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You can appreciate the quality of a roof by looking at the materials that were used to cover it but also by taking a look at the care the roofer took to install them. Many people think asphalt roofing is fairly simple and that new shingles are all you need for a great-looking new roof. However, roof components and their reaction to sometimes extreme climate are somewhat complex and can lead to important damages in your home. For example, adequate ventilation through roof vents and attic fans is absolutely essential to maintain a roof in good condition. Unfortunately, this is a matter most homeowners overlook.
We will see in this DVD how to properly ventilate your attic so that your asphalt shingle can last as long as possible. We will see how to repair the roof deck, install the different protective membranes and install a skylight. And of course we will see step by step how to install asphalt shingles. Finally, we will show you how to install sofits, gutters and down pipes to properly evacuate the water coming from your roof and protect your house against heat, water infiltrations, ice dams, snow etc for years to come…. Artaud Communications présents : So You’re Renovating ! Roofing. Ventilation, asphalt shingles, soffits and gutters.
If you’re planning to roof the house yourself, be sure to understand these safety basics. Take the time to rent scaffolding or strong long-reaching ladders. Stay well away from power lines; be sure neither your body nor the metal equipment, such as aluminum ladders or television antennas, has contact with them. It is important to hook yourself up with a proper nylon or polypropylene security belt. Tie the other end of the belt to something steady, stable and very solid - like a tree - on the other side of the roof. A professional harness such as this one is ideal. If you work with a ladder, make sure it extends beyond the roof’s edge by at least 4 feet. Tie down the top and bottom of the ladder. Finally, and this is extremely important, never work on a wet roof (or one covered with ice or snow) and make sure no one is standing under your working surface. Under certain conditions, it is possible to roof over the shingles of your old roof. Not only will the old covering provide an extra layer of protection for the new shingles, but you won’t have to go through the hassle and expenses of removing the old roof. Maybe the next time you will replace your roof, new techniques will allow you to recycle your old asphalt shingles instead of throwing them away. If you can roof over your existing roof, start by nailing down all the asphalt shingles that have buckled or curled. Remove or hammer in nails that jut out so new materials will lie flat. Otherwise, deformations will be visible through the new roof. The roof deck must be free of moisture and mildew problems, or any large gaps between planks. Make sure the roof structure is solid enough to support an extra shingle layer. The roof timber framework must not show signs of flagging (sagging) at rooftop level. To renovate the roof deck, you must start by tearing out the old shingles. To strip the roof and remove the debris, use a square-bottomed shovel such as this one. Start on the outer edges of the roof, on the ridge. Drive the shovel under the shingles and loosen the nails. Proceed the same way, all the way to the rooftop. (pause) Then, remove a meter-wide strip along the eaves; this way, you will be able to tear off the shingles, from the bottom up. Most asphalt shingles are made with a self-sealing mastic strip that fastens one tab to another. The nails will have to be dislodged with the square-bottomed shovel for large surface areas to come undone. Protect your hands with heavy-duty gloves to screen out mineral granules. To remove the debris and reduce the risks of falling off the roof, sweep clean the surface as you go along. Once you have removed the shingles on the outer edge and ridge of the roof, you can make your way from the bottom up. This way, large surface areas can be torn off. Removing existing roofing is a particularly dangerous job. When removed, old shingles tend to become brittle and lose their granules. This and other debris can make walking around on the roof very treacherous. It is thus very important to follow basic security measures. (pause) When the old shingles have been removed, pull off the asphalt-saturated underlayment along with the nails still on the roof deck. The roof deck must be absolutely devoid of any kind of debris before the rest of the job can be carried out.
Use exterior plywood panels that are at least 5/8-inch-thick to replace deteriorated wood that could contaminate other sections of your home. You should use plywood panels at least 3/8-inch-thick when you are covering wooden planks. In this particular case, as the roof deck is made out of planks, it is essential to install exterior-use plywood panels at least 3/8-inch thick over the subroof. Over time, boards that were butted together contract and become loose. The gap that appears between the planks becomes somewhat problematic since it varies according to weather conditions. As is the case for expansion joints, these roof deck variations will affect the new shingles and make them buckle. (pause) Install the plywood panels horizontally across the planks. Snap a chalk line to mark the location of the rafters. (pause) Nail the plywood directly into the timber. If you are not immediately putting up the shingles, temporarily weatherproof the deck by installing a layer of asphalt roofing felt.
It can be a good idea to take advantage of the roofing repairs to correct any ventilation problems in the roof. Adequate ventilation is essential. Even the warranty of shingles depends on it. In wintertime, air circulation can prevent moisture-high air from accumulating and condensing under the roof deck, causing roofing materials to rot. In summertime for example, roof ventilation can help stop shingles from overheating, becoming pustulant, (blistered) deformed or curled. This improvement may help stretch the life of your shingles. A ratio of 1 square foot of free vent opening for each 300 square feet of attic floor is generally required for traditional roofs, while a 1/150 ratio suits slow-slope roofs (1/6 to 1/3) as well as roofs over cathedral-style ceilings. Vents should be distributed this way: (approximately) 55% downwards in soffits for air intake, and 45% at rooftop for forcing air out. Note that a roof can never be « too ventilated ». However, don’t start drilling holes everywhere.
Hot and humid attic air is lazy and has a tendency to collects at the top of the roof. Even a small, poorly ventilated area in the attic can imprison hot air and cause problems. It is essential to create a whole-house ventilating system and use soffit ventilators to let cool air flow in and then out through an exit in the upper section of the roof. Hot and moisture-(laden) high air will be naturally dispersed when it rises and exits through the ridge vents. This is referred to as the « the chimney effect ». Here, it is precisely at the top of the roof that the materials are starting to rot, simply because hot and humid air had no way to escape. To solve this problem, you can use eaves, soffit or gable ventilators, or a combination of these uniformly distributed on all faces of the roof. This way, in the winter or in the summertime, these ventilators will evacuate hot air outside. It is strongly recommended to install cardboard or rigid insulation deflectors between the eaves rafters to provide a cool air passage. It is very important to leave a gap at least 3 inches (2 inches) wide between the attic insulation and roof deck materials for the air to flow freely. The net surface of free vent opening must be calculated by taking into account any obstructions such as wire or grillwork. Roof eaves also have to be protected. Our climate forces us to use self-adhesive (special) membranes to protect our roofs against ice dams. Aside from ice dams, heavy rains, winds and other threatening weather fluctuations require us to install self-adhesive membranes to protect our roofs. Ice dams can form by alternate thawing (melting) and freezing from heat loss through the roof of a badly insulated house, or by the ice accumulation coming up the gutters. Water flows under the snow and freezes when it comes in contact with the unheated soffit, creating an ice dam. When this occurs, water can be forced under the shingles and inside the attic, causing damage to ceilings, walls, insulation materials, gutters, eaves and even the rooms of your home. The self-adhesive membrane is a great way to protect your house against ice dams. However, make sure the gutters are properly protected against litter. Install the membrane horizontally across the eaves, from the bottom of the roof up, letting it extend at least one foot over the interior wall of the house. In areas where climatic conditions are extremely rigorous, we recommend you let eaves protection extend 3 feet above the interior wall. Leave a minimum 6 inches overlap at the joints. If you need more than one width, let the second strip overlap at least 3 inches over the first one. Once the membrane is well positioned along the roof eaves, roll it again on itself.
Once you have cut and set the membrane on the roof, you must glue it on. Start by rolling the membrane on itself, as tight as possible. Then glue a 4 inches strip and gradually unroll the protection film by rolling it around a cardboard muff or a broomstick. Use a small roller so as to have maximum adherence on the roof deck. These membranes are also perfect for protecting vulnerable areas such as skylights, vents, plumbing pipes and chimneys. Install a membrane strip along the roof eaves and inside the ridge, rooftop and valleys. By far the easiest time to install a skylight is when you’re reroofing. Unless you are faced with a cathedral-style ceiling, a skylight is actually a tunnel that goes through the attic. The shape of the tunnel can completely change the aspect of the room where it is installed; for example, a tunnel with splayed sides diffuses light over a wider area than one with straight sides. In the meantime, adding a skylight should not hold up your roofing project. Plan its installation with great precision.
A skylight can fill a room with an astonishing amount of natural light. Moreover, if you install several skylights, one next to the other, they will become the room or even the house’s central architectural element. A skylight can be added to any room. It is particularly enjoyed in the kitchen, where full lighting is needed, or in the bathroom. Another popular choice is putting up a skylight over a staircase; this way, light is diffused on two floors.
To add a skylight, start by determining the center of the tunnel on the ceiling and hammer in a nail. Then, from the attic, find this nail. Use a plum bob to identify the corresponding location on the roof. Drive a nail through the roof.
Mark the corners of the light tunnel and drive nails on each corner through the roof. (pause) If any nails hit the ceiling joists or rafters, shift the location slightly to prevent extensive timber frame work. If you must absolutely cut through ceiling joists to install the skylight, support them with a double perpendicular rafter support. Never cut through more than two joists without seeking the advice of an engineer. Once the final location of the skylight on the roof is determined, identify the corresponding location on the ceiling with a level. Trace a wider opening in the ceiling for a splayed tunnel and more light coming into the room. Note that a splayed tunnel reduces the risks for condensation. Mark the corners of your hole location by driving nails through the ceiling. Back inside the room, snap a chalk line between the nails for your cuts.
Before cutting through the ceiling, we suggest you install a polyethylene film around the opening to limit the damages caused by falling dust particles and loose-fill insulation. With a utility knife, score the plasterboard along the chalk lines. You can start to remove ceiling material. (pause) Once the plasterboard is removed, cut the joists and add 3 inches inside the opening to accommodate the shaft. This way you will be able to fix two perpendicular and two parallel support lintels to the ceiling joists for a double frame. On the roof, trace the lines between the nails and cut the opening. If you are not reroofing, start by cutting the shingles by adjusting the depth of the blade on your circular saw. Used an old blade to cut the shingles. When cutting the shingles, add approximately 4 inches to the intended hole for the flashing which will be installed later on. Cut through the roof rafters that cross the opening 3 inches inside the roof deck. This way you will be able to fix two perpendicular lintels to the roof rafters on the lower part of the opening and two lintels on the upper part for support. Double the rafters on each side of the skylight. Cut at an angle and nail 2/4s that span each frame corner. Inside the shaft, install ½-inch-thick plywood sheets on which will be attached the plasterboard and rigid insulation boards.
A plywood shaft will make insulating and interior wall-covering much easier. A splayed tunnel such as the one we build will make the room feel expansive, as would a cathedral-style ceiling for example.
We chose a open-model skylight. Since it evacuates hot and humid air outside, this type of skylight promotes air circulation and adequate humidity levels. It also greatly improves quality-living in kitchens, bathrooms, washrooms etc... When they are out of reach, open-skylights can be easily opened or closed using an adjustment rod or a remote control. Open-skylights offer a wide range of insulating glass paneling: clear tempered glass, low-E and argon-injected glass for maximum energy-saving. Use protection membrane strips to make the skylight absolutely watertight. Glue the first strip in place, at the bottom of the skylight, and the other strips on each side. The top membrane strip will be put up after the metal flashing is secured.
Underlayment is generally roofing felt, a heavy, asphalt-impregnated black paper. Even when it’s optional, roofing felt is strongly recommended since it provides a layer of weather protection beneath the roof surface against hard rain. Furthermore, roofing felt protects shingles from the resin of the roof deck timber. Temporarily nail a plywood sheet on the protection membrane to walk around safely. The underlayment must cover the whole roof deck surface. The first underlayment layer must overlap at least 4 inches over the self-adhesive membrane. Note that asphalt-saturated roofing felt must be used under fiberglass-based asphalt shingles for a class A fire rating. Nail in the underlayment to keep it in place until the shingles are installed. Provide 4 inches overlaps between extremities and 6 inches overlaps at ridges and valleys. Then, put up the drip moulds over the underlayment, along the valley liners. Choosing shingles depends on many factors, one of which is the degree of slope of your roof. You can measure the slope of your roof using a guide such as this one. A low sloping roof is when the pitch is 2 to 4-inches per feet. For a low slope, find out about the appropriate materials and techniques. Asphalt shingles are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, weights, tabs, colors and interlocking mechanisms. They all share the same composition base, as illustrates this cross section of a traditional shingle. a) The felt mat is made of high-quality, cellulose-selected fibers for a very resistant base frame. Natural wood fibers, recycled corrugated cardboard and selected paper make up its composition. b) Felt mats are covered, top and bottom, with protective layers of asphalt for water-resistance. Heavier shingles generally have a thicker asphalt coating on top. c) Ceramic mineral granules are inlaid in the asphalt coat for their fire-retardant properties. The granules are colored and mixed for various color finishes. The self-sealing strip is activated by sun heat. Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are also available, but only constitute a small fraction of the market; their installation somewhat differs from that of the organic-base asphalt shingles and won’t be the subject of today’s program To carry out this project in compliance with the norms of the industry, you must begin the starter course with a first row of shingles (pause). Start by cutting off the tabs, as demonstrated here. Allow a ¼-inch overhang at the eaves. Place the shingles side by side without cramming them. Use 10 to 12-gauge galvanized roofing nails with 3/8-inch diameter heads for all types of shingles. The nails must be long enough to go through the plywood. Longer nails will be used if you’re reroofing over an old roof. Lay the first row over the starter course. Position the nails just above the self-adhesive strip and drive them in to the right depth, brushing up slightly on the surface. This first course of shingles should be installed face up. The adhesive strip will allow the shingles to adhere to each other. The self-sealing strip will be activated by sun heat. Shingles that are installed in cool temperatures will not stick by themselves. You will have to glue them on manually. Don’t remove the cellophane strip on the back of the shingles. It’s purpose is to prevent the shingles from sticking to one another when they are packaged. The cellophane strip does not hamper installation nor decrease the product’s effectiveness.
First of all, before applying the rest of the shingle courses, snap horizontal chalk lines that correspond to each shingle row. You can install the shingles by moving from one end of the roof to the other, or from the bottom up by moving the shingles every row this way. Once the starter course is fixed, applying the rest of the shingles is somewhat repetitive. Be sure to work your way carefully around roof openings such as plumbing pipes, vents and skylights. Use metal flashing and glue to border these openings.
Secure the shingles right up to the foot of the skylight base, then put up the flashing. (pause) Apply the asphalt shingles on each side and alternate with flashing every row. (pause) Glue the shingles on each side of the skylight (pause). Apply a last membrane strip on top of the skylight, over the flashing, and proceed with the rest of the shingles.
If your house has a multi-level roof, as is the case here, start by completing shingle installation on the uppermost part of the roof. This way, you will be able to avoid walking over, and possibly damaging, newly installed material. Always make sure you don’t walk around more than necessary over new shingles.
Don’t forget to snap chalk lines for a perfectly aligned pattern. (pause) You can also snap vertical chalk lines to offset the shingles in successive courses. (pause) Put up roof vents by gluing them with a self-adhesive membrane. Some contractors install the vents on the back side of the house to keep the front side intact and free of unsightly elements. Shingles that go on the side of vents or over flashing should be glued on. You will probably need to cut many shingles to fit your roof’s distinctive features. Use a small homemade plywood worktable that hugs the roof to cut the back of the shingle. Listen closely to the following segment.
To cut an asphalt shingle, turn it face down and cut the back side. Be sure the knife blade does not come in contact with the mineral-coated side. Using a sharp utility knife, score the back of the shingle. Bend the shingle to break it across the scored line to make perfectly straight cuts and avoid damaging your knife blade. Create your own plywood platform to cut the back of the shingle. Install the shingles right up to the rooftop or wall of the house, whichever the case may be. You can use a hook such as this one to cut through shingles in one swift motion. You can also use the hook to cut excess shingle material at the roof rake.
Use leftover shingle pieces to complete ridges. Your small worktable will be particularly useful for this kind of work. Note that you can also cut the shingles to size beforehand, on the ground. Whatever you do, don’t forget to snap reference chalk lines for perfectly straight hips and ridges.
To shingle hips and ridges, cut the shingles in three equal-sized sections. Snap a chalk line to make sure your ridges are aligned. Using leftover shingle pieces can reduce material loss. (pause) To remove a nail without damaging the shingle, use two hammers. For equal-sized shingles on each side of the ridge, bend the shingle to conform to the roof ridge. Starting at the bottom of the ridge, apply the shingles at the end opposite the direction the wind most often blows. Nail the ridge shingles with a nail on each side, 6 inches from the lower section of the exposure and one inch from each side. Put up the metal flashing wherever necessary. Nail or screw the flashing in place and make sure to seal off all the joints with the proper sealant. To shingle valleys, put up a non-corrosive metal flashing such as the one you see here. It is specifically designed for valleys. Make sure it fits the angle snugly. On most roofs, metal valley flashing is installed after the self-adhesive membrane to provide optimal protection against condensation. Nail the metal flashing on the membrane. Start by applying shingles on one side. You can cross-cut the upper corner of the last shingle of each row to make water drainage easier. Be sure to complete shingle installation on the first side before beginning the second one. Don’t nail the shingles in the valley. Use glue instead. Finally, before starting up on any kind of roofing project, be sure to learn about your local building codes. The choice of materials and installation techniques can greatly vary from one area to the next.
If you decide to hire a roofing contractor, opt for an experienced professional with solid references. The contractor should have a work permit and insurance. He should also make a thorough, free-of-charge inspection of your roof, without any obligation on your part. Ask for a detailed submission in writing. Finally, the contractor you hire should follow municipal regulations, abide by local building codes, and only use quality products.
As we saw earlier on, gutters are an important part of your house and they simply cannot be neglected when you are reroofing. Before installing the gutters, you must start by putting up the soffits if they are not already in place. The soffits are the underside fixtures of the cornice. They are an essential part of attic ventilation. Never close the underside of the cornice with a material that limits air circulation. Important problems could then arise in the attic. Instead choose soffits that are specifically designed for this purpose, preferably robust fixtures that will prevent animals such as raccoons and squirrels to take refuge inside your attic.
Soffits are an important part of the exterior structure of your home. Used in combination with roof vents, soffits provide adequate attic ventilation. Never replace them with materials that would limit air circulation in the roof eaves. To install soffits, start by measuring the depth of the cornice. Partially cut the molding in a J of the same length and bend it to make a 90 degree angle as shown here. Nail the J-shaped molding in the corner where the wall and the overhang meet. Use galvanized nails recommended by the manufacturer. Join up the J moldings on the cornice lengthwise
Measure the distance between the inferior section of the J-shaped molding and the fascia; subtract ¼-inch to each soffit section so as to have clearance from the overhang. Cut the soffit pieces. Robust and reliable, steel soffits will add protection and provide better attic ventilation. Steel soffits resist to blows better than any other type of metal soffit; they don’t buckle, cave in or allow dust and litter to settle down as do plastic soffits. The type we see here is made out of high-quality metal and covered with an aluminum and zinc alloy called primalume steel. Coated with a modified silicone and polyester paint, primalume soffits resist to stains, peeling and corrosion. They last much longer and can also be cut with a metal-blade circular saw for multiple cuts. Insert a soffit piece inside the J-shaped molding. Nail it into the inferior part of the fascia board. Always start at the extremity of the house. The first panel must be installed with its interlocking-nailing section ready to support the subsequent panel
Insert the upper edge of the fascia either under the roof eaves or the entryway molding, and nail it between the soffit grooves, into the cornice board. Don’t drive the nails in too deeply; stop when the head of the hammer comes in contact with the surface. Always make sure the nails are straight and even to avoid making the fascia buckle. Use pre-finish nails as recommended by the manufacturer. Because of the gutter water-drainage slope, you may need different size drip edges to stop capillary action from making the water seep behind the gutter. This is a problem often encountered in residential roofs. On one side of the cornice, where the gutter is at its peak, the drip edge should be of regular size. On the opposite side of the cornice, where the gutter is at its lowest point, the drip edge should be larger. A roof without drip edges will allow water to seep in behind the gutter and cause the cornice to rot. The drip edge should fit snugly against the roof slope. Alternately install J-shaped moldings, soffits, fascia boards and drip edges to avoid constantly moving your ladder or scaffolding material from one side of the house to the other. (pause) Nail the drip edge in the roof, under the shingles. For a 90-degree corner, continue the J-shaped molding and soffit installation right up to the opposite fascia. Start over again with a J-shaped molding on the other side in the manner just described. (pause)
Soffits, fascia boards and drip edges should be installed one after the other; this way you won’t have to move from one side of the cornice to the other all the time. Don’t forget to install a drip edge to prevent water from spilling over the gutter, causing the cornice to rot and the exterior facing of your house to soil.
To install a gutter system, locate the lowest point in the cornice and put up the drop outlet. Fit the gutters one into the other, starting with the drop outlet. For proper water drainage, gutters should drop toward downspouts at a rate of 2 inches for every 40 linear feet, approximately ½-inch for every 10 feet. Drive the nails in halfway to be able to change the slope if need be. Put up all the gutter sections using the same technique. Install the drip edge. Use it on roofs whose shingles are too short or damaged. The drip edge is designed to fit perfectly between your roof and the gutter for direct water drainage. Insert the drip edge under the shingles. Nail every 3 feet , this way. Depending on the slope you wish to give the gutters, use 1 inch or 2 inches drip edges
It is very important to protect the gutters from litter obstruction. Debris can actually contribute to the formation of ice dams at the roof eaves. Opt for a high-quality leaf guard or strainer that is both robust and durable. Slide the backside edge under the shingles. Insert the U-shaped molding on the inside face of the gutter. Any water accumulation will cause damage. It is thus essential to equip your gutter system with downspouts. Plan for the downspout installation by minutely determining their projected location according to the position of other interlocking gutter runs. Steel gutters can be cut with a hacksaw or shears. Assemble the downspout section on the ground by interlocking them according to the direction of the water flow. (pause) Use stainless steel screws supplied by the manufacturer. Pre-drill small holes to screw in the parts. Always screw the gutters in their upper section to avoid water from spilling through the screw holes. To connect the downspout to the gutter assembly, snap together the elbows and the drop outlet to complete the installation between the gutter and the wall of the house. Then, proceed in the same manner at ground level for the section between the wall of the house and the disposal points. Measure the section that will run alongside the house, between two extremities. Use large fencing pliers to make the jointing easier by folding in the four corner edges of the pipes. (pause) Connect the complete structure with the drop outlet and hold it in place with a screw. Hold the section to the wall and fasten it with a bracket or a decorative strap hanger. Install a bracket or a decorative strap hanger 6 inches from the downspout base.
Once the downspout is installed, water should flow naturally toward the street. You may need to reshape the ground slope to drain away to lower disposal points. Remember: you are responsible for any water accumulation on your property. If water flows unto your neighbor’s lawn, you can damage the property and suffer the consequences.
Not only should you avoid damaging your neighbor’s property, you should also make sure the ground slope will divert water away from your house foundations. Water accumulation close to foundation structures can penetrate the walls and cause important damage such as cracks in the concrete and rotting of basement finishing materials. To divert water, place a ready-made concrete splash block or a flat stone below the downspout to prevent the ground from eroding. Then, install a 90 degree wedge of the appropriate finish.(pause)
And this completes the gutter system installation. We hope that you are now ready to install a new gutter system by yourself, or at least to make the necessary modifications to improve your drainage system.
And that is all there is to it. We sincerely hope that the information from this DVD will give you confidence and help you re-roof your own roof. On the other end, if you decide to hire a contractor, do not let yourself influence in choosing poor quality shingles and do the job as fast as possible. Make sure you have proper ventilation, all the protective sub layers membranes and good quality shingles. Good luck.