We’ve all seen roofers at work on homes and businesses, but did you ever wonder what it takes to be a roofer? Perhaps you’re thinking of a career in roofing. Or, maybe you are a homeowner ready to hire a roofer for your roof project and want to know what to look for and expect from them. Here’s some information to know about roofers.
Skills That Roofers Need
Roofing is not for everyone, but it can be a rewarding career that provides a chance to develop skills and use initiative to meet project goals and deadlines. A roofing career can also provide a good living.
What does it take to be a roofer? Roofers first of all must be comfortable working at heights for long periods of time. They must have good balance and stamina, and the strength to climb ladders, carry equipment and materials, and work on different kinds of roofs, some sloped.
Roofers use many different hand tools, such as a roofing hammer, nail gun, hammer tacker stapler, air compressor and circular saw, to name a few. An experienced roofer will be familiar with a range of roofing tools, materials and roof components. On the job, they need to be able to identify and report obvious defects in any materials they are installing. They will need to read and follow drawings and specs that are a guide to the project they are completing.
You can see a good roofer is a good multitasker. Along with passing a safety training course, the roofer knows and applies safety rules and operates equipment safely. Roofers will have a good understanding of roofing standards, and be sure their work meets roofing code. And, as with all workers where teamwork is important for both a good project result and the safety of others, the roofer works well with his team and is ready to help where he’s needed to get the job done.
What Kind Of Things Does A Roofer Do?
Roofers have to make sure that the roof they install is going to last and provide reliable protection for the homeowner or business owner for years to come. This means the roof has to be properly installed, waterproof and stable, so that the home is protected from weather events like wind, rain, snow or ice. Roofers build and install a variety of roofs, working with materials like asphalt or wood shingles, tile, slate or metal.
When providing roof repair services, the roofer will estimate the time and materials needed to fix the problem. In some cases, if damage is widespread and the roof is failing, he may recommend a roof replacement.
There are a lot of steps to completing a roofing job, where planning, experience, and the right tools and materials are important to doing it right. Here are some basic steps in building a new roof:
- Remove the old roof and underlayment and inspect for any structural damage or other issues before beginning the new installation.
- Install the new underlayment and attach it to the roof. This will provide the waterproof barrier under the roof materials and help prevent leaks. If the area is prone to freezes, an ice barrier may also be installed to prevent ice damming.
- Install vents, pipes and other fixtures that need to be under the roof tiles to protect from water penetration.
- Begin installing the roof tiles or shingles. Starting from the bottom up, the shingles are nailed in place in a repeated pattern. Proper alignment and adherence to the nail line is key, so that the roof will be tight and uniform to give the best protection from water penetration as well as look great from the ground.
- Install and secure flashing around chimneys, vents and fixtures to close any gaps that could let moisture in.
- Install the ridge caps at the top of the roof and any gables. A ridge vent may also be installed at this point to provide a source of ventilation along the top line of the attic.
- Finishing the roof includes inspecting the work and going through a checklist to be sure all steps are completed. There may be gutters that need to be installed or reconnected and some painting of fixtures or other parts to match the home’s colors.
- Lastly, the roofers will clean up and transport away any debris so there is no sign of the project left behind except the brand new roof.
Training and Licensing for Roofers
While many roofers learn their fundamental skills on the job, professional roofers have qualifications that are important to making sure that the new roof is built to the highest standards and meets local building codes as well as the manufacturer’s specifications. To get the most for your roofing project look for a roofer that has the following:
- Licensed with the state or local government. Licensed roofers have proven skills and experience to be able to deliver professional results. They will understand and adhere to building codes, making sure your new roof is safe and will perform as expected. They will offer you a written contract and provide a warranty for your project.
- Insurance. Your licensed roofing contractor will carry insurance that protects his crew and the client in case of an injury or other accident on site. This includes liability and worker’s compensation insurance coverage.
- Manufacturers’ Certifications. Most roofers carry materials from manufacturers they trust for quality and selection. Manufacturers usually have specific instructions for properly installing and maintaining those products. The best roofers will have obtained training and certification in some of these that they may specialize in. This lets them offer the best service and also helps them meet warranty requirements. The roofer undergoes training and must meet all requirements for certification.
- OSHA Safety Compliance. Professional, licensed roofers are trained in safety protocols and use specialized fall prevention safety equipment. They comply with OSHA safety and safety training requirements for roofers, protecting the workers from harm and also protecting the property and safety of their clients.
When It Comes to Roofing, Experience Counts
Providing quality roofing services requires knowledge, experience and training, as well as a work crew who work as a team to get the job done right and deliver on time. At Prestige Roofing we take pride in our experienced and dedicated crew. Each one of the team is an important part in our ability to build and deliver beautiful roofing to our clients in the Las Vegas area. From shingles and cement tile roofs, to custom roofing with reclaimed European tiles or custom copper or zinc designs, our talented team delivers top quality roofing for our clients. Visit our photo galleries to see some of our projects over the years, or give us a call at 702-646-7536 for more information.
Tom Romney has been working in the roofing industry for over 25 years. He is the co-founder of Prestige Roofing in North Las Vegas, providing luxury custom roofing services for homes and businesses in Southern Nevada, Utah and Arizona.