ABC’s of Roof Replacement

By Kim Cox:

Every now and then, someone asks me what steps are needed to replace a roof… safely and correctly, so it will last as long as it should without problems.

So if you’ve ever wondered what’s involved,  I’m going to answer it right now, in a condensed and easy to understand way.

Obviously, there’s a ton more details involved in the actual work, but this will give you an idea of the process involved each time we replace a Maryland homeowner’s roof.

It all starts out with a thorough, no-obligation roof inspection to make sure your roof really does need to be replaced. Nobody wants to replace it if it’s not necessary or doesn’t make sense.

(Don’t worry… we’re not gonna sell you a new roof if we don’t think it’s the right thing to do… Our reputation for integrity and honesty is far too important)

Once it’s determined you need to replace your roof, the real work begins… (Usually a whole crew will work at once to make the process much faster)

    1. We lay tarps in your yard to protect your landscaping, bushes, plants, etc from all the debris that’s coming
    2. We strip off the old layer (sometimes multiple layers) of shingles and old roofing paper. Bet you didn’t know that shingle manufacturers will not warranty new shingles if they’re put on top of existing ones…
    3. When the roof is stripped down to the sheathing, usually plywood, OSB, or barn boards, we can perform another thorough inspection of the sheathing and flashing
    4. We check to make sure there is proper ventilation (soffits, gable vents) for your home so the new roof will last for many years to come.
    5. Then, aluminum drip edge is installed, which helps keep water run-off away from the building
    6. Next, a membrane such as felt roofing paper, or ice and water shield is applied to protect the sheathing, creating a barrier between the wood and shingles, providing temporary waterproofing until the shingles are actually installed
Derwood 2 roof

Before and after of a new roof

  1. We also replace damaged or missing flashing from around chimneys, vents, antennas, solar mounts, skylights… basically anything else that sticks out of the roof
  2. Time to lug a ton of 80lb bundles of shingles up to the ridge, along with our nail guns, and finally lay down the new shingles, of course, per manufacturer specifications. (We don’t want you to have leaks, so we do it right the first time)
  3. Then we put on the ridge vent/cap along the entire roof ridge(s), if needed
  4. Another inspection, and cleanup and removal of everything on the actual roof
  5. And last, but certainly not least, we completely clean up your yard and landscaping, legally disposing of all the old roofing materials, even using a special magnet to find the old nails on the ground. (Our customers really love it when we leave their homes looking better than when we started the project)

So yeah… that’s roof replacement in a nutshell…

As you can see, it’s a lot of work, not to mention very physical and demanding.

To get more details about roof problems or replacement, go to

Or if you want to get even more detailed info (also easy to understand), download the PDF version of “The Prepared Homeowner’s Guide to Roofing Repairs”

Whether your home is in Frederick, or Silver Spring, over to Columbia, Maryland, or any community in between, we can help!

To get a free, no-obligation roofing repair estimate, or
to simply ask us a question,
call Kim at 301-368-3551

On Top Home Improvements, Inc.
10818 Avonlea Ridge Place
Damascus, MD 20872
Tel: 301-368-3551
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