Roofing Installation Basics

Roofing installation is a messy business. Please make sure you have tarps to catch debris and lay them down before you start work.


You will need a tall ladder to reach the roof, a tape measure and calculator to record precise measurements, and a diagram of the roof to break it down into smaller sections. Visit to learn more.

A roof inspection should take place before a roofing job starts. A true Roofer will walk the entire roof to inspect its structure and look for signs of damage and inadequacy in ventilation. He or she will also check that the craftsmanship is up to code. Unfortunately, if your home has been recently re-shingled it may not be in the best condition to pass an inspection due to present moss, mildew and broken shingles that could indicate the roof was rushed and not properly fitted.

In addition to examining the condition of the shingles, your contractor will inspect the flashing (the thin metal that lines penetrations like skylights, chimneys and vent pipes) for any rust or cracking. They will also look at the soffit and fascia boards, which protect the underside of the roof overhangs, for rot, warping and other damage. They will also check the gutters and downspouts to make sure that they are not blocked and that they are free of obstructions.

Finally, the roofer will look at the ventilation in the attic to make sure that it is functioning as it should to avoid heat and moisture build up that can shorten a roof’s life span.

It is a good idea to have any outdoor furniture or other items moved out of the way before starting work on a roof as the installation can cause vibrations that might move items inside the house. A professional roofing contractor will know how to mitigate this risk and will be able to advise you on the best way to safeguard your belongings. However, you should always be aware that a roofing job can create dust and debris that could potentially be tracked into areas of your home.


Roofing underlayment is installed on the roof deck prior to the installation of other roofing materials. It protects the roof structure and helps prevent water infiltration that can lead to structural damage and rot. It also serves as a barrier that keeps tar from the shingles from damaging the roof deck.

Most professional roofers use synthetic underlayment. It features a synthetic base that is saturated with asphalt to make it extra waterproof. It also has a coarse woven material to provide slip resistance. It is durable, resistant to UV rays and mold, and allows the roof to breathe.

It is usually a bit more expensive than felt underlayment, but it pays off in the long run. It also requires fewer fasteners, which reduces the chances of leaks and corrosion. Synthetic underlayment is also more flexible and easy to install. It is ideal for flat roofs, valleys, and penetrations, where leaks can occur.

The type of underlayment you choose depends on the roof covering and your jurisdictional requirements. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing underlayment. You should always check for proper head and side laps, as well as a moisture barrier.

Felt underlayment is more affordable than synthetic underlayment, but it is not as effective at protecting the roof. It is also susceptible to tear during installation, which can compromise its ability to act as a secondary barrier against water. Felt underlayment also becomes susceptible to mildew and mold if it gets wet, and it has a limited lifespan when exposed to sunlight. Synthetic underlayment, on the other hand, is more durable and can be used for extended periods of time. It is also more water-resistant than felt underlayment and can withstand high winds.


Shingles protect the roof from weathering, and they also add beauty. It’s important that the right pattern is followed when laying them. Most professional roofers use a basic shingle layout, starting with the eave, and working toward the ridges.

The first row of shingles — often called the starter course or strip — should overhang the drip edge by about a half-inch. This is to prevent water from getting under the shingles in the row below. The first full course of shingles will cover the starter course and fill in gaps left by cutouts and joints. This is where a roofing hatchet and/or a roof nailer with adjustable guides come in handy.

For the rest of the shingles, follow the shingle manufacturer’s instructions to align the rows and nail them. The shingle manufacturer may recommend using 4 or 6 nails per shingle, depending on the region and wind resistance.

Most of the shingles will be nailed to the roof with a hammer, but in areas that get a lot of rain and snow, a power shingle nailer can make the job much faster. To avoid nail heads poking out through the shingle, it is recommended that you apply a self-adhesive waterproof underlayment (also called an ice barrier), which adheres tightly to the bare sheathing and seals around the nails driven through it. It is available at roofing supply companies and home centers.

It takes about three bundles of shingles to cover 100 square feet (9.29 square meters). The area of your roof will be measured to determine how many bundles to buy. If you’re buying asphalt shingles, they are sold by the square and typically come tied together in bundles of 50 or 100.


A properly ventilated roof extends the life of your shingles, reduces maintenance costs and improves the indoor environment. It helps regulate temperature and expel excess heat in warmer months, as well as prevent moisture from leaking into living spaces, which can breed molds and fungus that require expensive professional cleanup. It is also required by many building codes.

Ventilation works on the simple principle that warm air rises. In summer, the sun heats air in the attic; a vented roof allows that hot air to escape so cool air can enter. In winter, the heat from your home warms attic air; a vented roof allows that warm air to escape as well. Ventilation is essential in all climates, whether it’s to protect the shingles from condensation or to ease the load on your air conditioning system.

Roofing ventilation comes in many different forms, but they all follow the same basic principle. There are passive vents that rely on natural convection to work, such as gable end vents or turtle vents (also called box vents). Another popular option is ridge vents with plastic flaps. A more recent development is the turbine vent, which has non-motorized turbines that spin when air moves through them; this allows the attic to recirculate 10 or 12 times an hour.

The roofer will mark spots for the vents, which are usually spaced about 6 feet apart along the attic floor. They may install a ridge vent in sections, or they might use a shingle-over style that’s one continuous piece of aluminum or vinyl. They will then cut out the sheathing at those spots, then nail a ridge vent into place at each location. They will secure and weatherproof the vent according to manufacturer instructions, which may include caulking or putting a shingle cap on top of each ridge vent.

Soffit and Fascia

A soffit is found tucked under the fascia and is an essential part of the roofline to help with ventilation, weather protection and to prevent water damage around your home. It is a good idea to address any issues with the soffit and fascia as soon as possible to avoid problems that can become more severe over time.

Soffits are made from wood, fiber cement or aluminum and can be installed at the same time as your roof or gutters. You can also choose to have them painted or stained, depending on the look you want for your home. Wood or fiber cement soffits need to be painted regularly to protect them from moisture and insects, while aluminum is maintenance-free.

Fascia boards are normally made from a timber or wood, but can also be manufactured from PVC or aluminium. They can be painted or stained, and some are available in a variety of colours to match your home, or even provide a more modern look to your property. Wooden fascias will need to be regularly sanded and treated, while uPVC is highly durable against rotting or warping and is resistant to moisture.

A properly installed fascia board will extend to the edge of your roof rafters. If it does not, you can expect to see moss growth, wood rot and damp problems on the underside of your home. The eaves can also be prone to wasp nests, so it is important to install a fascia that has a smooth surface to discourage them from landing and penetrating the boards. The best way to secure a fascia board is to use 2-inch long stainless steel nails that are pre-drilled with holes aligned every third groove or section of the soffit.

What Is Roofing?

Cambridge Roofing is the construction and installation of a roof that protects a home from rain, snow, sunlight, and wind. It involves selecting and installing the best materials to suit a particular climate.

Slate, for example, adds an elegant look to a home and is long-lasting but costly. A skilled, experienced tradesman best installs it.

There are many different types of roofs, and they are designed to protect homes from rain, snow, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. They can also add value to a home, especially if properly maintained. Roofing services can help homeowners choose the best roof for their needs and can advise them on the materials to use. These materials can include metal, wood shingles, or asphalt shingles.

There are also many different roof styles, including gable, flat, and hipped roofs. A gable roof is triangular, with one side of the roof sloping downward and the other sloping upward. This type of roof is commonly seen in houses. A flat roof is a style that is not sloping, often found in dry places where water drainage is not important.

A hipped roof is a type of roof that has sloping sides and a curved top. This type of roof is commonly seen in older homes. A shed roof is not sloping but is attached to a building or another structure. This type of roof is often used to cover an outdoor shed or garage.

Finally, a sawtooth roof is a type of roof that has teeth-like edges and is typically found on industrial buildings. A clerestory roof has an interior wall built extending above one section of the roof, then lined with windows. This allows much natural light into the room below the clerestory.

Maintaining the latest roofing trends is essential for roofing contractors, as it helps them keep their customers happy. Knowing the types of roofs available can make it easier for contractors to recommend the right roof to their customers, helping them save money in the long run.

Different roofing materials include metal roofs, wood shingles, clay tiles, and membrane roofing. Each type of material has its unique properties and advantages. For example, metal roofs are durable and long-lasting, while shingles provide a classic look that can complement any house. Clay tiles are more expensive than shingles but offer superior thermal insulation and water resistance.

A wide variety of roofing materials is available for home builders and homeowners. These materials vary in color, texture, and base ingredients. Still, all serve the same purpose – to defend the exterior of a building from weather elements like rain, snow, direct sunlight, and extreme temperatures.

Choosing the right roofing material is a major decision that impacts your house’s resale value. For this reason, you should choose a material that fits your local climate, aesthetic preferences, and budget.

The most popular residential roofing material is asphalt shingles, but many other options exist. Wood shingles and shakes are a traditional choice that adds beauty to a home and is durable against weather elements. However, they are less long-lived than other roofing materials and can be a fire hazard in areas where wildfires are common.

Another roofing option is clay tile, which adds a distinctive, layered look to a roof. It’s also resistant to water damage, rot, and insect infestation and is extremely durable, capable of lasting 50 years or more. Metal roofs are another high-end roofing material that provides exceptional durability. They can withstand severe storms, including tornadoes and hurricanes.

Rolls of flat roofing materials like EPDM and rubber or thermo-polyolefin (TPO) are commonly used on low-slope or flat roofs today. However, these roofs can still be vulnerable to leaks and require regular maintenance to keep them supple and in good condition.

Another type of flat roof is built-up, constructed from multiple plies of salt-saturated organic felt or coated fiberglass felts. It’s usually covered with gravel, which protects the roof from ultraviolet degradation, stabilizes temperature changes, and helps keep the membrane watertight. This type of roof is also called a single-membrane system and can be a great option for commercial buildings.

Roofing is the construction and installation of a roof that protects a home or building from rain, snow, wind, sunlight, and other weather elements. It involves selecting the materials, preparing the roof deck, and installing various roofing coverings to ensure proper protection. It also includes replacing or repairing flashing, the material that runs around chimneys, and where the roof planes meet.

Before beginning any re-roofing project, it is important to ensure that the roof deck is in good condition and free of damage. It is also important to check that the roof’s underlying ventilation is functioning properly. If the underlying deck is damaged or not adequately ventilated, the new roofing system will not be as effective.

Regarding re-roofing, choosing a contractor with experience working with the type of roof you have installed is best. In addition to local references, you should also ask for proof of licensing and insurance. You can find out if a contractor is licensed and insured by visiting your state’s website or calling your homeowner’s insurance company.

Whether installing a new roof or replacing an old one, re-roofing is a major undertaking and a significant financial investment. To help ease your anxiety, it is helpful to know a bit about the process so that you can work with a contractor to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

A homeowner needs to have their roof inspected regularly. The inspection must be done by someone who knows what to look for. A checklist should be used to review the same items each time. This makes problem detection easier and prevents small issues from becoming major problems.

A roofing professional should examine the condition of a home’s roof from the ground and then get on the roof to get a closer look. The inspector should also examine the attic’s interior to see if water leaks through any ceilings. They should check that the soffit materials are in good condition and that gutters and downspouts are free of clogs. They should also ensure that scupper boxes are clear and that the internal/inner drains are not blocked.

Other items that need to be checked include missing, loose, or damaged shingles. In addition, the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights should be examined for any signs of wear. The flashing helps to direct rainwater away from areas where the roof plane meets a vertical surface, like a chimney or dormer. It is made from galvanized steel and can become corrupted over time.

Trimming tree branches that hang over the roof is a good idea so they don’t break during heavy storms. These are a common cause of roof damage. The roof should be inspected after severe weather events to ensure the roof is intact and that any damage has been repaired.

The design, materials selection, and roofing installation ensure that a building’s uppermost surface is protected against rain, snow, wind, sunlight, and other environmental elements. This includes determining the best roof pitch for an existing structure and designing and installing new roofing that satisfies various aesthetic and performance criteria.

Roofing material choice can also have an impact on energy costs. For example, some slates absorb the sun’s rays and transfer heat downward into a building, whereas others reflect light and heat upward into space. Some roofing materials, like tin, are also naturally reflective and can help reduce cooling bills in warmer climates.

When choosing a roofing contractor, selecting one with experience and a good track record is important. Generally, it is wise to research local companies online and through other sources to ensure they are reputable and qualified. In addition, it is important to inspect the existing roof for damage and rot before beginning any work. If the existing roof is damaged, it may be necessary to replace it entirely.