Roofers, also known as roof mechanics or roofing contractors, repair and replace the roofs of buildings. This can involve repairing or replacing individual shingles, or the entire roof structure. They use a wide variety of tools and materials to complete their work, including shingles, asphalt, rubber, thermoplastic, and metal. Roofers are also often responsible for installing insulation and vapor barriers. They may work alone or as part of a crew. In addition to performing the labor of re-roofing, they frequently serve as project managers and oversee other subcontractors.
Choosing a certified roofer can be a very important decision for homeowners. Inexperienced roofers can cause significant damage to a home, and general contractors are usually not expert enough to handle roofing jobs. A qualified roofing contractor will be licensed, insured, and trained to work safely and efficiently.
The most common residential roofs are covered in shingles, and the majority of roofers specialize in this material. To apply shingles, roofers lay and cut 3-foot strips of roofing felt, then nail the shingles in overlapping rows. They also nail or cement flashing strips around the chimney, vent pipes, and other roof features to prevent water leakage.
A number of different types of roofs are used on commercial buildings, and some are becoming increasingly popular for residential homes as well. For example, green roofs can help reduce a building’s energy costs, and slate roofs can add a touch of luxury to a home. Roofers can also install synthetic roofs, which are made of recycled materials or even solar panels.
For flat or low-sloped roofs, roofers can install single-ply membranes of rubber or thermoplastic compounds. These are rolled out over the roof’s insulation and sealed with adhesive or mechanical fasteners. Depending on the type of roof, they may also be secured with stone ballast or gravel.
Many roofers also perform regular maintenance and inspections. These services can help prolong the life of a roof, and can catch problems before they become serious. They may also help the homeowner decide if a new roof is needed, and provide estimates based on their assessment of the building and weather conditions.
A roof’s condition can affect everything inside the building, from furniture to electronics to electrical wiring. When a roof is damaged, it can lead to leaks that damage ceilings, walls, and furnishings. Roofers are typically called in to repair or re-roof these areas before the damage becomes too severe.
Unlike many other construction trades, roofers must be skilled in safety procedures. Their work can be extremely dangerous, and they are one of the most at-risk occupations for accidents and fatalities. As a result, all roofers are required to wear protective gear and follow strict safety protocols. This includes using fall protection equipment, such as harnesses and hard hats, when working on high roofs. In addition, they must be able to perform physical tasks that require climbing, bending, and kneeling for extended periods of time.