Steps in a Roofing Installation


The first step in a roofing installation involves accurate measurements of the roof’s planes. This requires getting up on the roof, which is dangerous and should only be done by trained professionals. Always use ladder safety and secure your ladder to the roof using a fall prevention kit. To take your measurements, you will need a tape measure, a notepad, and a writing utensil. You will also need a ladder that is safe to climb. Check out to learn more.

As a roof is constantly exposed to the elements, it is important that it be constructed of durable materials. A roof can also serve as a major design element, communicating the character and style of a building. It’s for these reasons that there is such a wide variety of roofing materials available on the market today.

The type of roofing material selected will depend on the shape and climate of a building as well as the budget. Asphalt shingles are the most popular for residential use because they are inexpensive and offer a good lifespan. For commercial applications, metal, EPDM and built-up roofs are used.

For those who are environmentally conscious, a green roof can be made from sustainable materials such as rubber or recycled plastic. This type of roof offers many benefits including water resistance, thermal efficiency and low maintenance costs. It is also an excellent choice for homes in hot climates as it can help to reduce heat buildup.

Another alternative to a traditional roof is a membrane roof which can be made from a number of different materials such as rubber, PVC and PU. These types of roofs are designed to be leak-proof and offer good resistance to degradation from chemicals, ozone and ultraviolet radiation. They can be installed either loose-laid or mechanically fastened and are often installed over an existing layer of shingles or other roof covering.

An underlayment is an important part of a roof because it protects the underlying deck from moisture and wind damage. Underlayment can be made from a variety of materials including felt, tarpaper and vinyl. Some underlayment products are designed to prevent squeaks, while others are fire-resistant.

A roof vent is an essential part of any roof system as it provides a balanced flow of air in and out of the attic. This balance is crucial to prevent overheating and the accumulation of moisture which can lead to ice damming and other problems. A roof vent can be installed along the eaves or at the end of rafters and trusses.

A fascia board is a piece of wood that extends out from the edge of the roof and helps to keep it secure, as well as protect the boards from water damage. Fascia boards can be made from a variety of materials, but are commonly made from pressure-treated lumber.


A layer of underlayment is placed over a roof deck to provide additional protection. It helps prevent ice and water from building up at the roof edge, protecting your home from serious damage. The underlayment also serves as a moisture barrier, preventing any leaks from seeping into the floor of your home.

Generally, underlayment is composed of various materials like felt, foam or cork. Each type of underlayment offers a different level of insulation, sound absorption or durability. Choosing the best underlayment depends on your specific needs and goals for the room.

The most basic underlayment is black felt, which offers basic protection and can be purchased in a variety of thicknesses. Thicker layers offer more insulation and sound absorption, but can also be costly. Felt underlayment is typically stapled to the deck and each layer must overlap the previous one.

Another option is rubberized asphalt underlayment, which has a sticky back that bonds to the roof deck and provides a waterproof seal. This underlayment can be used at the eaves and in other low areas to prevent water from entering your home.

Foam or cork underlayment is a more environmentally friendly choice. Its flexibility helps it adjust to imperfections in the subfloor, while offering a slight buffer between the floor covering and the joists. It also helps regulate the temperature in your rooms and can absorb some of the impact noise from upstairs floors.

A self-leveling underlayment can be poured up to 1 in. thick, which is sufficient to cover most radiant floor tubing. The instructions on the bag will tell you how to mix the material and pour it.

A Schluter DITRA underlayment is a synthetic product made of polyethylene. It has a special grid pattern, with square cavities and a smooth surface that allows tile mortar to anchor within the holes as it hardens. The grid also prevents any underlying materials from bonding with the mortar and allows it to form a watertight seal over any cracks or gaps in the roof deck. This premium underlayment is recommended for tile roofing projects and can be purchased online or at your local building supply store.


Flashing is the thin pieces of impervious material installed to prevent water penetration at the seams between areas of a roof. This protects the roofing material and building, helps to decrease indoor mold and rot, and makes homes more energy-efficient. It is generally made from galvanized steel, which is rust-resistant, and it’s placed between the underlayment and the shingles on shingle roofs and on top of panels on metal roofs.

Typically, it is installed where roof leaks are most common, such as in the area of the valley between two sloping roof sections or around roof penetrations like chimneys, skylights and plumbing vents. It’s also used in areas where a wall meets a roof or where shingles meet other roofing materials such as tile or wood. Flashing is often hidden from view, but it’s very important to the overall health of your roof.

The most common flashing is called step flashing and consists of rectangular sheets of flashing material bent into an L-shape with the base nailed to the roof and the top secured to the side of the dormer, chimney or other protrusion. It’s particularly important to properly install step flashing in a roof valley, as it’s an area most susceptible to leaks. A professional roofing contractor will make sure that the flashing lays down flat and extends at least 8 inches above the gutter or other downspout, allowing for expansion and contraction of the roof.

Another type of flashing is known as a “counter flashing,” which is installed after the step flashing at roof penetrations. It’s made from a sheet of metal that’s resistant to corrosion, such as copper, lead or galvanized steel. It’s bent to fit the shape of the wall and then covered with a layer of the roofing underlayment and sealant.

Other types of flashing include kickout flashing, which is installed at the very bottom of a roof/wall intersection to deflect water away from the wall and into the gutter; sill flashing, which is concealed under windows or doors; channel flashing, which spans the thickness of a wall; and cap flashing, which covers the very top of a chimney or other protrusion. Most flashing is aluminum, but it’s also available in copper, galvanized steel and even lead.


One of the most common roofing problems is poor shingle installation. This is why hiring a professional is always the best idea. A pro will know how to properly install shingles, ensuring that your roof is watertight. Moreover, a professional will follow the strict guidelines set by shingle manufacturers. This is necessary in order to ensure that your roof will perform as intended and will also protect your warranty.

When shingles are installed correctly, they create a tight seal that keeps out rain and snow. Additionally, shingles provide insulation, protecting your home from the cold and helping to lower your heating and cooling costs.

Before beginning shingle installation, it is important to obtain a permit (if necessary) and strip the roof clean. Once this is done, it’s time to start installing the flashing and drip edge. In addition, if you have any valleys on the roof, they should be flashed at this point. Valleys are one of the most susceptible areas for leaks, and flashing will help keep them watertight.

After the flashing and drip edge are installed, you can begin applying shingles. It is important to start at the eaves and work your way up. When you get to the peak of the roof, it’s important to use a ridge cap that is installed with shingles going in opposite directions. This will ensure a tight seal and prevent ice from building up in the valleys.

During the shingle installation process, it is important to pay attention to nail placement. If a nail is not driven in properly, it can cause leaks. It is also important to use the proper nails, as the manufacturer’s guidelines will vary. For example, many shingle manufacturers recommend using 6 nails per shingle.

It’s also important to check the roof for any crooked or missing shingles. Lastly, once the shingles are finished, it’s important to re-attach any gutters that were removed and make sure that all areas requiring flashing are sealed, as well as the ridge cap.

Roofing is a dangerous job and should only be done by a professional who has experience and is not afraid of heights. It is also important to have a rented trash bin nearby to avoid tripping over empty shingle bundles and other debris.