Roof Construction Methods

Written by joseph king
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Roof Construction Methods
A strong and secure roof is critical to your home's ability to survive a severe weather event. (roof image by kuhar from

The roof is a home's first line of defence from the elements. Because your roof is the largest component of your house, it can also be the most vulnerable to severe storms and the costliest single site of damage. When installing a new roof, making it stronger and more secure is as important as choosing the right roofing materials. A solid, well-built roof that is properly tied into the envelope of the home is a critical step to ensuring your home survives a severe weather event.

Remove The Old Roof

Although building codes generally allow homeowners to install a second layer of asphalt shingles over an existing layer of old shingles, that is not always best for your home, especially in high wind and hail areas. It's best to start by totally removing the old roof covering (shingles) and underlayment (tar paper) all the way down to the wood sheating.

Inspect The Sheathing

Inspect the roof decking (sheating) for signs of damage or structurally unsound sections. If any of these conditions exist, replace the damaged sheating with similar materials of the same thickness.

When installing new sheathing use 8d ring shank nails. Also, re-nail existing sheathing with 8d ring shank nails to strengthen its bond to the roof truss. Avoid staples, as they have been found not to hold roof sheathing down very well, regardless of how close together they may be.

Consider Roof Straps

If your roof does not have them, consider installing roof straps that will strengthen the connection of the roof to the house. This will lower the likelihood of your roof blowing off during a severe weather event, such as a hurricane.

Add A Secondary Water Barrier

Once you have made any necessary repairs to sheathing, apply a secondary moisture barrier by taping the roof deck seams with a waterproof membrane.

Install An Appropriate Roof Cover

Finally, install an appropriate roof cover that is approved for the hazards native to your area (e.g., wildfire, hurricane, hail).

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