Roof Replacement: Does My Roof Need to Be Torn Off?

Roof Replacements: Does My Roof Need To Be Torn Off?

When your roof reaches the end of its life, it’s time for a roof replacement. This might happen after several years of wear and tear or, more suddenly, due to severe damage. Having your roof replaced is a significant project that involves several steps. Does my roof need to be torn off? Many homeowners wonder about this since it seems that it would leave the interior of their home open to the elements. Knowing more about what to expect during the roof replacement process can put your mind at ease as a homeowner.

Does My Roof Need to Be Torn Off?

Having your entire roof torn off at once can seem scary. Thankfully, this isn’t how a roof replacement works. You might not realize how many layers your roofing system has. A residential roof often has shingles, at least one layer of underlayment, decking, trusses & insulation. A roof replacement involves checking the condition of each layer and replacing it as needed. This inspection happens before new shingles are installed.

Roof Replacement Process

Roof Inspection

Replacing a roof doesn’t mean removing the whole roofing system immediately. In fact, this process starts with an initial inspection. Roofing contractors evaluate the condition of your roof to determine which parts need to be replaced. For example, you might have roof decking that’s worn or rotted. There might also be flashing or ventilation issues that need to be addressed. Finding out about potential problems during inspection can help the roofer and the homeowner have time to adjust their expectations for the project’s time, materials, and cost.

Shingle Removal and Roof Decking Repairs or Replacement

Roofing contractors begin by removing old shingles and underlayments. Then they check the roof decking underneath. Roof decking acts as a sheathing on top of rafters that covers and stabilizes your entire roof, so it’s essential to ensure it’s in good condition. It also holds the shingle nails securely in place. When the decking has wood rot or severe damage, roofing contractors will replace it. If they did not replace it, the shingle nails would not stay firmly in place, and your shingles would blow off in the next storm! If the decking only has minor damage, roofing contractors might just make repairs.

Drip Edge and Underlayment Installation

Your roofing system includes drip edge and underlayment to help protect against leaks. The drip edge goes along the roof eaves, while underlayment covers the roof decking. After repairing or replacing the decking, roofing contractors will install drip edge and underlayment to help keep your new roof safe from water damage. Drip edge stops water from getting under your new shingles. Underlayment acts as a waterproof barrier that keeps water from penetrating the decking.

Leak Barriers in Vulnerable Areas

Some areas of your roof can make it easy for water to get through without added protection. Roof valleys, which are places where two roof sections meet, need a leak barrier to stop water from seeping through. These barriers prevent water from entering any gaps or openings in valleys and other vulnerable areas.

Starter Shingles

Your new roof should have a layer of starter shingles installed. These shingles serve as a sturdy base for your main shingles. Once these are in place, there are only a couple more steps to go.


When you have a chimney or vents coming up through your roof, these protrusions can raise the risk of leaks. Shingles don’t fully cover the areas around these, so it’s essential to have rubber or metal flashing installed. Flashing goes around vents, chimneys, and other protrusions in your roof to ensure that water doesn’t leak through openings.

Shingle and Ridge Cap Installation

Your roof is finally ready to have your main layers of shingles installed. After these are in place, your roofing contractor will install ridge cap shingles along the ridge of your roof. This helps lower the risk of leaks through your roof ridge.

Protection from Damage

How do roofers ensure your home is protected from the elements or other damage during a roof replacement? Roofing contractors are known to keep a close eye on the weather. They do their very best to work in sections so there are no openings in the decking if inclement weather is looming. In the event of a pop-up storm, they will cover open areas with tarps as needed. This keeps your attic and the rest of your interior safe from water damage.

Roofing contractors might need to go inside your attic to cover openings in your roof with a tarp during the replacement process. Remember that having a reliable roofing contractor handle your roof replacement helps ensure the entire job is done with minimal risk to your home. Depending on the size & complexity of your roof, you might have a new roof in as little as a couple of days. 

Who to Call for a Roof Replacement

When you need a new roof, hiring a dependable local roofing company with experience is crucial. At S&S Roofing, we pride ourselves on providing reliable, high-quality roofing services, including roof replacement. As a local roofing contractor, we know what it takes to properly and safely remove your old roof and install a new one while protecting your home from damage.

Contact Us for Roof Replacement in the Pacific Northwest

If you need a new roof for your home in the Pacific Northwest, contact S&S Roofing. We offer affordable roof replacements with a strong commitment to providing the highest quality customer service.