GAF Do It Yourself Roofing Center

Doing The Roofing Job / Installing Your New Roof

Preparing/Protecting The Job Area

Some general suggestions for
preparing the job area:

Make sure you have a clean, organized work area. Block it off from children and pets. Identify and avoid all site danger areas, such as dangerous power lines, unsafe roof access areas, and underground hazards (such as cesspools and power lines).

Remove wall hangings as well as any loose items from walls and shelves. Use tarps to avoid damaging plants and shrubs. Park any cars or other vehicles away from the driveway and a safe distance from the construction area. Disable any sprinkler systems. Cover any pools and hot tubs, and remove any other sensitive items around the house that might be damaged by falling roofing debris.

Tearing Off The Roof And Preparing The Roof Deck

Nothing is more important in roofing than preparing the surface under the shingles. With a roof tear-off, when the old materials are removed, you’ll have a clean deck that allows you to see any potential problems that need to be fixed. This could range from rotten wood to cracked boards to an unsound deck that won’t hold nails as well.

For the proper methods for tearing off a roof and preparing the roof deck, see our How-To-Video.

Installing Roof Deck Protection

The proper installation of high-quality roof deck protection like Deck-Armor™, Shingle-Mate®, or Tiger Paw™ is the foundation on which a good roof system is built.

See our How to Video for installing premium deck protection.

View application instructions for roof deck protection products.

Installing Leak Barrier

Protect your investment and safeguard vulnerable areas of your roof with GAF’s proven leak barriers.

View application instructions for our leak barrier products.

Starter Strip Shingles

One of the most common sources of failure in a roof system is the improper installation of starter shingles. This starter course is very important, especially for wind resistance. Starter strip shingles are the first line of defense against wind uplift along the edges of a roof. GAF offers pre-cut WeatherBlocker™ and Pro-Start® Starter Strips.

For the proper installation technique for starter strip shingles, see our How-To-Video.

Proper Shingle Nailing

Nailing errors, such as under-driven or angled nails, can cause future problems with your shingles—everything from premature failure and blistering to blow-offs. Nail type, location, length, angle, and force of application are all critical to consider when installing shingles. It’s important to take your time when installing nails to insure the job is done correctly.

For the proper shingle nailing technique, see our How-To-Video.

Installing Your Shingles

Installing Timberline® Shingles

Timberline® Shingles with Advanced Protection® Technology are the #1-selling shingles in all of North America. Timberline® Shingles will not only protect your most valuable asset—they’ll beautify your home for years to come.

For the proper installation technique for Timberline®, see our How-To-Video.

View the application instructions for our Timberline Shingles..

Installing Designer Shingles

Maximizing your property’s visual appeal with Lifetime Designer Shingles from GAF can be exciting, fun—and a smart investment.

View the application instructions for our Lifetime Designer Shingles.

How To Do Valleys

Valleys are one of the areas of roofing that takes careful planning and time to install correctly. Valleys are a prime leak area, so it’s important to be precise during installation.

See our How-to Video for installing valleys..

Installing Flashing

Wherever surfaces intersect on a roof, there is a chance of water seepage. Flashing is highly recommended for waterproofing these critical areas of your roof.

See our How-to Video for installing flashing and details..

Installing Ridge Vents

Proper ventilation is critical for helping to reduce hot and moist air in your attic space that can damage your possessions, increase your energy costs, and potentially reduce the longevity of your roofing system. The Federal Housing Authority, in the U.S. the Engineered Wood Association, many national building codes, and all major roofing manufacturers require the installation of attic ventilation. GAF offers one of the industry’s most comprehensive line of ridge vents.

Installing ridge vents requires working on some of the highest parts of your roof—the ridges. Always utilize proper safety equipment to prevent falls or injury when installing ridge vents on your roof. See our Safety section for more details.

Deciding on the proper vent and the amount of ventilation needed is critical. Consult your local building code for balanced attic ventilation requirements in your area. Once you decide on the type of vent that is needed and how much to install, always ensure you install the vent as per written application instructions. Be careful not to cut any attic rafters or wires, and always ensure to properly fasten the vent to prevent blow-off or weather infiltration.

See our How-to Video for installing ridge vents.

Installing Ridge Cap Shingles

Hip or ridge cap shingles are not only a great finishing touch to your roof, they are also a critical piece of your roof system that helps to protect some of the highest stress and vulnerable areas on your roof. GAF offers premium ridge cap shingles designed to match your GAF laminated shingles.

Installing hip or ridge shingles requires working on some of the highest parts of your roof—the hips and ridges. Always utilize proper safety equipment to prevent falls or injury when installing hip or ridge shingles on your roof.

See our How-to Video for installing ridge cap shingles.

View application instructions for ridge cap shingles..

Installing Other Ventilation Options

GAF offers an extended line of professional-grade Master Flow® ventilation products, from whole house fans to roof louvers to turbines.

View the application instructions for our Master Flow ventilation products..

Cleaning Up The Job Site

Professional roofing contractors develop specialized techniques and equipment for keeping the jobsite clean. Tackling the job on your own, you can adopt some of these practices as well. Some quick tips are to shelter and protect bushes and plants that might be affected by material dropping from the roof, and to use a tarp to catch as much material as possible. Many roofing contractors follow a completed job by running a magnet over the ‘drop zone’ to collect any nails that might have escaped.

Also see our section on Recycling and Waste Disposal.

How Long Will It Take?

Realistically, do-it-yourself roofing can take a lot of time and effort. It depends on various factors, such as your level of experience, the size of your roof, whether or not you need to do a complete tear-off of the existing roof, how much preparation your roof deck needs, and how many people are assisting you. Since it’s important not to leave your roof unprotected for any length of time, you must allow at least several uninterrupted days in a row to work on the project.

Keep in mind that a professional roofing contractor with a crew will finish the job more quickly and efficiently.

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