Design & Construction Job Descriptions & Questions
What is Construction Roofers Job Description ?
A leaky roof can damage ceilings, walls, and furnishings. Roofers repair and install roofs made of tar or asphalt and gravel; rubber or thermoplastic; metal; or shingles to protect buildings and their contents from water damage. Repair and reroofingreplacing old roofs on existing buildingsmakes up the majority of work for roofers.
There are two types of roofslow-slope and steep-slope. Low-slope roofs rise 4 inches per horizontal foot or less and are installed in layers. Steep-slope roofs rise more than 4 inches per horizontal foot and are usually covered in shingles. Most commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings have low-slope roofs. Most houses have steep-slope roofs. Some roofers work on both types; others specialize.
Most low-slope roofs are covered with several layers of materials. Roofers first put a layer of insulation on the roof deck. Over the insulation, they often spread a coat of molten bitumen, a tarlike substance. Next, they install partially overlapping layers of roofing felta fabric saturated in bitumenover the surface. Roofers use a mop to spread hot bitumen over the felt before adding another layer of felt. This seals the seams and makes the surface watertight. Roofers repeat these steps to build up the desired number of layers, called plies. The top layer is glazed to make a smooth finish or has gravel embedded in the hot bitumen to create a rough surface.
An increasing number of low-slope roofs are covered with a single-ply membrane of waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compounds. Roofers roll these sheets over the roofs insulation and seal the seams. Adhesive, mechanical fasteners, or stone ballast hold the sheets in place. Roofers must make sure the building is strong enough to hold the stone ballast.
A small but growing number of buildings now have green roofs that incorporate plants. A green roof begins with a single or multi-ply waterproof layer. After it is proven to be leak free, roofers put a root barrier over it, and then layers of soil, in which trees and grass are planted. Roofers are usually responsible for making sure the roof is watertight and can withstand the weight and water needs of the plants.
Most residential steep-slope roofs are covered with shingles. To apply shingles, roofers first lay, cut, and tack 3-foot strips of roofing felt over the entire roof. Starting from the bottom edge, the roofer then staples or nails overlapping rows of shingles to the roof. Roofers measure and cut the felt and shingles to fit intersecting roof surfaces and to fit around vent pipes and chimneys. Wherever two roof surfaces intersect, or shingles reach a vent pipe or chimney, roofers cement or nail flashing-strips of metal or shingle over the joints to make them watertight. Finally, roofers cover exposed nailheads with roofing cement or caulking to prevent water leakage. Roofers who use tile, metal shingles, or shakes (rough wooden shingles) follow a similar process.
Roofers also install equipment that requires cutting through roofs, such as ventilation ducts and attic fans. Some roofers are expert in waterproofing; some waterproof and dampproof masonry and concrete walls, floors, and foundations. To prepare surfaces for waterproofing, they hammer and chisel away rough spots or remove them with a rubbing brick, before applying a coat of liquid waterproofing compound. They also may paint or spray surfaces with a waterproofing material or attach waterproofing membrane to surfaces. Roofers usually spray a bitumen-based coating on interior or exterior surfaces when dampproofing.