So you have finally made the decision to replace your home's entire roof. Given the major expense and the hassle, it is understandable why homeowners do not do this type of home construction project every day. If you are feeling a little anxious or a little worried about what is about to happen, here is a summary of what you can expect during a typical roof replacement job.
All of the Shingles are Sloughed Off
The first step that your roofing crew will do is remove all of the shingles. This means that they will erect platforms to climb up or use ladders to get up onto your roof, then start scraping and pushing the old shingles down. If you are going to be home during this time but need to leave for any part of the day, it is advisable that you watch and listen very carefully for falling shingles so that they do not land on your head! Underneath the shingles is the roof underlay, and your roofing contractor will decide what to do with this roof layer.
Removing the Underlay or Reusing It and Dealing with Mold or Mildew
Once all of the shingles are off, your contractor will decide whether or not the current underlay material is worth reusing or it needs to be pulled off entirely and discarded. If it is removed entirely, it may be easier to spot areas of the bare roof and places on the wood trusses where mold and/or mildew has begun to accumulate. That said, the decision to remove the roofing underlay material was an excellent decision, because the underlay is probably carrying some mold spores or mildew and will need to be destroyed anyway. Before your roofing contractor and his or her crew can continue, a mold remediation specialist may have to take care of the mold and mildew problems, and/or these sections of the roof may have to be cut out and replaced.
Replacing Damaged Trusses
If part of your roof replacement includes dealing with damaged trusses, then the trusses that have water damage, storm damage, fire damage and mold or mildew will all have to be removed from the top of your your home. New trusses are then installed, followed by a weatherization sealant (if you requested it) and finally, particle board or some other type of wood is installed over the tops of the trusses. While it is rare, it may be possible to avoid replacing an entire truss with just replacing one arm of this roofing framework with a clean board. Ask your roofing contractor before work gets under way if that is possible.
Applying and Installing Roof Underlay Material and Shingles
Finally, your roofing contractor and his or her crew will coat the particle board/other wooden material with the roofing underlay. This underlay material may be tar (to deter termites), rubber (to deflect water), or a mesh material (that soaks up extra moisture and then slowly disperses in through evaporation). A combination of underlay materials may also be used. Last but not least, the shingles are applied and your new roof is complete.