that has its self-sealing adhesive strip facing up along the eaves. This row is installed with a slight overhang of 1/8 to 3/8 in. over the drip edge. Nail this course on top of the underlayment using four roofing nails per shingle, as instructed by the manufacturer’s product instructions (six in high-wind areas).

After installing the starter course, you can begin laying shingles. Most pros recommend working left to right toward the ridge line of the roof, starting with a full starter shingle at the eaves. This shingle is followed by five more shingles of proportionally decreasing size, each slightly overlapping the next one in the same column.

In some cases, the corners of a shingle should be dugged to help water flow safely downslope. This is especially critical in roof valleys, where water can collect and rot the wood supports that are underneath the shingles. To dubbed a shingle corner, cut a small triangle off of the bottom edge. This ensures that any water that hits the dubbed edge will be diverted into the valley and away from the main part of the roof. It is also helpful to install metal flashing around plumbing stacks, vents and other roof penetrations.


Flashing protects the edges of a roof from water damage and helps shed water from the shingles. It’s made from metal, ranging in thickness and color from zinc, copper or lead to galvanized steel. It’s important to have a roofing professional install the flashing correctly, as mistakes can lead to leaks and other problems. Look for signs of flashing damage, including a water stain on the siding or a softening of the shingles near the flashing.

Roofers use different flashing materials based on the type of roof they’re working on, the climate where the house is located and other factors. The material is shaped to fit around penetrations like chimneys, vents and skylights. It’s also installed in roof valleys, where the meeting of two sloping roof planes create an angle that can leak if not protected.

When installing the flashing, a contractor must ensure it’s properly fitted and overlapping the shingle courses to prevent leaks. Flashing is usually cut to the size of the roof penetration, then bent and nailed in place with special fasteners. It’s also often wrapped with a strip of shingle material for additional protection.

A contractor must also install a piece of flashing at the corner where the roof meets the wall, called a kickout flashing. The contractor may have to hammer in some nails at the top of the roof for this step. The contractor then places the next piece of flashing, overlapping the first, and applies sealant. This flashing is then nailed in place with the roofing nails.

Other areas that require flashing include the base of any chimneys on a sloped roof, and the bases of hood or pipe vents. Flashing is also needed around the base of any skylights. These skylights typically have raised wood curbs that make it easy for a roofing contractor to place flashing around them.

Ridge Cap

The ridge cap is the trim placed along the peak, or ridge, of the roof. It protects the ridge line from rain and snow, while also providing added insulation and weatherproofing. It is typically installed only after the metal roof panels and other trim are in place.

Roof ridge caps come in two forms: solid and vented. Vented ridge caps often incorporate ridge vents that provide additional ventilation to the attic, helping prevent moisture buildup and mold growth in the attic. Solid ridge caps are typically more durable and offer a cleaner, more attractive finish.

When installing ridge cap shingles, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It’s important to ensure proper alignment and overlapping, as well as fastening the ridge cap securely. If the ridge cap is not properly installed, it can be vulnerable to damage and leaks. Additionally, make sure to regularly inspect the ridge cap for signs of damage and repair them promptly.

Metal roofing ridge caps are designed to overlap the shingle tabs by about six inches. They are normally sold in pieces 10 feet to 12 feet long and are typically centered on the ridge. To keep rain, debris and insects from seeping through the gaps between the ridge cap and roof panel ribs, closure strips are used.

When securing the first piece of ridge cap metal, make a chalk line at one inch from each edge of the ridge cap. This will help you center the ridge cap on the ridge and mark where to cut the final piece to size while accounting for the six inch overlap. After cutting the ridge cap to size, apply silicone sealant to the inside of the one inch mark you made. Then, apply butyl tape to the outside of the ridge cap to help hold it in place.