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Old 06-24-2009, 07:19 AM   #1
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Re-roofing questions


Hi. Two questions about re-roofing my home, (30 squares, 4/12 pitch, class 4 asphalt shingles):

Should I use a nail gun or do it by hand? I have seen contractors using both methods. What are the pro's and cons?

The roof has an original 1/2 inch cdx deck. New code is minimum 5/8. Most roofs in this area are now done with 3/4. Assuming the original is in good shape, can I add another 1/2" layer to the existing plywood to bulk it up, or should I tear it off and redo it with 3/4 or just leave well enough alone? the local inspector says he can't make me re-deck and is not inclined to say one way or the other what I should do.

Lastly, ice dam. Is it necessary? Our local area, southeast Wyoming, does not require it. I want to do this right and I see a lot of posts on this site recommending it.

Thanks for your help!

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Old 06-24-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re-roofing questions


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Originally Posted by cheyenne View Post
Hi. Two questions about re-roofing my home, (30 squares, 4/12 pitch, class 4 asphalt shingles):

Should I use a nail gun or do it by hand? I have seen contractors using both methods. What are the pro's and cons?

The roof has an original 1/2 inch cdx deck. New code is minimum 5/8. Most roofs in this area are now done with 3/4. Assuming the original is in good shape, can I add another 1/2" layer to the existing plywood to bulk it up, or should I tear it off and redo it with 3/4 or just leave well enough alone? the local inspector says he can't make me re-deck and is not inclined to say one way or the other what I should do.

Lastly, ice dam. Is it necessary? Our local area, southeast Wyoming, does not require it. I want to do this right and I see a lot of posts on this site recommending it.

Thanks for your help!
Are you going to have people helping you? I would say 30 squares is a huge job. I replaced my roof which was 26 squares by myself. I will never do it again. I think paying someone to do it is well worth the money. Hand nailing is the preferred method, but realistically, it will take you too long to hand nail 30 squares. Your best option is to go with a nail gun. It made my job a lot easier. I'm not sure about the decking, but if the 1/2in sheathing never caused a problem all these years, I would be inclined to keep it the same. I got into doing too much when I did my roof. I would just do what a pro would do. If you have no experience, you should read a few books and possibly watch some roofers work. My neighbor had his roof replaced, and I picked up a lot of tips of the trade by just observing. Good luck. Don't be discouraged. Replacing a roof can be done. It is just back breaking work. I don't know how someone can do it for 30 years day after day.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re-roofing questions


I'll have three guys helping me for five days and I have helped with some small roofing jobs before so I'm not totally green. I've never used a roofing nail gun and was curious why some contractors use them and others do not. Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:31 PM   #4
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Re-roofing questions


Most roofers believe using the guns are faster than swinging a hammer.
Both methods will produce the same quality assuming the fasteners are placed properly.

The few times I have needed to do a complete re-deck on a roof was due to the reasons you are explaining and we did not remove the existing deck, simply applied the new right over top.

Items such as Ice&Water shield are also sometimes used in areas with out snow fall/ice build ups, because that type of material also helps protect against wind driven rains, as well as human error during the install.

Another option in such a important job as re-roofing your home is to do a partial DIY, I have on many occasions came in to a job after the home owner had removed the existing roof and installed the new roof, the home owner stills saves a good portion of money and gets a top quality roofing system installed by a pro.
Just a thought..
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