Laying a new roof does not have to be a complete disaster. Whether you are opting to lay the roof yourself, or getting a professional in – here are seven useful roofing tips that might come in handy.
- Always read through the instructions from the manufacturer before starting any work. Once this is done – make sure to follow the advice. You should find instructions for most roofing materials purchased and by following the instructions from the manufacturer, you are making sure that the warranty is not void.
- Always start laying the roof on the side that is mostly seen as it is easiest to get the first side laid with the most even appearance.
- Gable roofs: If you are right-handed it is best to start at the left rake as it allows you to freely swing your arm when working. If you are left-handed, start from the right rake. Interlocking tiles might have to be laid from the right in order to hook them accordingly.
- Hip roofs: Start at the centre by snapping vertical chalk lines at an equal distance from the corners. Once done, work from the centre and outwards in both directions.
- Both the starter course and the first course can be applied from the roof but it might be advisable to work from a ladder or scaffold to avoid getting dizzy. Press your hips between the rails of the ladder whilst working.
- Once you have finished the starter course and the first course, go to the starting point and lay a fan-shaped pattern of shingles rather than laying the shingles one layer at the time. After five courses move sideways and start another fan.
- When it comes to nailing the roofing materials down, make sure to use the correct type, length and number of nails. They will also have to be nailed down at the correct positions.
- Make sure to align shingles and tiles. If you are roofing over old materials, the new shingles should hopefully line up easily enough. For new roofs you will have to snap chalk lines in order to keep shingles or tiles aligned.
- You are very fortunate if your courses meet up nice and evenly at the ridge. Unfortunately, the chances are this is not the case. Hopefully you measured the roof before laying any materials and knew to compensate if it was not a perfect rectangle. You should compensate gradually by trimming the materials by the least obvious rake or alternatively, gradually shorten the exposure on the courses as you are going nearer the ridge.
As I have mentioned before – try to always clean and check over your gutters once you are doing work to your roof. This can save you both time and money.
As with most roofing projects it might be beneficial to take care of similar types of work at the same time as you are having your roof done. This could possibly be work relating to the gutters or the attic. If you are planning to insulate your attic, doing it at the same time as you are doing work to your roof is a great idea. A lot of a house’s heat is lost through the roof and by insulating an attic or a beamed ceiling you can cut your fuel bills by up to 30 percent. The job itself is relatively easy as well.
Amount of Insulation Needed
Different houses can have different amounts of insulation so what you need to do first, is to check how much insulation your house already has. Once you have done this, contact your utility company and find out what the recommended R-value is in your area for either attic or ceiling insulation. The R-value depends on the climate you live in and it indicates what degree of resistance a specific insulation material has when it comes to heat flow. This means that the higher the R-value is for a product, the better is its resistance.
Different Types of Insulation
When it comes to roof insulation, there are different types to choose between. The most commonly used ones are made of fibreglass or rock wool and they come as rigid insulation boards or batts. The rigid insulation boards are lightweight and come in different thicknesses. You can choose between boards of compressed fibreglass, polystyrene or urethane. If you have an unfinished attic, the panels should be installed between the attic floor joists. If you have exposed beam ceilings on the other hand, you can choose to install them between the ceiling rafters or on top of the actual roof deck. Just remember to do this before the shingles are laid though. If insulation boards are installed on top of the roof deck, I would advise you to put down another layer of wood decking on top of it. This is so you will have a more stable base to nail the shingles to. However, many roofing manufacturers would tell you to install the insulation underneath the roof deck instead. When it comes to unfinished attics, it is best to use batts and these are generally made of fibreglass or rock wool. They are fitted between the rafters or between floor joists and the batts are very ‘blanket- like’ and easy to use. Both types come in different thicknesses and widths.