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Anatomy of an Energy-Efficient Roofing Upgrade: Part 1

Thanks to Mark and our friends at OldHouseWeb.com for letting us share this video. In this energy-efficient roofing upgrade, Mark tears off old shingles and installs new technology. He uses a vapor barrier instead of underlayment, and synthetic slate tiles. First, he removes the three-tab shingles using a circular saw and tear-off tools, throwing the singles into his trash trailer.

Sectioning Your Roofing Remodel

The first step to tearing off a roof is sectioning it. Dividing the shingles into smaller sections makes removing them easier and more efficient. Mark is sure to set his circular saw just shallow enough to cut through the singles but not the decking underneath.

Once the roof is sectioned, Mark gives himself a clear space at the top and, with a tear-off tool, works his way down, removing and tossing shingles into the trash trailer below. "There's nothing pretty about this," Mark says. "It's just hard work."

Mark finds a thick layer of plywood under the shingles. This is good news and bad news. It's good news because it indicates the roof was re-decked in a previous roofing remodel, which means starting again with a solid surface. The bad news is that the home's original, 100-year-old gutter brackets are trapped under the new plywood. Replacing the brackets means cutting them free, and Mark makes a note to bring the right tools for the job.

Finding the Right Water Barrier for Energy-Efficient Roofing

Another feature of this old roof is an older style of peel-and-stick ice dam membrane. Mark notes that if he were doing an old asphalt roofing system, the membrane would work fine. For an energy-efficient roofing remodel project, however, he wants to use a vapor barrier instead. Therefore, he needs to peel the asphalt roofing off the eaves so he can return with the new vapor barrier.

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Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products.

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