Are you interested in learning about commercial roofing? Here is a 5-minutes guide that will give you a fair understanding of roofing installation.
You can learn the basics of commercial roofing installation quickly, but doing the actual work can take a lot of your time and test your patience. If you are already into the residential roofing business, you must be aware of the nitty-gritty of roof installation.
However, to become an expert in commercial roofing, you need to learn the nuances of each type of roofing material, the tools and measurements, and their functionality, which will get better as you work on different projects.
It is a good idea to start talking to commercial roofing contractors in your network or search for a local roofing company like roofing Lubbock, TX, who can guide you with their experiences. It will help you in setting realistic expectations about learning commercial roofing installation.
Let us understand what goes into installing flat and low slope roofing systems.
Installing a commercial roofing system isn’t a one-man job. There are various sub-contractors responsible for raising the structure together. The chosen roofing system’s application depends on the type of roofing decided for the building.
The building owner picks the suitable roofing system after consulting a commercial roofing contractor.
Whether it’s a new roof installation or a replacement for a worn-out roof, the installation process doesn’t vary much. The process involves similar tools and techniques for each type of roofing material.
These are the basic steps to follow for roofing installation:
We recommend hiring an experienced roofer for this purpose. However, if you are determined to do it yourself, remember to wear all safety gear like a hard hat, work gloves, and a tool belt. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions while laying shingles.
Tear off the old roof and remove old flashing
You cannot place new shingles properly on a worn-out roof. Therefore, tear off the old shingles and remove the flashing. Make sure to remove the old nails as they will make holes in your new shingles. Also, remove all movable items around your house and secure them in a confined place. And cover the nearby plants and landscaping to avoid damaging them by the falling nails.
Install the underlayment and flashing
Flashing protects your roof from water, heat, and cold temperature. Lay asphalt, felt, or any other underlayment, and secure it with your staple gun. Overlap each row at least three to four inches.
After that, install a drip edge along the bottom of the roof and nail it using a hammer. Don’t forget to install flashing around the chimney and other valleys where two roof planes meet. These areas are more prone to leaks.
Install Starter Shingles
Install starter shingles around ½ inch past the drip edge. Ensure that the adhesive strip is at the bottom and facing upward, and nail the shingles. Start at the bottom and overlap as you move across and up the roof. The starter shingles are critical for the roof’s eave. They help in sealing the first course of shingles and provide water-shedding protection at shingle joints.
Install roof shingles
Finally, install the roof shingles by following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Be careful about the nailing. Faulty nailing is one of the biggest reasons for roofing failures. Place one nail about 2 inches from each end of a shingle. Then fix another nail an inch above each cutout. So, your next set of shingles should cover the nails by 1 inch vertically.
Cut your last shingle on each row to size, and repeat the process until you reach the ridge. Bend and nail the shingle over the ridge so that each side is equal.
Every commercial roofing installation is unique and requires different processes and techniques. Thus, there isn’t a fixed timeline for their installation. A lot depends on the roofing material, tools and techniques, and the roofer’s experience and skills. Qualified roofers may charge more than others, but they will install the roof in less time.
Skills required to become a commercial roofer
You don’t have to be highly educated to become a commercial roofer. If you are 18 and above and have the following skills, you can do the job well:
- Balance – As a roofer, you will be on the top of the building all the time, working on steep pitches. Thus, it’s critical to have a good body balance.
- Strength – You will need strength and stamina to carry heavy material onto the roof.
- Comfortable with heights – If you fear heights, you won’t be able to stand up on the roof. Roofers need to be steady in high places.
How can you learn more about commercial roofing installation?
Do some research
Before you start speaking to industry experts, research online and read about the roofing history, types, and installation techniques. There are many introductory videos and blogs available online that can give you some insights into commercial systems.
Pick one process at a time.
Commercial roofing installation includes multiple functions and techniques. To begin with, try picking up an easy-to-learn process. For example, learn roof coating. It is the process of providing an extra layer of protection to a roofing system without tearing down the old roof. This process is gaining a lot of popularity, and easy to get your hands on it.
Take up an apprenticeship under an expert.
You can find great learning opportunities by working under many government and private agencies as an apprentice. As an entry-level roofer, you will work under the direct supervision of a qualified commercial roofer; and learn to install various commercial roofing systems.
Attend tradeshows and seminars
Many international and local trade shows are organized every year to discuss the commercial roofing best practices and their tools and techniques. By attending these expos, you get an opportunity to talk to roofing vendors and see the latest roofing products and tools. Tradeshows are one of the best places to network with industry experts, which can open your pathway to becoming a successful commercial roofing contractor.