What Is Roofing Installation?

Whether you’re building a new home or replacing an old roof, roofing installation is essential for protecting your house and adding beauty and value. But what does it entail?Roofing

A complete roof tear-off is necessary if you’re installing a new roof, but re-roofing is an option for existing homes with moderate damage. Contact Roofing Wilmington DE for professional help.

The underlayment is a layer of material placed between the roof deck and the shingles or other roof-covering. It acts as a moisture barrier to prevent wind-driven rain from penetrating the home through the roof and can increase the lifespan of metal roofing materials by slowing deterioration caused by entrapped moisture.

There are many different types of underlayment, and each has its own unique properties designed to match the needs of homes in various climate zones. Underlayments can also vary in material, from traditional asphalt saturated felt to more modern synthetic underlayment. The type of underlayment used will depend on the requirements of the roof-covering manufacturer and jurisdictional building codes.

Felt underlayment is the most common underlayment used for residential roofs. It’s available in several different grades, from 15-lb. to 30-lb., which refer to the thickness of the paper used and the level of asphalt saturation. It is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant and has some UV protection. Most contractors will use a synthetic underlayment over felt to protect against the weather and for improved longevity.

Rubberized underlayment is a more advanced product that contains rubber and asphalt polymers to help make it extra waterproof. This type of underlayment is useful for places that experience harsh winter weather, as it can help protect the roof from damage in areas such as valleys, vents, chimneys, skylights and other penetrations. Rubberized underlayment also features a non-skid surface, designed to make it safer for roofers to install over.

Regardless of what type of underlayment is used, it’s important that it be fastened to the roof deck properly. Most underlayments will have reference lines to help roofers determine the proper horizontal course-run overlaps, which are typically around 4 inches. It’s also important to avoid end laps if possible, and that all the underlayment be nailed down firmly. Using button cap nails is highly recommended for high-wind areas or with synthetic underlayments, as they provide a stronger hold and can prevent holes from being created in the underlayment when nailing.


Shingles are thin pieces of building material that cover and protect roofs. They are usually layered in overlapping rows and are often made of different materials, including wood, clay, slate or asphalt. Roofing shingles help keep water and debris from damaging the underlayment or interior of your home, and they also provide an attractive design element. A good quality shingle can last for decades with little maintenance, though occasional cleaning may be required to remove moss or other debris.

The most common type of shingle is an asphalt shingle, which can be purchased in a wide variety of colors and styles. These shingles are designed to withstand decades of weathering and can be aesthetically pleasing, depending on the color you choose.

Other types of shingles include cedar shingles, which are lightweight and easy to customize. They can be cut, sawn or stained to match any design aesthetic. They are also long-lasting and require little maintenance, but regular inspections may be necessary to prevent damage from hail or other hazards.

A new shingle typically has an outer layer of quarried and crushed stone granules that helps protect the asphalt layers beneath from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The granules also help provide fire resistance. Underneath the granules, you will find an asphalt layer that acts as a waterproof barrier to protect your home from rain.

Leaks most commonly occur where the shingle layer is penetrated, interrupted or meets with a wall or other roof surface. These areas are protected with flashing, which is a sheet of corrosion-resistant metal that is installed over the underlayment and shingles. If you have chosen to use open valleys on your roof, IKO recommends that they be lined with a pre-formed width of metal before the shingles are applied.

Premium/designer shingles are available for high-end design aesthetics and enhanced performance characteristics, such as impact resistance. They are typically more expensive than standard asphalt shingles, but they can provide a richer visual appeal for your roof and may offer greater longevity than standard shingles. A roofer will be able to advise you on the best shingle options for your home’s architectural style and climate.


A crucial part of roofing installation is flashing, which protects areas where the roof meets other structures on the building. Without proper flashing, water could leak into these joints, causing mold, mildew and other problems with the underlying structure.

Flashing is thin pieces of corrosion-resistant metal bent into shape to cover the joints. It’s typically made of galvanized steel or aluminum, but other materials may be used as well. For example, lead is sometimes used for chimney flashing because it is easy to form and work with. Generally, roof flashing is installed where a roof penetration, such as a chimney or plumbing vent, intersects with the wall. This also includes the roof valley, where two downward slopes meet.

There are many different types of flashing, each suited to a specific purpose. For example, step flashing is a piece of bent metal that goes over the vulnerable crease where a roof and vertical wall meet. This type of flashing is commonly used for plumbing vents and skylights, because it provides a barrier against water leaks.

Corner flashing is a piece of flashing that covers the corner where two shingles meet. It can be formed from a piece of regular step flashing or from copper, which is more durable. Alternatively, it can be purchased pre-bent from a roofing supplier. To form the corner, tin snips are used to cut along a line about half-way through the center fold of the flashing. The resulting triangle is then bent tightly around the corner, and roofing cement or caulk is applied to secure it.

Long pieces of flashing may need to have expansion joints included, as they can have trouble flexing as the home expands and contracts. Otherwise, they could break or warp, allowing water into the home.

Other types of flashing include base flashing, which is installed where the roof plane and a vertical protrusion, such as a pipe or dormer, meet. Counter flashing is installed above this, to direct water away from the joint. Kickout flashing is another type of flashing, located at the bottom of a roof/wall intersection. This is specially formed to deflect water into a gutter, rather than down the wall.

Ridge Cap

Located at the very top of your roof, the ridge cap is one of the most vital components in a roofing system. Specifically designed for the area where two roof slopes meet, ridge caps provide superior weather protection for this vulnerable seam, helping to safeguard against leaks and other structural damage. They also provide enhanced ventilation and enhance the overall aesthetic of your roof, adding to its overall durability and resilience.

In addition, ridge capping helps to direct water away from this critical seam, protecting the entire structure of your home. This is an essential feature, especially in areas that are prone to heavy rain or snowfall, as roof leaks can cause significant and expensive structural damage within the home.

When installed properly, a quality ridge cap can add up to 20 years of longevity to your roof. In fact, it acts as a guardian of longevity for the rest of your roof, helping to prevent premature wear and deterioration and potentially saving you from costly roof repair or even a full replacement down the road.

Installing a ridge cap is relatively simple, though it requires specialized tools and knowledge. Generally, a professional will use an adhesive or roofing cement to secure the ridge cap shingles or tiles, which are then fastened to the underlying roof panels using nails or screws. For the best results, it’s a good idea to apply additional sealant or roofing cement to strengthen and reinforce the waterproofing.

The first step is to measure the ridge cap and mark it with a chalk line. Next, a layer of butyl tape sealant is applied to both sides of the ridge cap. Finally, the inside and outside foam closure strips are positioned to cover the butyl tape. Once the cap is in place, it is fastened to the roof panels using the ridge fasteners.

When it comes to the safety of your roof, it’s best not to walk on it yourself unless you have extensive experience in the trade. Untrained individuals are more likely to drop tools, mishandle HVAC materials, or otherwise cause damage that could expose your home to moisture. In addition, walking on a roof can lead to injuries if you fall or lose your balance.