Roofing Materials You Can Install Without a Pro
When it comes to the tedious and risky task that is roofing a house, hiring a trusted pro in roof repair and installation is always highly recommended over the DIY route. Pros are equipped with the proper safety tools, skills, and of course, experience.
But learning how to install a roof yourself will come in handy for smaller projects wherein enlisting a pro may not be cost-efficient. Fortunately, there are durable roofing materials that are a breeze to install, affordable, and appealing.
Let’s round them up and walk you through some DIY installation pointers.
1. Asphalt Shingles
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that asphalt shingles top this list. It’s the most popular roofing material in the U.S., as they don’t break the bank and are very easy to install. They’re also available in an impressive range of colors.
One of the best traits of asphalt shingles is that it can be installed over an old roof. Just drive the nails through the tabs below the sealant lines, and the new asphalt shingles will be fastened securely.
To install shingles like a pro, cut off the tabs of the first shingle to create a “starter strip,” then place it on the roof’s edge. If you’re re-shingling a roof that’s currently installed with standard three-tab shingles, put the starter strip over the reveal area of the existing first course, then trim the top of the new first course, so they touch the bottom edge of the current third course. Let your existing shingles be your guide as you proceed, but do not align the new shingles with the old ones.
2. Wood Shingles and Shake
Wood shingles and shake are another classic material, especially for rustic and farmhouses. Types with superb fire resistance are available, though some areas with fire codes still prohibit the use of this roofing material.
Wood shingles and shake are typically installed sequentially in straight, single courses. Each shingle is secured using two nails and is separated by around an inch from the outside edges. The shingles must also be doubled and tripled at all eaves, regardless of its style. The butts of the shingles on the first course must project 1 to 1/2 inches beyond the fascia, and the spacing between each shingle should be at least 1/4 inches (3/8 inches at maximum). Lastly, the joints in any course should be no less than 1/2 inches apart from the adjacent courses, while no two joints should be directly aligned in any three courses.
3. Rolled Roofing
If installing shingles is too demanding for you, rolled roofing can be your savior. It’s one of the cheapest and easiest-to-install roofing materials in the market.
A single mineral surface roofing (MSR) roll is about 36 feet long and 36 feet wide. It is installed horizontally in long strips and fastened with roofing nails. The only drawback is that MSR isn’t as durable as shingles, and for that reason, it isn’t typically recommended for houses and other occupied structures. It’s more suitable for sheds, garages, barns, treehouses, and other outbuildings for utilitarian and amusement purposes.
With these three roofing materials as your top options, you can save bucks from hiring professional roofers, though you have to dedicate an ample amount of time to finish your work. When in doubt, waste no more time and hire expert assistance; your money won’t be lost with a well-installed roof and your safety guaranteed.