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A roofer is the construction specialist who installs and repairs the sloped roofs on new and existing construction projects, both residential and commercial. It is the roofer who is responsible for ensuring that the roof is able to withstand the elements outside and provide protection to those inside the structure. A roof must be completely waterproof and wind-proof in order to serve the purpose for which it is intended. Typically, roofing companies will also provide waterproofing services.
Any building requires a roof in order for it to be weatherproof. The roof must therefore be able to withstand rain, hail, snow, sleet, high winds and sun. Roofs are constructed of various materials, including interlocking slate tiles and aluminium and zinc corrugated sheeting. In buildings with sloped roofs, it is the roofer’s responsibility to erect the “A”-shaped wooden (see our articles on Carpenters for more information) or steel roof trusses, provide waterproofing for them with a covering of thick black plastic sheeting, then expertly lay the tiles or corrugated sheeting over everything. In properties which are situated very close to the coast and are more susceptible to rust from corrosive salt air, the roofer is responsible for ensuring that an aluminium roof has a lower zinc content than those used inland in order to make it more durable. Regardless of the type of roof covering, any spot on the roof which has a joint, chimney, pipe or skylight which has the potential to leak, has to have additional material called ‘flashing’ to seal and waterproof the area. Your roofer is the expert at placing this flashing, and this should not be left to an unskilled contractor.
It must be noted that a roofer is not responsible for preparing and laying thatched roofing, which is a specialised field of its own. Similarly, a roofer will not be tasked with the roofing of flat-roofed structures, where the roofs are strengthened and covered with concrete, and fall within the builder’s responsibilities.
The gutters and downpipes which line the edges of a roof and carry water from the roof into specific areas, do not fall within the responsibilities of the roofer. The builder will attend to this (see builders section).
A roofer must, first and foremost, be able to cope with heights as his job places him at the highest point of any construction project. A roofer’s job is potentially dangerous due to the heights at which he works, and there is always the possibility of slipping, tripping or falling, so he should take the necessary safety precautions such as wearing a safety harness. He must be physically strong and have plenty of stamina, as his job involves working with heavy tiles or large aluminium sheets, bending, stooping and kneeling on the roof surfaces. He needs to have a good sense of balance as he is working on sloping surfaces, and be able to work in both extreme heat and very cold conditions. His job places him outside in all kinds of weather, and there is no shelter for him on an exposed roof.
Always use a qualified and experienced roofer for your needs. Builders will usually work with roofers they know and have worked with before, and they will arrange for the services of their preferred roofer. However, if you are looking for a roofer to repair a leaking roof or have a small project you are overseeing yourself, make sure that you ask for recommendations before appointing a roofer. An unskilled or inexperienced roofer will probably not be able to carry out the job satisfactorily, and you might well find yourself having to engage another roofer to re-do the job. Always check their online reviews through Uptasker before choosing a roofer yourself, to be sure that you will be getting the services of an experienced and skilled worker who will work efficiently and carefully. In addition, make sure that all costs are covered in the initial quotation, to avoid further expenses as the project progresses.
A well constructed roof will ensure that the interior of the building it covers will be impervious to weather conditions outside, and therefore be warm in winter, dry during wet weather and cool during the hot summer months, with no unwanted leaks, draughts or damp patches appearing on the top of walls or ceilings from an imperfectly sealed roof. Always choose wisely when employing these specialists and appreciate their worth. For more tips, see our roofer articles.