What Does Roof Replacement Include?

Replacing a roof is an extensive job. Of course, this fact is common knowledge. What is not so commonly known is what roofing materials go into replacing one’s roof. It certainly involves more than shingles. A total roof system consists of differing roofing materials to make a solid roof that will last for years to come. 

It is a good thing to know a little bit about what these roofing materials are and what makes them so important for your home’s roof. Because it is not a simple or inexpensive service, it is only fair that you, the homeowner, knows what must make up a roof. 

As you know, your roof must be able to keep you and your family protected from all the elements, including heavy storms and debris. And while there may be parts of your roof that are in good shape, when you get a new roof, almost all your roofing materials are replaced. 

Read on to learn more about all the roofing materials that are part of your roof replacement. An experienced roofer can walk you through the process as well. 

Roof Decking 

Roof decking or sheathing is your roof system’s foundation. It is the wooden boards that act as framing that connects the roof to your home. It is on these boards that your shingles and other materials are installed on top of. 

With a roof replacement, the reason you may have to replace your roof’s decking depends on the condition it is in. However, your roofing contractor will only know if it needs to be replaced once they finish removing your old roof. Once they do that, they will immediately see if the boards are rotten or not. If there is rotting, most likely due to water damage, your contractor will need to replace the decking as it is what is supposed to support the roof’s weight. Now, if it is not rotten and still in good shape, then your contractor will let you know.

Asphalt Shingles

Acting as the top layer of your roof, shingles are what is visible to everyone who looks up or down at your roof. There is certainly a misconception that all that needs to be replaced in a roof are the shingles, but that is not the case. However, your roofer will quickly discover whether your shingles were installed using proper roofing techniques or not. 


Underlayment is a material, typically felt, that is installed between your shingles and decking to provide extra protection from rain, snow and wind. Providing a smooth, even surface, underlayment is an important secondary layer of protection that truly decreases the probability of wind and ice damaging your roof.

Therefore, laying down new underlayment is a must in your roof replacement. Too often, we meet customers whose roof was installed without this component, which is surely a worthy investment for the life of your roof. 

Roof Flashing

Roof flashing is a roll of thin metal that is placed under the shingles of one’s roof to redirect water somewhere else. Made from metals like copper, aluminum, or galvanized steel, flashing should be installed wherever your shingles are up against things such as a wall, chimney, gutters or even windows. 

How do you know if your flashing may need to be replaced when getting a new asphalt roof?

Well, if your flashing is rusted or damaged, it would need to be replaced. 

Drip edge

Drip edge is the metal flashing that is installed at the roof’s edges in order to help control the flow of water away from your fascia and other parts of your roof.

When you get a new asphalt roof, this has to be replaced. It would be a code violation not to have a drip edge and if not installed per code, you could fail a home inspection. 

Be sure you don’t hire a roofing contractor that tries to cut corners by failing to install your drip edge. 

Ice and Water Shield

With your roof’s valleys being vulnerable to rain, hail and leaks, it is vital to keep water flowing in the right direction down your roof. To protect them from the constant flow of water every time it rains, an ice and water shield is needed. Unlike the felt underlayment, this waterproof membrane does the job of protecting your roof from ice and water damage. 

Since it is made of a slip-resistant material, an ice and water shield provides a watertight seal around shingles and roofing nail penetrations. When you get a roof replacement, new ice and water will need to be installed. Yes, even though you will still need the underlayment.  

Ridge Capping 

Ridge capping is the trim installed at the peak where the two slopes of a roof meet. Thicker than regular shingles and pre-bent to form the ridges on your roof, ridge capping must be replaced during a roof replacement. 

Roof Vents

Your roof’s life will be cut short from trapped hot and cold air if there is not any proper attic ventilation. The purpose of your roof vents is to stop this from happening by letting your attic breathe right.

Pipe Boots

Your roof’s pipes need to be covered to avoid water running down them into your home. Therefore, a pipe boot is important. It is a synthetic rubber boot that goes around your roof penetrations to prevent leaks. These need to be replaced when you get a new asphalt roof. 

Keep in mind that it is crucial to have your pipe boots inspected on a regular basis via your roof maintenance. 

Your Roof Replacement 

As you have read, most, if not all, of your roof system’s materials will be replaced when you get a roof replacement. Now that you are aware of the roofing materials that are included in your roof replacement, you will be better prepared when meeting with several roofing contractors. 

Fortunately, at R L Hayes Roofing & Repairs, we inspect your roof from top to bottom for any damage and help with any roof repairs you may require. Be sure to contact us to find out if your roof needs to be replaced.