What Is the Process of Replacing a Roof?

Table of Contents

You look up at your roof and it’s clear to see: it’s in need of a replacement. So, you call up your local Maryland roofing contractor and you schedule an appointment. All you have to do now is sit and wait. 

But now you’re curious: what exactly is the process of replacing a roof? Ask and ‘ye shall receive; we’re going to get into the specifics below. 

The Roof Replacement Process

Replacing a roof isn’t as simple as just nailing in some shingles and calling it a day. There are a number of steps involved in the process, all of which we’re going to discuss now. 

Remove Existing Roofing Materials

The process begins with the removal of existing roofing materials. These materials include everything from shingles to flashing to edging to nails and the like. They must be removed in their entirety before new roofing materials can be installed. 

Though it’s not usually necessary, you might have to remove damaged sheathing as well. Your roofing contractor will make this determination during the replacement. 

Make Minor Repairs

Once the materials have been removed from the roof, the roofers will make small repairs to the sheathing that remains. Any sheathing that was removed will be replaced with new sheathing.

Implement Ice Dam Protection

If the roof is in a snowy area, it will require ice dam protection. Ice dam protection makes a roof more durable, ensuring that it doesn’t succumb to premature water damage.

Generally speaking, ice dam protection includes the installation of a waterproof membrane. This membrane is designed to block melted ice from making its way through the primary structure of the roof. 

Install Roofing Paper

Next, roofing paper is installed, covering the entirety of the roofing structure. This paper is stretched tight, stapled down, and eventually covered with the surface roofing material. 

Roofing paper is vital in preventing water damage. It also helps to keep water out of the attic below. 

Install Edging

Once the roofing paper has been installed, edging will be installed over the eaves and gables of the roof. This edging provides additional water protection, ensuring that the underlying structure of the roof does not deteriorate prematurely. 

Add New Flashing

Though it’s not always necessary, it might be necessary to add new flashing to the roof. Flashing goes in the valleys of the roof (the spots where two different portions of the roof meet). 

When flashing is installed, it’s nailed down and then caulked. Like edging and roofing paper, it offers water protection. 

Install Surface Material

Next, the surface material will be installed. Whether this material is asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, metal panels, or otherwise, it will be installed from the bottom up. Generally speaking, surface materials will be held down with nails. 

Add Supplemental Flashing

Though the valleys of the roof are the areas that most require flashing, they aren’t the only areas that require flashing. It’s also necessary to add flashing to the areas around chimneys, vents, and other spots through which water might flow. 

Establish Ridge Vents

If you want to get the most out of your roof, you have to keep your attic ventilated. One of the keys to doing this establishing ridge vents. Ridge vents sit atop the peaks of roofs, allowing air to rise and leave the underlying attic as needed. 

Clean Up the Surrounding Area

Throughout the roof replacement process, materials are bound to have been thrown at the foot of the house. As such, after the roof has been replaced, the roofers will need to clean the area up.

Not only will they need to clean up obvious waste such as shingles and sheathing, but small bits of waste as well. Reputable roofing companies will use magnetic tools in order to pick up nails.

Tools and Materials Needed

In order to carry out the roof replacement process, a number of tools and materials are needed. These tools and materials include the following. 

Roofing Materials

There are a number of materials that can be used to roof a house. While asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material, there are also cedar shakes, metal panels, clay tiles, slate tiles, and concrete tiles, to name just a few. 

Each of these materials comes with its own set of pros and cons. Whereas some are more aesthetically pleasing than others, others are more durable, or low-maintenance, or cost-effective. 

In addition to your surface roofing material, you will also need sheathing, edging, an ice dam membrane, and roofing paper. Oh, and you’ll need a bunch of nails as well. 

Roofing Tools

While you could conceivably replace a roof with the use of only a ladder, a hammer, a utility knife, and a measuring tape, you might end up finding the process to be time-consuming, tiresome, and unsafe. As such, there are a number of other tools that are recommended

For safety purposes, you’ll need a high-quality pair of work boots and a safety harness. While work boots will provide you with much-needed traction, a safety harness will catch you in the event of a fall, potentially saving your life. 

For practical purposes, you’ll need a tool belt, a t-shirt, and — more than likely — some sunscreen. Roofing replacements generally take place during the summertime and often lead to some pretty nasty sunburns. 

Additional tools that you should use include a nail gun, a chalk line, a pry bar, and a caulk gun. You might also need a saw in order to cut sheathing. 

Need Help Replacing a Roof in Maryland?

Is your roof nearing its end? Need help replacing a roof in Maryland, specifically? If so, DMV Roofing Pros is the company to call. 

Experienced, insured, and certified, we’ve replaced a bevy of roofs throughout the state of Maryland. Regardless of the roofing material you’re working with, we can accommodate you. 

Contact us now for a free estimate! 

Don’t Stop Here

There's More Roofing Knowledge To Explore