Re Roof Steps – How We Roof Your House

Re Roof Process – How We Do It Right

Re Roof Process of American RoofingThe following Re Roof installation procedure is the standard roof installation process used by us at American Roofing. It is subject to change, as it combines the installation methods from manufacturers and other industry related sources.


Pre Roof InspectionWe arrive at the job site and close off the area for the trucks and materials to move on and off the job site freely. Then proceed with set-up and pre-roof inspection, which includes removing lawn furniture, barbeque grills and other items around the base of the property to avoid any damage.

Tarp Installation

Tarps (optional) are installed at the roofs’ edge to minimize the amount of old debris falling directly on the ground and to minimize clean up. After the job is complete; the tarps also are installed to minimize the risk of damage to your property from falling debris.

Tarp Protection for Re Roof Job


Protecting your property is the most important part of any set-up. We tarp off all the windows and siding to help protect from fallen shingle debris. (Note: All the staging and fall protection are used on all job sites to be OSHA compliant.)

"Tear off" of roof shingles using Shingle Scraper


When we “tear off” a roof, we use a shingle scraper, which is basically a flat-blade shovel with some big teeth. There is a triangular “heel” welded to the bottom, which acts like a ramp to pivot the scraper against and lift the shingles from the roof.

Re Roof Tear offWe work from the top of the roof, and push downward. As the shingles fall, we pull all the nails out at the same time, using a constant force … pushing down popping the nails up, as we move down, helps with cleaning of the roof deck after the tear of the shingles.

Remove all Metal Ice Panels and Clean Shingle Debris Out of GutterWe remove all metal ice panels and drip edging at the bottom of the roof to ensure a clean and usable surface to install the new underlayment. (Note: We always clean all the shingle debris out of the gutters.)

While working on the re roof job site, we require all workmen to use all required equipment, such as safety glasses, hard hats, and fall protection gear to meet OSHA requirements. This is strictly enforced.

Re Roof Dump TrailerDisposal of old shingles: For clean-up and disposal of the old shingles, we use our dump trailers or small dump truck. After the roof installation is complete, a full clean-up of your property is done. Clean-up includes: raking the property to remove debris not caught in the tarps; a full magnet sweep of the area around the site to pick up loose nails; the removal of any and all staples or nails used to secure tarps.

Shingle DebrisIt can take up to an hour for 2 people to strip 10 squares of shingles. There will likely be many tiny pieces of shingle debris and many roofing nails which needed to be removed from the roof decking.

Plumbing Vent StackIf the plumbing vent stack has old metal flashing around it, and is sealed with roofing tar, it needs to be removed and the tar scraped off. We clean the roof deck good and sweep it with a broom.

Typical Roof Shingle ScrapThis is a typical scrap of shingle left behind by the shovels and pitch forks. We use shingle rippers which pulls all the nails out the first time around.

We Prepare the Roof Decking:

Rip Claw Hammer pulling out shingle debrisWe use a rip-claw hammer to pull out all the nails, and go over the roof deck and remove the small chunks of debris, and sweep the roof decking with a broom. Note: The roof deck is completely cleaned of all debris before the installation process begins.

Roof Decking with loose nailsTypically there will be boards with loose nails. (This roof deck used 1×10 boards, which were commonly used before plywood. We hammer down all nails and re-nail as needed. We inspect for large cracks or broken boards, and replace as needed.

Roof Decking BoardsThe ends of the roof boards might need to be re-nailed or loose nails hammered in to secure the roof decking boards. We make sure the roof sheathing or decking is secured before applying any underlayments.Securing roof decking

Patching Holes Or Replacing Rotten Wood:

Damaged Roof DeckingIf the roof deck is badly damage or has sustained major water damage, the roof decking may have to be completely replaced using new plywood or boards.Roof Decking needs to be replaced

Knot holes in the roof  were covered with aluminum  flashingWith this house, the larger knot holes in the roof were covered with aluminum flashing, which was stapled in place with a hammer stapler. We make sure the sheathing is in good shape and replace rotten boards if needed. Rotten Boards Replaced

Roof decking is an important part of the new shingle re roof application.

Note: After the shingles have been torn off, there are several steps commonly taken to “dry-in” a roof. New drip-edge is usually installed, new flashing may be installed around roof penetrations, and roofing felt (also known as tar paper) is installed as a vapor barrier and shingle underlayment.

Installing The Drip Edge:

Installing Drip EdgeAfter the roof surface is completely cleaned of debris and all loose boards have been fastened down, we install the drip edge along the eaves and up the gable ends using 1-1/4″ galvanized roofing nails.

New rite-flow drip edgeIf there are gutters on the home, we make sure the new rite-flow drip edge is used or the drip edge is over the lip of the gutter. This helps avoid problems with leaking behind the gutters.

ending the drip edge on the evesWhen ending the drip edge on the eves into the gable, we make sure the drip edge from the gable end goes over the lower drip edge. Note: We cut the gable end drip edge as a miter or angle cut. This avoids unsightly over lap at the bottom.

Ice & Water Shield And 15 # Felt Or Tar Paper Application:

Ice & Water ShieldIce and water shield is installed along the eves and in valley areas. This is extremely sticky. Once it’s applied, you can forget about peeling it off the roof deck. We start the roll from the gable, and put a fastener in the center and start to roll out the product.

Securing Tar PaperWe roll out the tar paper and secure it.

Vapor Barrier Protection with Ice & Water ShieldWe always cover the roof deck with some form of vapor barrier protection. We do not leave out any voids or wood exposed. Over the plumbing vent or the “Stink pipe boot”, we install a piece of ice & water shield over the top to help against leakage during violent weather conditions.

Overlapped and tight feltThe rows of tar paper or felt are overlapped by a few inches. We keep the felt tight to avoid and bubbles or air pockets in the product.

Ensuring Extra ProtectionAt the chimney, we install Ice & water shield lapped up the side of the chimney under step flashing to ensure extra protection. We also caulk under each piece of step flashing or under each of the shingles.

The Exciting Part: We Can Now Re Roof Your House with New Shingles!

The first thing we install is the starter stripStarter Strip, which is just a backing for the first visible row of shingles (it prevents water from getting through to the roof at the gaps between shingles, and at the notches between tabs). We always use pre-cut starter strips when available, or cut our own starters using 3-tab shingles for the starter course.

Starting from Lowest Point of RoofWe always start from the lowest point of the roof to make sure the shingles will line up when going around dormers, by using measurements and a caulk line with vertical lines up and down. All the shingles will match up during the height connection or point of finished level.

Staggering ShinglesWe carefully arrange or stagger the shingles so the ends and the tab notches do not lie directly above gaps in the shingle below. (If the gaps lined up, water could get directly onto the roof sheathing and then seep in through a nail hole.) Note how the shingle on the right (not yet nailed down) is a little longer than the first shingle in the row on the left (which has been nailed down).

scraps cut off from the first shingles in a progression  of rowsTo accomplish this “mis-matching of gaps”, we cut progressively larger amounts from the first shingle in each row as we work up the slope. One row would have nothing cut, the next row would have 6″- 12″ – 18” – 24” – 30” starter shingles to avoid herringbone look.

shingle overhangs the edge by about 1/8"Note how the first full shingle overhangs the edge by about 1/8″. This makes the water drip away from the fascia (the vertical board at the edge of the roof) and helps reduce deterioration of the fascia.

To Properly Re Roof, We Use Pneumatic Nail Guns:

Proper NailingThe nails are driven in just below the tar strip. The pneumatic nail guns makes it easier to fasten the shingles. We make sure to nail it the correct spot, and always use the 6-nails per shingle nailing pattern (Hurricane nailing pattern).

The Valley

The Valley

When we come to a valley, we “weave” the valley the proper way by overlapping each row of shingles from side to side. The look of this method is esthetically pleasing and is better at stopping penetration than any other method.

SkylightSkylights are correctly installed using the required step flashing kits, and also using ice & water shield around the wooden frame before installing the flashings. Note: this is an advance area and should be completed by a skilled roofer.

Starting at a corner  and working outwards and upwardsNotice the pattern of shingles as they are applied. This method of starting at a corner and working outwards and upwards is an efficient way for two people to apply shingles and not be in each other’s way. One person works horizontally and the other works up the diagonal. (This efficiency is one of the reasons we can get your re roof job done in just one day.)

Re Roof Job with Straight ShinglesThis method allows more shingle applicators or nailers to work in the same area to install the shingles faster and straighter than lifting the shingles for placement in some other application methods. We use a caulk line with marks for each row of shingles. This keeps the shingles straight, and looks much better than if we didn’t do this. The finished product will please you, the home owner, during the final inspection.

Shingling around the flangeThe shingles adjacent to the flange are adhered with roofing tar, and tar is applied as a sealant where the cut edges of the shingles meet the dome.

The Finished RoofThe finished Re Roof Job. The architectural-grade shingles have a pleasing textured appearance with the dimensional look.

To decide to re roof your own house yourself is a major, major undertaking, takes a great amount of knowledge and skill, and is also dangerous. So we highly recommend you only hire professional roofing contractors to re roof your house.