How to Become a Roofer

Roofers install, repair, and replace a variety of roof materials. Their work protects the buildings and the contents inside them from weather conditions. If a roof leaks, it can ruin walls, furnishings, and ceilings. Roofers also install solar-powered exhaust fans and skylights. If a roof has become outdated, reroofing is an effective way to replace it. This type of work helps save energy and money.


When roofing a home, roofers must use several layers of materials. First, they lay down a layer of roofing felt, which is a fabric soaked in bitumen. After that, they apply hot bitumen to the felt, sealing the seams and making the roof waterproof. Depending on the thickness of the roof, roofers can install the desired number of “plies” on the home. The top layer can be smooth or have gravel embedded in it.

Most roofers learn their trade by working on construction sites. While high school graduates are preferred, applicants without a diploma can also be accepted. Apprenticeship programs typically involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. During the apprenticeship, trainees learn basic math skills for design work, safety procedures, and layout. The program typically takes three years, and the average apprentice completes over two thousand hours of hands-on training. These programs are usually the best option for a career in roof repair and installation.

Water leaks are one of the biggest causes of damage to a home. Using metal flashing around leaky spots is vital. Flashing should be placed under the shingles and overtime to prevent future leaks. Chimneys, for example, require counterflashing and step flashing. One sheet of metal isn’t enough for these areas. A good roofer will install these around chimneys as well. So, make sure your roofer uses proper flashing to prevent future leaks.

Developing certain abilities is essential to becoming a good roofer. These skills influence learning, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength. In addition, roofers need to be physically strong, as they spend hours on their feet, bending and stooping. Some must also be strong, as some bundles of shingles can weigh more than 60 pounds. They must also not be afraid of heights. In addition to being physically strong, roofers need to have good balance and strong hands and wrists.

Single-ply roofing membranes are becoming an increasingly popular option for low-slope roofs. These membranes are made from waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compounds. Roofers install these membranes and secure them with an adhesive. Roofing contractors should also make sure that they are sturdy enough to support the soil they install. This type of roofing requires a sturdy building, which is why roofers are often referred to as “green roofers.”

Most roofers are trained to install asphalt shingles, but there are some specialties you should look for. Cedar shakes and clay tiles are hard to find for the average roofer. You should only hire a roofer who is knowledgeable about such materials. Be wary of door-to-door bids — these could be predatory and potentially harmful. In addition, roofers must meet certain insurance requirements and display their license numbers on their marketing materials.

You should also consider the cost of roof repair. Roof repair is one of the most expensive home maintenance tasks you can hire – if you don’t invest in a quality roof, you will likely incur additional costs later. Poorly built or repaired roofs can lead to leaks, humidity, and structural damage. If you have a leaking or damaged roof, it’s important to choose a reputable roofing contractor who will complete the work efficiently and effectively.

Employment growth for roofers is expected to increase at a slower rate than the average for all occupations over the next decade. While there will be an increase in jobs, most new openings will be the result of workers retiring, leaving the occupation, or transferring to another occupation. Despite these projections, however, the occupation’s high turnover rate will ensure that job openings will be available. Because most roofing work consists of repair and reroofing, roofers are less affected by economic conditions than other construction workers.