What Does a Roofer Do?

Storm Tech Roofers, install, and replace the roofing systems of buildings. They also inspect roofs for problems and perform routine maintenance.

Roof laborers do much of the heavy work for roofing jobs, including removing old material and installing new shingles and tiles. Unlike roofers, they don’t participate in framing or building foundations.

Roofers professionally build, inspect, repair, replace, and maintain the roofs of buildings. They also install or repair skylights, chimneys, and gutters. They must be strong and physically fit and have good communication skills. They must be competent at reading blueprints and diagrams and work well under pressure in bad weather.

Some types of roofers specialize in a particular area. For example, metal roofers work with steel and aluminum, which require different tools than other roofing materials. Slate or tile roofers use natural or synthetic slate, clay, or concrete tiles to create durable and visually appealing roofs. Flat roofers specialize in installing and maintaining roofs with little or no slope, typically found on commercial or residential structures.

A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for becoming a roofer. On-the-job training is the typical method for learning this trade, with experienced roofers guiding new workers as they perform basic tasks. Depending on state laws, a roofer may be required to have a contractor’s license.

During on-the-job training, roofers learn to operate and maintain various roofing equipment and tools. They also learn the construction basics and how to lay different kinds of roofing materials. Those who wish to become roofers must be strongly interested in working with their hands and enjoy laborious physical work. They must be able to stand for long periods while using hand tools and putting up scaffolding.

Other responsibilities include sweeping and cleaning roofs to prepare them for applying roofing materials and assisting journeymen roofers with more complicated repairs. They must be competent at following all safety standards and procedures on the roofs of buildings and capable of climbing ladders or scaffolding to reach hard-to-reach places.

Other duties of a roofer can include preparing the ground underneath a new roof for waterproofing and covering it with protective materials, such as felt or asphalt strips. They may also be responsible for draining water from roofs and removing old shingles.

Professional roofers use a wide range of tools to complete their work. These include power tools, hand tools, and safety gear. Some tools, like a tape measure, are necessary for accuracy and can save time in the long run. Other tools, such as a shingle cutter, make trimming shingles and other roofing materials easier. Many roofers also prefer to use a tool belt to keep their hands free while working.

A roofing contractor’s vehicle is vital for transporting supplies and tools to the job site. It is important to have a car that can carry large items, multiple ladders, and other pieces of roofing material. Roofers should consider buying a covered van or pickup truck to ensure that their tools are protected from the elements.

Roofing is dangerous, and every roofer must have the proper safety gear. A safety harness is the most important tool for roofers, and it can help protect them from injury in the event of a fall. Roofers must also have a rope grab system, which can secure them to a point on the roof in case they slip or lose their balance.

Other important tools for roofers include a nail gun and a hammer stapler. A nail gun is a power tool that shoots various-sized nails at high velocity. It is used to secure underlayment and paper before shingles are put in place. A hammer stapler is similar to a nail gun but has a different purpose. It is used to secure roofing papers to the roof’s surface and is more effective than a traditional stapler at securing these materials.

A roofing contractor’s shoes are another crucial piece of equipment. Roofers need to wear shoes with soft soles so as not to damage the shingles. They should also wear gloves and a hard hat to ensure their safety.

Roofers work outdoors, often in harsh weather. The strenuous work requires prolonged standing, squatting, climbing, and bending. The job is seasonal, and roofers may work as many as 40 hours a week. They often receive higher wages for overtime work. The career requires a high skill level, and many roofers receive on-the-job training through apprenticeships or from experienced roofers.

One of the main risks for a roofer is falling from heights, which accounts for many deaths in the construction industry. To minimize the risk, roofers must follow all safety guidelines and only work at heights when they are properly equipped with secure ladders and scaffolding. Depending on the type of roof, they may also need to use specialist safety equipment.

Other hazards include working with asbestos, which is common in older buildings and can cause serious health problems if inhaled. Roofers must follow all guidelines when handling asbestos materials and ensure they wear protective clothing and masks.

Exposure to silica dust is also a significant risk for roofers. This can occur when tearing down or sanding old roofing materials and causes lung problems such as silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This can also lead to skin problems such as dermatitis.

Roofers need to take regular breaks from their work, especially in hot weather. They should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and try not to work at midday when the sun is hot. Taking frequent breaks also helps to prevent heat exhaustion and fatigue.

All equipment must be maintained in good condition and regularly inspected to ensure safety. Roofers should also keep all chemicals and cleaning products stored away from children and out of their reach to prevent accidental ingestion or poisoning. Roofers must also follow all COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) guidelines when using any chemical or material. If they have any doubts, they should seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

The responsibilities of roofers involve working on high-rise buildings and other structures that protect occupants from weather conditions. Aspiring roofers need physical strength and endurance, along with good problem-solving skills. They also need to understand safety protocols and be able to follow instructions precisely. Roofers must be able to work on rooftops in all types of weather, so they must be comfortable with heights. This career is best for outdoor lovers who enjoy manual labor and work well with their hands.

Some roofers have a high school education or equivalent, but most learn the trade through on-the-job training, typically beginning as an apprentice with more experienced workers. Beginners may take courses in shop, basic mathematics, and mechanical drawing to familiarize themselves with some of the materials and techniques they’ll use as roofing workers. Some roofers become certified as roofing torch applicators, a designation that requires additional training and testing.

Depending on their area, roofers often specialize in certain types of roofing jobs. Metal roofers, for example, work with materials like steel, aluminum, and copper to create durable, visually appealing roofs. On the other hand, flat roofers are experts in installing and maintaining roofs with little to no slope. Slate and tile roofers work with natural or synthetic slate, clay, or concrete tiles to construct sturdy, long-lasting roofs.

Roofers also install energy-efficient roofs, including solar reflective systems that prevent heat absorption from sunlight and solar thermal systems that collect and use sun power to heat water or electricity. Plumbers and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanics may sometimes assist with these projects.

Roofers are often employed by roofing and construction companies, but they can also be self-employed contractors who contract their services to homeowners or businesses. Regardless of their employer, all roofers must have strong communication skills to relay specifications and expectations to their employees and clients effectively. This is especially important when a job involves coordinating with other teams on building sites to complete complex roofing projects. The ability to interpret blueprints and other measurements is also important for roofers.